en défense de la célibataire

by jemma margaret

Regardless of the problem, one may find a fruitful solution in throwing money at it. Really. My Sunday afternoons reached a new low two weeks ago when I spent 45 minutes waiting in line outside for the Pompidou library only to have finished my book right before entering. As I trudged home with numb fingers, I resolved to invest heavily in café attendance for all Sundays hence.

Yet even this frankly uncharacteristic determination to spare no expense did not lead to a clear cut solution. I blame the Sunday problem on Brunch, which ranks up there on my list of despised practices along with leaf blowing and hogging the pole on the subway.

While weekdays witness spades of laptop users merrily sucking up free wi-fi, come weekends cafés are bulging with eaters of the frankenstein meal which is neither breakfast nor lunch and may be undertaken any time from dawn until dusk. I decided thus to be less intrusive and only bring along some notes to write (by hand). Even so, the pickings were slim. But after reading a review that the hot chocolate at Jacques Genin was too thick, I knew I had to go there and try it.

First, let me tell you the chocolat chaud traditionnel was delicious and far too indulgent as it came accompanied by a very small glass of water and two chocolate bonbons. The chocolate mint one was particularly revelatory being more chocolate then mint than chocolate mint. Happily it was served in a tall narrow teapot so that one could serve exactly the right amount and maximize the optimal chocolate sipping temperature. Reviews had also faulted the service, which on this occasion was flawlessly attentive without being intrusive or at all pushy. Plus the servers spoke to me in French, which I appreciate mightily.

Anyway, there I was jotting notes for a job application that I will probably put off until tomorrow and unintentionally eavesdropping on the cacophony of English that rebounded from the nearby tables. The two American girls discussed their respective travel blogs and flashed their fancy cameras at their diminishing tray of sweets while the British four-top was dominated by an opinionated young art student who complained of the difficulty of achieving good grades when one had to be creative whereas in maths there was only one right answer.

It is an oft and apt said phrase:

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

And I couldn’t help but nod in single smugness.

P.S. Except as the Americans were leaving I asked the one who had mentioned having a favorite éclair shop, which one it was explaining that my sister was visiting who likes them very much and she gave me her BLOG CARD! Clearly, I am behind the times as an American girl living in Paris–although perhaps more patriotic to hand out a single leaf of cavolo nero.

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