Monday, May 3, 2010

Put .. the NUT... DOWN!!

Some of my colleagues are... shall we say, comment-prone. But it's not so much the comments that matter, but my interpretation of them. For instance, the other day's comments went as follows:

10:30am: I grab 6 almonds (from a package I brought for everyone btw)
colleague: "You're eating already?"
(translation: "You fat american blond, put that down before your ass blows up to the size of Canada!!")

me: "Yes. I am. I had an early breakfast."
(translation: "EF YOU it's 6 almonds!!! BIG friggen DEAL?!?! What are you, the NUT NAZI?!)
ps: I didn't have an early breakfast. Why am I making excuses?!

colleague: (shakes her head)
(translation: "Ok, if you want to get fat, then eat them. Your decision.")

me: (sulks)
(translation: "Judgemental ditch.")

12:00pm: I'm not going to lunch with them because of the annoying NutNazi encounter.
colleague: "So I assume that you're not going to lunch with us."
(translation: "WHY do you HATE ME?!")

me: "that's correct. gotta work. Sorry."
(translation: "Because you count how many almonds I'm eating Nutler.")

colleague: (makes noise to show extreme disapproval.)
(translation: "You've no sense of etiquette...shame...")

2:00pm: I call my husband for about 1 minute.
colleague: "Do you have any time to speak about our project?" (+ weird look.)
(translation: "Are you going to work at all today?")

Me: "Sure. 5 min, & we're good." (+ weird look.)
(translation: "Zen. I am zen. Relax Shann-o. I will see you in 5 so I don't bite your head off.")

2:05pm: I make the HUGE mistake of eating more nuts.
colleague: "Again?" (+ weird judgemental look, plus tongue clicking noise.)
(translation: "I can see the layers of fat forming on your thighs btw.")

Me: "Yes. A-GAIN. MMMMMMMMM!!!" (+ sarcastic smile.)
(translation: "What the hell? Am I infringing on the nut's rights? Are you a nut activist? Let me eat in peace!!")

3:00pm: I'm cold.

Me: "Brr... what's up, did they turn on the AC or something? I'm freeeezing!"

Colleague: "Well, look at what you're wearing!" (laughs at me. hard.)
(translation: "Silly American, where's your french scarf?")

Me: (sulks some more.)

4:00pm: Someone brought in sweets. (of course.)
colleague: "So... the diet is off?" (grin)
(translation: "I'm never letting you live this down... EVER! You'll RUE the day you told me you were watching what you ate! MMuuuAAhAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAahahahhaha!!!")

Me: "Uh uh." (purposefully keeping eyes on my cake.)
(translation: "Back off.")

Why me? Why?? Is this a French thing, or a me thing? I'm dying to know. I seriously do like these people, but everyone has an off day now & again. This was mine. Ahhh.. the French. If you didn't love them so much, you'd hate them on days like these lol.

Everyone says you've got to prepare yourself for moments like these. They happen, and it's no big deal, you're supposed to get used to it. But I gotta admit, even after years of acclimation, I am still occasionally caught off guard by the judgmental frankness that comes with the territory. It's fine to them. Just fine. Normal. I sit back, writing this and have to laugh at how the differences in our cultures can be so flagrant. I'm sure it exists elsewhere, but where I come from... you don't speak about a girl's nuts.


  1. I've gradually figured out that when my boyfriend's mom says "Oh, aren't you cold?" it roughly means "I can see too much of your boobs, please cover yourself immediately you slutty américaine" lol. The day I can walk out of her house without her offering me a sweater will be a very exciting moment for me.

    The food thing depends on the region I think, Eastern France seems to have held on to the German attitude of "If there isn't lard and beer in it, it isn't worth eating."

  2. Agreed that the french have perfected the judgemental frankness. Although my MIL is FAR more frank than your workmates seem to be. She would just flat out ask me if I have stopped my diet, because in her opinion, I look better a few kilos lighter. But I'm sure that she says it with love, right?
    Anyways, any time a frenchman rudely comments on my eating habits, I tell him that it is a special regime/cure from my doctor for my skin/energy/liver. And then tell them, very frankly, that their skin/energy/liver doesn't seem up to scratch as of late. Advise them to make a RdV with their medicine toute suite to talk about trying the same regime. Works every time. Hypocondraic Frenchies.

  3. @Anro: hilarious lol. Ever want to sport a bra under a jacket à la lilo just to see if her brain explodes?
    @Nicole: true, my workmates like me enough not to tell me that my ass is sagging I guess. I'll try your technique next time they tut-tut me for a square of dark chocolate... the dark chocolate diet exists right?

  4. "but where I come from... you don't speak about a girl's nuts"

    I gotta tell you, girlfriend, you have a lot more nuts than me to react (on the surface) with the calm that you did!

    'Course, I am the kind of American girl who hears judgmental criticism such as this ilk and sits there, with my mouth agape, and no good comeback until at least an hour later, by which time it is just waaayyyy too late to say anything snarky back!

    It's so good to be able to read your blog again! I have just been hammered with guests and tasks and friends to see, etc. that blog reading has had to take a back seat. I feel like I have gotten a good Shannon dose now, though, and am smiling now. Sorry in this case it was at your expense with the snarky co-worker, but I sure did like reading. :)

    Take care and I hope to catch up a little more in the coming days!

  5. great site lot of information here


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