I’ve googled it, I possibly even own an illustrated book or two about it*, and if my google search history is any indication I may even have a phD on it the same way my husband is an expert on all things Dungeons and Dragons. HOW DOES ONE BECOME A PARISIAN? The answer is not so apparent, apparently, even when you’re in the thick of it – slurping down a café allongé with a Coach leather coat caped over your shoulders in the middle of Rue Montorgueil, while the cute waiter periodically pops his head out the door and asks Avez-vous terminee? No, mon cher, it’s not terminal – although given that I am on Page 3 of the search results in pursuit of a self-applicable answer it may as well be. I am done with my coffee though; may I have a glass of rosé?
What does being a Parisian even mean? See, if you have a council tax bill under your name from the London Borough of Anywhere, and accepted the local Turkish joint to be at least one of of your weekly meals, then one can generously consider oneself a Londoner – regardless of duration of residence. There is no gait, no 5-piece wardrobe that would allow you to single out a Londoner from a throng. That odd (borderline creepy) obsession to a pub perhaps can be used for an inkling, but then we invite anyone north of Birmingham to this equation.
*this is what happens when you say yes to one too many goody-bags
This is the Airbnb you need to stay at in Paris
You can however, pick out the Parisienne out of a crowd. The rule-book (illustrated in colour or not) says she is probably blonde, smoking, and most likely also not wearing a smidgen of makeup, but so far my attempts at following this has only led to being shunned from the high street and offered loose change. And that’s where it hits me: we are dealing with the number of f*cks here. Not the optimal heel height, rituals of lovers vs. boyfriends, nor the percentage of black/navy in the wardrobe. French women simply give less f*cks. Whereas English women, my goodness, KOREAN WOMEN are one (face-contour) beauty product too many f*cks to even contend (why do we care so much?). I’m stereotyping here, of course, but it’s an important lesson. Be Spiderman. Be you. Give less f*cks about what people think and layer that dress over the pant-suit. Do it with confidence, because that’s really what being a Parisian is about, n’est-ce pas?