Diaries Magazine

How Rude!

Posted on the 25 April 2013 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine

how rude!
Neighbors in Paris never ceases to provide a source of endless entertainment. With the exception of the feisty and fur beret-wearing Madame Parnois, who sadly I don't see as often as I would like, the rest of the residents of my building are a little off. One in particular...
Aurélien and I were coming home from work yesterday and a young woman, I'd say in her early-30s was standing in front of our apartment building, blocking the doors with a few bags. Without even so much a 'good evening' she mumbled a half-assed narrative about being locked out and not being able to ring the buzzer. While her story sounded pretty dumb and unclear, it didn't raise any red flags, so we both shrugged with approval and proceeded to let her in. She let Aurelién open the door for her, cut in front of me, nearly whipped me in the ear with the stuffed Monoprix reusable bag that she slung over her shoulder, and trailed behind him into the building. Call me nitpicky here, but if a couple is relieving you from standing out on the sidewalk at 7:30 pm, wouldn't you acknowledge both of them? Details, I suppose.
The three of us walked up the stairs single file where she made her exit on the first floor while we continued up to the second. Once in the house, Aurelién dropped his work bag on the floor and stood in our hallway, looking at me in absolute disgust. 
"Oh. Là. Là. How rude are some people? Can you believe what just happened?" he said shaking his head in what appeared to be grave disappointment.
"She was a little curt, I agree." I said trying to scoot past my little boy scout who looked nothing short of stunned, as if an old lady refused to donate to his fundraiser.
"Curt? Just downright rude!" he pled, before presenting the raw evidence. "First she didn't say bonsoir when we approached the door, she didn't ask if we would let her in, she told us that she couldn't get in. She then dismissed you entirely, and to make things worse she didn't say merci or even wish us a bon soirée! C'était n'importe quoi!" I totally wanted him to cap this monolog off with a Stephanie Tanner "how rude!" complete with his arms stacked and a pouty mouth. So didn't happen.
Aurelién, who doesn't get heated often, becomes very passionate in his determination to keep cordiality alive and thriving here in Paris. He really should start a manif'. 
Hours later, I realized that I had seen the harridan from earlier around the building a few times sporting a Yankees cap (don't even get me started on that), demonstrating similar behavior. And for some reason I found comfort in this. Everyone's entitled to a bad day or two, but her bitchiness is chronic, so at least she's consistent.
As commonly known, greetings and salutations are an expectation here in France. Even if you don't really hope that the pharmacist who refuses to give you non-herbal sleeping aids has a bonne journée, just say it. Not being French, this common rule of thumb doesn't really offend me. I honor it but if someone doesn't wish a good day or say hello to me, it sits fine with me.
This is going to come out terrible, but it was nice for once seeing Aurelién more peeved than me. More often than not, it's me making all of the crotchety comments and dramatically appalled facial expressions. Are you at all surprised? 

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