L'oeil du tigre


Melbourne is full of people who want to impress my wife, Anne, with their French connections.  It might be because France is considered to be so posh and exotic over here, and they want to demonstrate they are also a little bit posh and well-travelled.  Or they've been putting France up on a pedestal and  they see Anne as their connection to this mythical Shangri-La full of great food, latin lovers and medieval chateaux.

Whatever the reason, there's always someone at a party pointing out the nice cheese to my wife.  Or people she's just met telling her about their one trip to France.  Or telling her about their French friends.  Or telling her about some French food they've cooked or tasted.

Once, while trying to book a music  therapist, the person at the other end of the line asked where Anne was from.  Upon learning Anne is French, she asked "Can I sing some French opera for you?"  Before Anne could answer, she was listening to very loud French singing through the phone.  When it was done, she gave a polite "That was very good", followed by a "How old are you?"  It was a grown woman at the other end of the line.

One day, our Local Sticky Beak (=nosy neighbour) was sitting at an outdoor café.  She stopped Anne, who was walking by.

Local Sticky Beak:  "Oh hello, I forget your name again" (note:  this is how every conversation with LSB starts)  "Oh, Anne, that's right.  I'd like to introduce you to my friend.  She has a very French name:  it's Adrienne."

Wife:  "That's true, that is a very French name, though not necessarily from my generation.  In fact, whenever people from my generation hear that name, the first thing they think of is Rocky One."  Then she screwed up her mouth to the right, curled her upper lip and gave her best "Yo Adrienne" Rocky impression.

LSB practically choked on her latté.