Thursday, July 07, 2005

Les Soldes!!!

As you read in my last post, I am in love with Montpellier. However, there are some things that do not make Montpellier inferior to Paris... rather, they make me aware of the fact that Montpellier is neither the center of France nor the largest city in the country. Two weeks ago les soldes started in Paris (and most of northern France). We in the south had to wait for two. long. weeks. before we could plunge into our own consumer frenzy. Hmm... actually, when I think about it, it's probably a good thing that the sales didn't start until yesterday. The heatwave has lifted, so now we can enjoy the outdoor pedestrian shopping without sweating--and staining the new clothes we are only trying on.

Yesterday Jube and I ventured into
Montpellier centre ville to check out the sales. There was a dress I'd had my eye on for about three months--maybe even four! I couldn't buy it at full price. (It was simply too expensive for Gem, who hasn't had a job for three months--maybe even four!) Luckily, since none of the dresses had been sold in that long quarter of a year, they were discounted by 60%, and so I was able to fulfill my dream of owning a transparent orange 100% silk asymmetrical dress and afford a cotton sous-robe to go underneath it. (Sous-robe means “under-dress,” but it sounds way better than “a cotton slip,” doesn’t it?)

I wore the dress to the belle-famille’s house, where Jube’s mother ooh’ed and ahh’ed over how beautiful my dress was. “Oh, it’s too bad that you’re not invited to a wedding this summer!” she said, before realizing that, indeed, Jube and I will be heading to Mende for the aperitif of a wedding in a few weeks. “But, Gem, you can’t wear that dress underneath. You should simply wear a white strapless bra and some underwear!” I expressed my discomfort with wearing a transparent dress with nothing but underwear underneath. “That’s because you’re an American puritan,” she told me. “Well, I suppose you could buy a bustier and wear that instead.” It’s true that I never imagined that my mother-in-law would tell me to buy a bustier so I could show it off under a see-through dress…

Before you start thinking that I am uncomfortable with my body, I should tell you that I have finally decided I am not fat. And I’m glad that I am not as skinny as most of the French women I see around me. In the stores yesterday, they were all screaming and grabbing for the last T1 ([extra] small) or the second-to-last 36 (size 4? Size 6?). I nonchalantly shouldered them aside and chose one of the five remaining T3s or 42s, in any style or color that I wanted.

Ahhhhhhh! Bliss = les soldes!

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