Monday, May 23, 2011

Girls Who Stand on Corners

Photo by Eugène Atget, 1940

It was around this time last year when an old French guy accused me of being a prostitute.

But let's back up.

I had taken yet another impulsive jaunt under the guise of professional necessity, but I can now admit, I was blatantly there to see a boy. While there, we decided to take a road trip to Normandy. We woke up early and strolled up his street on the Ile St. Louis.

Before hopping onto the bus, G dodged into a tabac and I lingered on the corner.
Okay, I supposed I might have leaned against the sign post on the corner, and it's possible my posture may have suggested that this was, in fact, my place of work. Suddenly, an old French man (long white beard, fisherman's cap, pipe in mouth, paper in hand) approached me, eyes sparkling with mischief. I waited to see what kind of Frenchism he was about to unleash on me.

"Back in my day," he laughed, "if a woman stood on the corner..."

I was on the verge of coming up with some incredibly zingy comeback, when G came out of the store and swooped me away.

"What was that?"

"Oh, just an old guy who thought I was a whore." Nothing new there.

Although, I was wearing a very demure navy and white striped mariner dress, and looked more like I was about to board a schooner than commit some lewd sexual act. But I suppose girls who stand on corners are inherently suspect, no matter how stripe-ily they're dressed. Lesson learned.


Brigid *FrenchLogic said...

I'm sure you looked like one of the better, high-quality whores. Nicely done!
(btw, i clicked the 'linked within' to the 'Wolf in Paris...' post. those were some of the best comments ever! crazy... i'm with you on the subject. somethings are better left wild.

Courtney | La Fille Américaine said...

Old, stereotypical Frenchmen have a way about talking to anyone whom they see on the street! Sometimes it's hard to tell if they're being creep-tastic or if that's just what old French men do...

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

It has happened to me in Italy - I was wearing trousers, flat boots, a thick sweater and a coat and no make up at the time! I think I must have been standing "in the zone" though as men kept slowing down in their cars and one even got stroppy with me, gesturing like come on, get in then, I'm holding up traffic. True - Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Florence, opposite side to church, don't ever stand there.

Anonymous said...

Great blog... actually made me laugh out loud and not just "lol".


Lize said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog and it is hysterical! Im moving to Paris in 4 weeks and can't wait!! Hopefully reading all your posts will keep me occupied at work for my final weeks! I particularly like the 'reasons to move to Paris post'!!

love the blog :)

Kylie_New Zealand said...

Tory, you have to see this. It's from the Nokia Shorts Competition 2011. It tells a sweet love story of a couple's parallel lives in Paris & New York...


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