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Living with a French Family, It Sure as Hell is Different

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I am a cliché 21st century American. My parents are divorced, I only have one brother, and we're just middle-class white folk coming from a boring suburban town. Not to mention none of us live together. Our family is nuts like every family, but I like to think that we put the fun in dysfunction. Sure sure you find this here in France, but for the most part everyone I met has the stereotypical nuclear family. So after two years with Mathieu, I've now become a part of his rather normal nuclear family.

I'm just going to start by saying this was a culture shock. I'm use to eating whenever I have time, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and hanging out with family while we all use our laptops. God that sounds terrible in writing.

I can truly say I don't know many Americans who spend their afternoons like this, actually none.
Here's why the Rudelle's do it right:
#1. They eat together. Wait what? Your actually all home at the exact same time? Shocking. Not only this but they eat for a solid hour and a half together. Maybe because in France they spend their long lunch breaks at home instead of running errands. France-1, USA-0.
#2. They drink wine, with every meal. Call it alcoholism if you please, but they don't do it to get drunk. It's kind of a pizza and beer thing, it's just because it tastes good. Some days we have more than others..and if by chance we're drunk, well then it was just a great day.
#3. They eat THIS. Nothing, not one single thing is from a package. For God's sake his dad actually went in the forest to search for the mushrooms. Laugh. No seriously, because that's friggin hilarious. Homemade vegetable soup, hardboiled eggs, mushrooms, and chicken.
#4. They consider every day a day for dessert, cheese, wine, or all of the above. You know why? Because they don't count every calorie they eat so they can go beat themselves up at the gym later.
#5. They like cats. I'm just putting this out there because 75% of my American friends hate them yet every French family I know has a cat, because cats are great thank you. This is Mimine by the way. She spends the afternoon outside with us.
#6. They relax afterwards..no cellphones, no laptops, communication. I'll be honest sometimes I get the shakes from this. My instagram feels very important to me at times. But we're kinda cute eh?

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