Do you feel like this Santa, during the holiday rush. Just hanging on? Waiting for it all to pass? Read on.
fêtard(e) (feh-tar, feh-tard)
: party animal, someone who likes to party
Dans ma jeunesse, j'étais une fêtarde.
In my youth, I was a party animal.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
Last weekend the pressure was on to begin decorating our home for Christmas. Have you got your tree up yet? my Anglophone friends wanted to know. Feeling worse and worse for procrastinating, I clung to the thought that most French homes wouldn't have a tree up by now... but a quick trip to the supermarket, for a few staples, revealed another story.
There at the checkout line, Christmas trees were selling like hotcakes! I dragged my feet over to the display, to check out the stock of cellophane-wrapped trees.
There were two sizes and two prices : 35 euros ($45) or 45 euros ($60). I examined the two models that were on display (all the other trees were wrapped tighter than a bound umbrella, measuring not much longer than one either!). I noted the large gaps in branches, as well as the crooked aspect of the arbres. If these were the display models, surely the ones in cellophane were a sorry lot! I collected my groceries, and left the supermarket. I tried not to look at the other cars in the parking lot, as the drivers packed their sapins de Noël into their trunks. But averting my eyes wouldn't avert panic: Now even the French were on time for Christmas!
What had been worry, or guilt, quickly turned into grumpiness and finger-pointingness. I began to lash out, in my mind, at all the goody-two-shoes who were early to Christmas—with their goody-two-shoes trees and their goody-two-shoes decorations (by the way just where were our decorations? Having moved homes a few months ago, not all of our boxes were unpacked... which meant they could be anywhere! Now on top of finding a tree—we had to find the damned decorations! *&@!!!).
Shoving the groceries into the fridge, I hurried to my room to take refuge at the bottom of my bed. I began counting the days. It would all be over before long. Christmas would come and go... but then there would be New Year's Eve to deal with... and then Paques! And then What are your plans for Bastille Day? and What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
And to think that some of these celebrations are not even sacred observances. To the French, they are no more than traditions! This last reality made me even more frustrated.
As I sank lower into my bed, I feared the unthinkable: was I, deep down, no more than a grinch? If not a grinch, perhaps a spoil sport? If not a spoil sport wasn't I, at bottom, just one big party pooper?
...or just pooped?
Worn out or not, it is peace I am after ... and, after all, it is peace we can share.
Best wishes to all during the holidays rush. To leave a comment, click here.
- Follow French Word-A-Day on Twitter
- Read these vocabulary-enriching stories from France: Words in a French Life or Blossoming in Provence
Check out our YouTube channel and please sign up! I have a few videos ideas in mind: "How to Tie a Scarf" as well as Aunt Marie-Françoise's super easy chestnut cake. Any other ideas are welcome here, in the comments box.
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!