Cher Madame Florand,
Until I happened to look down while passing a shelf in Waldenbooks I had no idea your book existed. Thank God for serendipity. I haven’t laughed so hard over the course of an entire book in a long time. I’ve never been to Paris but after reading about how you met your French husband while studying there, I still don’t think I want to go. After all, it’s full of French people, right? 😉 Though you do make the chocolate stores sound awfully appealing….Now if extended an invitation to Say-bas-tee-YON’s (BTW, love the way your redneck Georgia brothers pronounce his name) uncles’ farm outside Paris, especially if one of their two day parties was planned, I’d be there in a heartbeat. My God the food sounds divine, the views must be spectacular and surely with a GPS system, I could find it. Or maybe not.
And after reading about your four wedding ceremonies, I can see the appeal of elopement. Just kidding. Let’s forget the first American civil ceremony done only to ease the bureaucracy standing in the way of Sebastien’s American work permit. And the clogged septic system that had to be dug out afterwards. Your religious ceremony surrounded by huge magnolia trees deep in the heart of the South sounded lovely. If only July wasn’t one of the hottest months of the year, filled with mosquitoes and chiggers and the whole experience augmented by having to chop up those two enormous oak trees that covered your parent’s entire front yard. But that’s why God invented chain saws, hein?
Now, your first French ceremony had me in tears of laughter. I just reread the whole thing and about busted a gut all over again. It’s truly amazing that Sebastien’s father, uncles and cousins didn’t lynch the priest. That’s one wedding video I’d pay to see, especially when the priest said,
“Marriage should be for love and not just because you’re looking for a retirement pension. That first person read so poorly you might not have understood him, but he said that love is not jealous. What this means is that no matter how much the man has his soccer matches, his bars, and his nights out with his friends, the woman should not tell herself that he has his life easy. And no matter how many electrical appliances the woman has in the kitchen, the man should not tell himself that she has her life easy. ‘Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.’ What beautiful words of St. Paul, that love endures all things. What this means is that just because a woman is getting married isn’t an excuse for her to stop trying to look like Claudia Schiffer. This is something she must strive for all her life, for love of her husband. ‘Love is patient,’ St Paul tells us. ‘Love is kind.’ So no matter how much your wife deserves a beating from time to time, young Sebastien, you should try to be generous and restrain yourself.”
I’m sure by this point, I’d be choking with laughter like your guests were. And when the priest said, “And I think we’ve wasted more than enough time on this little repeat ceremony of theirs. So let’s go,” I’d probably be rolling in the aisles too. I must say that after having to clean out a second septic system, albeit one across the Atlantic ocean from the first, after the wedding party was over, you two have already faced the “for worst” part of your vows.
Thanks for a scathingly funny trip through your courtship and weddings. I wouldn’t have missed it. B+ for “Blame it on Paris.” Oh, you don’t suppose Sebastien could give me tips on buying wine, could he?