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French Women Don't Sleep Alone : Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love
Did you know that French women don't date?
American women have been missing out on a few secrets when it comes to the opposite sex. French women believe that the gift for attracting men has nothing to do with beauty, work, or even motivation. There are no Rules. And they don't listen to Dr. Phil's advice. They don't worry about the care and feeding of their boyfriend. And they certainly don't travel to Mars to communicate with men. On the contrary, French women's love lives are romantic, sensual, playful, and intense. They conduct their relationships with the same unique sense of originality and artfulness that they choose their clothes and accessories. For the first time ever, Jamie Cat Callan gives readers a personalized, guided tour through the corridors of French love.
Discover the secrets to:
*Why French women always feel sexy
*The French art of flirtation
*Why French women walk everywhere and love to be seen
*Where French women meet men
*What French women do when their man misbehaves
Just as we've learned to stop torturing ourselves with fad diets and have relearned the art of eating, this witty, insightful, and candid book strives to show American women how to cultivate and enjoy the pleasures of love, romance, and marriage.
Includes delicious recipes for the perfect, amorous meal!
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February 28, 2009
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Excerpt from French Women Don't Sleep Alone by Jamie Cat Callan
My grandmother was French.
In all the years of my growing up, I never felt as if I truly understood her. In fact, for a long time, I believed she didn't even really like me. I thought she was rather cold. She was certainly a little aloof. I did love her, passionately. And I admired her too, but there were many times when I envied my friends with their stereotypical gray-haired grandmas-- affectionate nannas who wore flowered cotton housedresses and baked sugar cookies and squeezed your cheeks and kissed and hugged you against their soft flesh until you squealed and squirmed away.
My French grandmother did none of these things. She was tall and slim and elegant. Every other Sunday, she arrived at our house in Stamford, Connecticut, in my grandfather's freshly washed and impossibly shiny black Buick. My grandfather always drove because my grandmother never learned to drive. Even so, she never seemed to be without someone to chauffeur her around town.
I was thrilled by the prospect of my grandmother's visits. I knew she would want to observe me, ask me about my dance lessons, tell me to stand up straight and scrutinize my clothes. I always got dressed up for her. I would run to the car and open the passenger-side door to greet her and 1 before she could even stand up, I would ask her if she had any candy for me. This was something I had learned to do from my best friend and her grandmother. However, my grandmother never had candy. She would snap open her small leather purse and offer me instead a black licorice cough drop. I accepted this as if it was the most delicious and delightful confection in the world and I would thank her. Then my grandmother would lift her stockinged legs out of the car, and emerge to kiss me on each cheek.
Her hair was dark, before she switched over to a silvery rinse. She had long, slender, shapely legs. And she always wore a colorful scarf around her neck. She wore sheer stockings and heels. Her hair was always perfectly coiffed--after all, she spent every Saturday afternoon of her life in the beauty salon. Oh, and she wore a little makeup and always lipstick. She liked the color peach. Not pink. She was very particular. It had to be peach. Her shoes matched her handbag, although they were never a completely matched set. She didn't do anything as obvious as that. She always carried a silk handkerchief with her. She didn't smile a whole lot. She didn't laugh with abandon. She seldom hugged me. However, she did have perfect posture.
When she arrived, she created a little stir in our suburban neighborhood. She spoke with a slight accent, pronouncing "onion" as "ungion." She was a wonderful cook and taught me to make tarte tatin. (And now, I wish I had written down her recipe!)
At my grandparents' home in Devon, Connecticut, they had a garden where they grew turnips, beets, green beans, summer squash, corn, zucchini, and tomatoes--which they jarred for the winter. They also had a peach tree, from which my grandmother made peach jam and peach pie. When we ate at their home, everything was incredibly fresh and completely delicious.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I was growing up under the gentle tutelage of my mysterious French grandmother and I was a witness to the secrets French women have been using for centuries to keep their men intrigued and in a state of constant fascination. It's true that my grandmother and grandfather did not always have the most peaceful relationship. They would occasionally get into fiery spats. When I first witnessed these squabbles I would become very upset. I watched as my grandfather yelled, and my grandmother seethed and put her energies into kneading pie dough, pressing and turning, pounding and rolling out, so that she could make her wonderful apple tart. The disagreement might go on for hours or days, but it would always end the same way--a night of whispers with the bedroom door locked.
The next morning my grandmother would return from the department store with a new hat. It didn't take long for me to realize that these quarrels were not simply about disagreeing, but that rather an intricate and sensual dance was taking place. I saw that for a French woman it is more important to hold her ground and to be herself than to always get along and keep the peace, and that sometimes making a delicious pastry is better than open communication, and that not always being the "good girl" can turn up the heat in the bedroom.
When she was younger, my grandmother was a singer, a dancer, and a musician, and she even sewed theatrical costumes. The French side of my family is filled with painters and musicians, dancers and singers, and even a puppet-maker. During the 1920s, my grandfather managed a family theatrical troupe that played in theaters across New England. My grandmother sang and played the violin; my mother, with her Shirley Temple ringlets, danced and recited poetry (once on The Children's Radio Hour in New York City); and my uncle played the drums. This was during the Great Depression--during the waning years of vaudeville.
I grew up hearing these stories and I wanted to have Shirley Temple ringlets too. When I was little, my grandmother would curl my hair, using strips of cloth made from old linens. I sat patiently as her fingers worked through my freshly washed hair, so that I could go to school on Monday morning with "rag curls," as she called them. I looked at her reflection in the mirror, sitting behind me--her lips pursed, her lovely face deep in concentration--and I thought, I want to be like her, knowing this was ultimately impossible. I was really not like her at all. And she would remain a foreign country to me, a mystery.