Friday, July 29, 2011
Little Reminders + A New French Word
Râler -- to complain, to moan (to growl). More loosely translated to make a loud and disagreeable fuss about a problem with a person in a service position, i.e. the cashier at Monoprix for example, while the line behind the râleur or râleuse is approximately two kilometers long.
The French, and they are the first to admit this about themselves, are complainers. I suppose it's because they are living in arguably the most agreeable culture in the world they become prickly when the cashier at Monoprix tries to explain they have mistakenly chosen something from the "new collection" and not "les soldes" and she cannot give them 50% off even though some other client may have carelessly mixed the regular priced item with the markdowns. Now, that is an argument that could take a good 15 minutes.
Above explanation brings me to a solution by Christine Lewicki who has decided to control her own tendencies to complain at high decibels and is sharing her secret on her web site.
She suggests we wear a plastic bracelet for 21 days and each time we have the inclination, wild urge, to growl, we look at and/or touch the bracelet and remember how we are trying to re-condition our impulses from negative to positive. If, however, after a valiant effort, we fail the bracelet is to be moved to the other wrist and the calendar moves back to day one.
Not being a huge râleuse myself -- although I believe I am capable of enormous bodily harm when someone cuts in front of me in a movie line on the Champs Elysees -- (a very common practice btw) I believe a ribbon would be a more comfortable option particularly for sleeping and steamy summer days.
Taking her idea to another level, I think it's rather brilliant for any habit we might like to break like mindless snacking for example. Each of us could no doubt fill in the blank for an inclination or habit we would like to jettison.
What do you think?