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Thursday, January 16, 2014


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Thanks for your information. It is great to get a first hand perspective. Rather than the awful opinions of ill informed American commentators.

Bill in St. Paul

My French friend had a different perspective when asked about the affair: " C'est le cote privé, quant a la "premiere dame" elle n'est pas élue! Ici, il est plus grave d'avoir des comptes offshore!"


Speaking of 'zipper politics'. Did you see the cartoon in Canard Enchainé today? Moi President? The French are not letting up. What was he thinking? OH, that's right..he doesn't know how to think.

Mary T

Oh,the French! How far they have fallen! My husband and I were living in Paris when President Mitterrand died.No one seem to bat an eye that Monsieur President had a lover and daughter living in one of the wings of The Elysee´ Palace!
Now they are just so American..

cindy barnes

Very interesting, especially the issue of serial mistresses & no wives. How does this work with legal rights, property & children?


For most of my 13 year sojourn in New Orleans the Louisiana governor was known as the "Silver Zipper." Well known for his self-acknowledged lack of integrity he later spent 8 years in prison for corruption.

Marcia Douglas

O la la! My lips are zipped on this one! ;-)


I too am guilty of snapping photos in Shakespeare and Company ;-)

Julie Farrar

I love the phrase "zipper politics." While I do think that even a president can keep some parts of his life private, Hollande seems to be taking advantage of that. I would begin to worry about a president with serial mistresses and no wives. It's fine if he doesn't want to get married and has a lot of girlfriends à la George Clooney. But if he's constantly starting up new, secret relationships with another woman before being man enough to end a relationship with a previous woman then I start wondering about his character. And when I wonder about his character I wonder about his job performance as president.

And don't get me started on the more important security issues these dalliances can bring when he's president of a major nation.

Chris Allin

Through the centuries, not much changes. This story is much like a Jean Plaidy (Eleanor Hibbert) historical novel about the kings of France!
The wall inscriptions hit me from two directions. "Dis a Brie" brought on a chuckle...very clever. The "angels in disguise" is inspiration to actually write the thank you I have been penning in my head. An encounter with a person who helped me in a dire situation was a true act of kindness..and not at all random...just part of who this person is, I think. Each of your posts is so thought provoking it can help start the day with an energy and appreciation for what is good in life. Thank you for that, Kristin~

Judith Dunn

.. We are strangers to 'zipper politics' here in the States. In my lifetime, JFK was certainly no angel, and LBJ was a known womanizer, then we had Bill Clinton who was famous for his dalliances outside his marriage.. now there are rumblings about an Obama split due to 'escapades'... let me see, have I missed anyone? Mr. Hollande seems to have problems avec son pantalons!... keeping them on. Politics, sex, love... is anything jucier for the tabloids and the public... stay tuned... Judi Dunn, Tallahassee

Judith Dunn

... Je suis desole.... I meant NO STRANGERS TO ZIPPER POLITICS! JD


Just cannot help wondering why the paparazzo was there in the middle of the night! A tip?

Nancy,                     Cambridge

We had heard of this on the Boston news...just that Valerie was upset about losing her office, and not coming to the White House in Feb,,,nothing about losing her man. No other details were released baby mentioned. And yes, I am also guilty of snapping a photo in S & Co, of my son enjoying the comfort of the upstairs sofa nook. Smile!

Herm in Phoenix, AZ

I get Le Figaro on my smartphone and they are having a field day with Hollande’s fiasco. It’s similar to the Clinton days in America’s past.

It sure diverted the attention away from his failure to bring un-employment down in France as promised.

Annette Heath

The affair of your president was written about in our local paper today, stating that the French people are not showing much empathy for the hospitalized current first lady....stating also that that is "a reflection of a French willingness to forgive infidelity by men in public office, regardless of the damage it causes their women". It's a sad fact of life that men do matter where, what country, or whether or not they are in positions of power,or who will be hurt by such actions. The politique de la braguette will live on!

Rosalinda B. Roll

One' private life should remain private. Isn't that the French attitude? Besides, except for de Gaulle, can you think of any French president who did not have a mistress or two?


Thank you, Kristin, for explaining the situation. I am perplexed. The word "mistress" has a negative connotation to me and implies an adulterous affair that breaks marriage vows. The president is not married to his current girlfriend (although I acknowledge that they have been together for a relatively long time, and I gather that she lives with him), so I am intrigued that his seeing someone else would produce such a scandal. Perhaps it is because he did it on the sly (and perhaps eluded his security guards)? And the notion that either woman would be considered the "First Lady" of France amuses me, also. The love scandals in the US have involved married men who are cheating on their wives, which, to me, is completely different. The French can be intrigued that he may be breaking up with his long-time girlfriend, but the accusations of adultery are a bit much.


I had a field day reading this article and a few giggles :-) Thank you for making the morning of a French woman all the way to the Southwest of the USA !!

Tory Groshong

Although I love your stories about daily life, this was such a departure and so much fun! (Like gossiping with a girlfriend over my morning tea!) Thanks, Kristin!

Eileen deCamp

It's all so silly, don't you think? People love scandals though. I was wondering what a younger woman would see in an old guy. Maybe power is really seductive!


You made my day with the Hollander video!


Laughing so hard that I misspelled Hollande. Desole.

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Great story Kristin --- to answer: Yes, it is the tax payer's business. We pay their salary! France is no different than the U.S. We elect these guys (usually guys) then they abuse the office. Hey, what George Clooney does, or any other private citizen ----we don't really care ---- because we are not paying for them! These people abuse their power -- esp here in the U.S.------it is our business.

This stuff has been going on since biblical days. It is best to tend to one's garden.

Be well!

John G. Patte

What can I say ... I live in the land of Rob Ford! We get what we deserve, n'est-ce pas?


Loved the video!


I saw a headline here reading "An American Scandal in France."


Our dear Kristi,
Once again you have made our day!
How wonderful to get caught up in such silliness rather than war,pain,and castrophes!
Love. NTalia. xo

Susan Klee

A commenter wrote: "Maybe power really is seductive." Yup, the hormonal aura of the alpha male attracts the females of his pride. Or pack. Or herd. Or troop. Or society. Another reader noted that it's been going on since biblical times. And we have records in the mythology of the Egyptians. And the Norse. And the Greeks. It takes a very strong-willed male to resist the females clamoring for his DNA so their off-spring will persist (and not that other bi**h's)!

Mollie Baker

I think what is most surprising here is that this is considered a scandal in France. Throughout history, French royalty was known for their dalliances and their mistresses—it was just accepted as normal. It seems that mindset hasn't really changed much, only the titles of those involved have changed. So I'm not really sure why everyone is shocked. I also agree with Faye, in that it's not about his ability to do his job, it's about his character. A man who would cheat on his spouse or girlfriend shows that he lacks certain character traits that I believe are important in a leader, such as integrity, loyalty, self control, and trustworthiness! Public officials, in a sense, give up their right to live as ordinary citizens. "Noblesse oblige"!

Nancy L.

I found it fascinating that this was the topic of conversation between a woman and her husband who were standing in line behind me at the grocery store yesterday. The woman was giving her spouse the full on SCOOP with all the players and the ins and outs. His response was one word "French...". Not sure if that was by way of explanation or meant to convey that he understood/ or didn't? In any event, I thought it might be ecouraging to see Americans take as much interest in the politics or the culture of our European bretheren as they do in les scandales!


I can not imagine our president riding around on a scooter. He is so afraid it's an armored car and a dozen body guards and none of them as cute as the mistress LOL.

Sherry in Kentucky

I have read several reports of this story, but yours truly made my day and I got a pretty good score in the scooter jumping video. The man is not married - so what? He wisely thought of his "safety" and wore a helmet while riding the scooter. You can't ask for more than that.

Audrey Wilson

Question ,who might he take to diplomatic meetings vis a vis with Obama ??!

Nancy, San Antonio, Texas

Who indeed - he would be safer with his mother on his arm. i am laughing but these women are being treated badly. Although, he is not married, so not breaking any "vows". They are all consenting adults so I will mind my onions. But i really did enjoy this escape into the lives of "famous" people. Even for just a few minutes. And I NEVER read a tabloid. Now to go back and watch the video. Thanks for the entertaining story.


Too funny. Thanks for the laugh.


Ha! Love the title of this post. BTW, I didn't know photos were forbidden at Shakespeare & Co. - I took many photos there, including the "angel" quote. Whoops!

Jo Statham

Great post, Kristin! Does anyone else, like me, look at the photos of the unpreposessing M. Hollande and think 'huh??'. I guess what Henry Kissinger said is proven true here: 'Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac'!


Kristin, your post is hilarious. I forward it to my anglo-saxons friends to inform them about the "affair". Et pourtant notre François est loin d'être un don Juan. They say now every male, even ugly, get luck with nice women, this is a proof...At least it's a change after the " Dieudonné" event.

Marti Hinman

Très. très amusant. La politique de la braguette, mais
pas nouveau parmi les politicians et
les hommes d'affairs riche.
Floride, US

Jennifer in OR

Loved your take on French politics!!! MDR! And I love the "mind your onions" '--Mieux vaut t'occuper de tes oignons! -- phrase, I didn't know that one. Enjoy le weekend! Jen

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

I had not realized the video was a game, though it says so right on the top! More fun going through it a second time, turn him upside down, get a few hundred points.

I read your view of Hollande's situation, then heard it on BBC news followed by NPR in the US. Both noticed how many papers are sold with this exposé -- lots and lots!

Charles Dupont

You mention journalists having a heyday, but the correct expression is "field day"
You were confusing heyday with field Day

Joanne Ablan

Voici un nouveau mot pour moi en anglais et aussi en français:
solecism (derived from the Greek, soloikos, speaking incorrectly,
from the corruption of the Attic dialect among the Athenian colonists of Soloi in Cilicia)=1)An ungrammatical combination of words in a sentence; loosely, any minor blunder of speech; 2) a breach of etiquette or decorum
le solécisme=le manque de savoir-vivre, la faute de goût
C'est très intéressant, n'est-ce pas? Joanne, Carmel, CA, USA


I didn't correct "hayday" because I didn't want to be petty.

However, it started out as 'heyda,' an exclamation of surprise, from 'hey,' and now means 'stage of greatest vigour.'

'Field day' was originally a military exercise, figuratively coming to mean a sort of parade. It does not necessarily connote detriment to others at all.


I don't know anything about Valerie "Rottweiler" but her eyes show a level of emotional availability that belies her nickname. She is too vulnerable for public life and it's probably why people pick on her. Luckily, she hasn't married Hollande. And not surprising that she checked herself in.

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm

Hi Kristi!

So busy I’ve been with tax forms and year-end demands (oh, and a heavenly escape to the coast) that I have not found the time to drop by FWAD. So glad I took a few minutes to see what I've missed. Ah, you’ve been missed. Thanks for the giggles and lightening my spirit!

I have a fantasy of owning a bookshop like Shakespeare and Company when I retire. It must contain or be in close proximity to an exquisite bakery. Dreamy?

I loved Faye’s comment “It’s best to tend to one’s own garden”.

TTFN ~ be back soon!

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