la cachette


A pizza parlor in Nyons.

noun, masculine

Recently, the kids and I were invited to my husband's office for a "Welcome the New Employee" apéritif. The three of us Q-tipped our ears and shined our shoes in hopes of looking our best before heading over to Jean-Marc's new office to hear him speak.

After the apéro, a few of the employees, along with the director and the company's founder, decided to dine at a nearby eatery. When we were invited to join them, I signaled sharply to the kids as a reminder that we must keep our act together! 

At the reception desk, we waited patiently for our table. To pass the time, the men smoked clopes, the children played a game of pool, and I maintained my new role of Delightful Wife. 

Our act was running smoothly when one of us began rocking from foot to foot. No matter how hard I tried, I could not hold it any longer and so tottered over to the reception desk to ask a pertinent question:

"Where is the 'vaysay' please?" I posed my question in French, trying hard to pronounce the unusual word for "restroom."

"Vaysay?" the receptionist questioned. Confused, she turned to her colleague, who tried to translate. 

"I think she's asking for un whiskey." 

Shocked as much by the misunderstanding as by the indelicate manner in which the women spoke about me (as if I were invisible!), I shot a casual look over my shoulder to assess any damage to our family's carefully constructed first impression. What a relief to find the director and the boss carrying on as if they hadn't heard a thing.

I returned my attention to the women behind the desk. 
"No! Vay-say. I would like.... un toilet!" I whispered, hoping to shush them up, but it was too late. 

"Madame wants a whiskey!" the receptionist shouted over to the maître d', who stood across the room at the bar.

It took a few flailing arms to get my point across, at which point the maître d' offered a VIP escort—past the director and the boss and over to the restroom. So much for avoiding a scene. Next time, best not to act

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French Vocabulary
une clope 
= a cigarette
vay-say = pronunciation for "W-C" (water-closet, or restroom)
un apéro  = short for "aperitif," or drink. Apéritif also refers to a cocktail party
maître d' = le maître d'hôtel = headwaiter

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