With Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart
Once upon a time a French woman fell in love with an American man, married him and moved to the United States – 40 minutes outside New York City.
Once upon a time, on the other side of the Atlantic, an American woman fell in love with a Frenchman, married him and stayed in France – 40 minutes outside Paris.
Perhaps you’re yawning, thinking: “Yes, oui, whatever. . . I’ve heard that tale hundreds of times.”
No you haven’t.
This story is all about us: Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart, creator of the stunning, inspiring, oh, so chic French decoration/lifestyle blog and moi. Click over to see what I mean -- Through the French Eye of Design -- and join us on our "Anglo"/French exchange mission.
Every Monday we will have a Transatlantic “conversation” about our parallel lives.
We’ll tell you everything about our experiences in our adopted countries as the insider outsiders we are and always will be. (J-A has lived in the States for 18 years; I’ve lived in France for 25.)
We’ll dish, dissect and delight you (we hope) with what we find amusing, annoying, frustrating, fascinating, dismaying, challenging, infuriating and most certainly all the things we love about living on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
Of course our conversations wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t reveal what we miss from our homelands. Don't fret; we plan to spill les haricots on the good, the bad and the elegant.
As we begin our discourse I'd like to share a few of our favorite things. We both like masses of pearls, worn at the same time (obviously); macaroons (café is my favorite framboise is hers); Dyptique candles (I like Oranger, Jeanne-Aelia prefers Baies); clusters of silver timbales filled with everything from colored pencils to small bouquets and much, much more. . .
A few points on which we disagree: I do not particularly like frangipane, J-A, does; Jeanne-Aelia thinks American friendliness in commercial situations is terrific. I think the non-stop “how’re you doing today(?)” repeated several times as one traverses a shop in the States is EXTREMELY annoying. Nobody cares if I have a cold or didn't sleep well the night before, it’s simply a marketing gimmick that makes me want to actually tell the salespeople how I'm feeling.
What would I miss? Since I know I can find the wine in the States, I would most definitely regret the cheese to go with it, particularly a Camembert made from lait cru (unpasterised milk) and a perfect Reblochon.
Oh, yes, I think J-A will tell you she loves the way guests gather in her kitchen when invited to dinner parties. When I lived on the other side I found that charming as well. Now, I prefer the French way. Guests -- that means men and women together, no separation of the sexes -- remain in the salon, sip their champagne and with the exception of perhaps one best friend, everyone stays out of the kitchen.
(Note: I do not have a large, divine country kitchen where everyone could comfortably congregate, if I did perhaps I would change my position on the subject.)
Let us know, s'il vous plait in the petit commentaire chez Jeanne-Aelia or on the comments section chez moi what you think about all of this so J-A and I can cheerfully debate your views en Parallel, of course, on our transatlantic lives.
Merci et à très bientôt,
Tishx (Or Letitia, just because it's so French. . .)