It’s distressing when the Frog tries on my clothes, because he invariably looks better in them than I do.
A story in last weekend’s Observer amused me no end. The ‘French paradox’: how is it that French women are so slim despite putting away ‘as much ice-cream, rich pastries and steak frites as they want’.
Excuse me while I laugh so hard I eject hot tea out through my nostrils. I have never seen a French woman stuffing her face with fatty foods. Ever. When we go for dinner with French friends, I tend to be the only female who doesn’t order salad, the woman with no will power who caves in and orders dessert. Watching me with a mixture of jealousy and contempt as I scrape the last of the fondant au chocolat from my plate, the French girls take a long hard drag on their cigarettes.
My main problem (apart from not being a smoker) is that I may have lived here for many years now, but my tummy still thinks I’m just here on holiday and an evil little voice in my head tells me I really should try that exotic, foreign foie gras mi-cuit, or treat myself to a confit de canard while I’m here.
The thinnest French girls I know are covert adepts of what I call the ‘herbal tea method’. In every office I have worked in, there has been a girl who put on the kettle after lunch and then disappeared into the toilets for ten minutes or more, presumably to purge herself of the steamed broccoli she had just feasted on. Resurfacing, she would take her herbal
mouthwash tea back to her desk wearing a smug expression. And tight white trousers which clung to her bottom-cheeks-which-had-never-met. Trousers which would never make a rubbing sound when she walked.
There is only one French person I know who does live out the French paradox without cheating: Mr Frog. With his aversion to all things vegetable, he gorges himself on a high sugar, high cholestorol, high carb combination of cheese, charcuterie, bread, fraises tagada and liquorice shoelaces and never puts on an ounce. The way he eats radishes is a thing to behold, each one carefully paired with a knob of butter as large as the radish itself and a liberal sprinkling of rock salt. Thereby cancelling out the merit of having eaten a healthy foodstuff. And he doesn’t even have high cholestorol – although it will catch up with him in the end if there is any justice in this world.
So when he puts on my Chinese dress and feather boa and dances to the Scissor Sisters I admit to feeling rather piqued at the injustice of the French paradox. And jealous of his shapely legs.
But I’m also thankful that there is no danger of him stretching my clothes out of shape.
As of tomorrow Tadpole and I will be back in the UK for a four day weekend of fish and chip eating and relatives cooing ‘ooh hasn’t she grown?’ Hopefully the latter will be in relation to Tadpole and not my hips.
The parents have some interference on their phone line and so not only is broadband down, even the museum piece dial up slow-mo(dem) is unavailable. Aarrghh! Cold turkey!
The Frog is therefore responsible for publishing Friday’s post. If it doesn’t materialise, I apologise, but computers don’t like him much. I just hope he doesn’t take it into his pretty little head to publish a post of his own…