Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to Business

Michele is coming today. You probably know she's my French tutor. I think she's wonderful and charming and I've learned so much from her. It's just that I haven't had a lesson since the summer and I'm nervous. I wonder if I've forgotten it all...well, I know I haven't forgotten it all, obviously. But what if she's disappointed in my stagnation. What if it takes me five minutes to say something I used to be able to say in two? What if I have to do that thing where I look up at the sky, eyes distant, brow furrowed, while I'm thinking of what to say like I used to at my debut?

There's also the kissing and vousing. Everyone gives three kisses to say hello and goodbye to people they know well-- it takes a while. Michele would never kiss me because she's my instructor and I'm her student. It's more of a formal relationship and we shake hands. I have to use the formal vous with her as well, for the same reasons as no kissing and also so I'll learn the conjugations for vous because you use them with the general public and the verb changes. Of course.

She came for lunch during the summer to meet my mother. She is just that kind of cool woman. And before she came I was nervous. I wondered if she'd kiss me. It wasn't a lesson and we have become quite close through all the time we've spent together. Would she or wouldn't she? Would I still vous her? Yes, of course. But would she tell me I didn't have to vous her? Hmmm.

Lunch day came. Michele arrived. I went down to welcome her, happy to see her and introduce her to my mom. And, SHE KISSED ME! Right there on the stairs. A triple kiss with the half hug/squeeze thing they do. I was officially more than just a student. More than the sum of my very expensive lessons. I was a kissable friend.
As to the vous....well, she spoke English the entire time (more than I'd ever heard her speak my language) because she's polite and my mom doesn't speak French and it wasn't a lesson. Just three women hanging out, eating some Picard deliciousness and chatting.

Back to today. She's coming for a lesson for the first time in 3 months. Of course there'll be no kissing. And all the formalities will return.
At our last lesson she told me I only needed about five more lessons before I had a good base and wouldn't need her anymore. I held back a tear, no lie. Wonder will she still say that today? Wish me luck and bon courage. I'm off to cram, French style.

1 comment:

  1. Bon courage!

    (I slacked on my French all summer too, but now it's back to le grindstone)


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