Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sick In The Head?

I'm sick. But not the kind of sick I have been whining about. It's the kind when you stick your foot in your mouth and your stomach goes into your throat and your face turns red and you feel like a complete TOOL.

Today I was reading Twitter and one of my favorite people mentioned that she loved French. Hey, I love French too. It was my minor for crying out loud. My home is filled with the Eiffel Tower and I speak the language casually throughout my day at times. It has been a part of me since I fell in love with the language at sixteen.

But I was tired and cranky and I shot back a quick remark, in French, that I loved French but detested THE French. You see, my actual experience with Parisians was quite negative. After further studying the country's sociological tendencies, I decided that I could live without it altogether. But that is such an ignorant statement and state of mind. That is like anyone saying that Americans are fat and lazy and they have no need for us at all. It's just not true in all cases. To make it worse...she is part French. Funnily enough, so am I. My father's mother was French and my mother's father was Cajun French.

But wait, worse this. Numero Uno of things that tick her off? Yeah, that would be me.

I just want to say Mae, I am terribly sorry. It was ignorant of me...and I usually am not ignorant. Looking back at the comment, regardless of whether you were French or not, it is a classless generalization that I am ashamed to have put into words. When I think of uttering the same about ANY OTHER COUNTRY it seems unfathomable! Can you imagine?

"I love Iran, but hate Iranians".
"I love China, but hate the Chinese".

Who says that???? It is unacceptable and I am eternally sorry. It's not who I am and it's not how I think, but I cannot account for how the thought came to be in my mind. I feel as worthless as the boyfriend who hits his girlfriend then says he didn't mean it. I said it. I can't undo that, but please know that I have thought a LOT about the subject since tapping it out on my iPhone and it is NOT my heart. I have always thought that I loved all people until they individually gave me reason not to. I would like to think that from this day forward I will pay closer attention to never fall into the thoughtless complacency that allows racism, sexism and other forms of intolerance to exist in our society.



  1. Dude omg. Ok so I am currently smiling because the fact that someone just blogged about me makes me feel like a superstar. Also, it might just be me but your links don't work.

    And here's my response, I was nowhere NEAR being offended or judging you. Seriously. Nowhere near it. I get told _SO_MANY_TIMES that French people are rude, or snobs (when I know perfectly well they mean Parisians) and not to mention I've had to defend Americans many many fucking times. "No they're not ALL ignorant. No they're not ALL stupid." The media doesn't help. It says Colombia is dangerous and cocaine filled and at best everyone dances like Shakira. It says French people smell bad, and are total utter snobs and cold and distant. It says Mexicans are all fucking lazy and have no ambition. It says all Americans are stupid lazy asses.

    Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, there is some truth behind all of them. But generalizing will only get you so far. When people "casually" say they don't like a country, I kind of just figure, "yeah..I know."

    It's when they sit there spewing out garbage like they're opinion is fact...THAT'S when it bothers me. New York isn't the United States, Paris isn't France, and the Media is not a spokesperson for the rest of humanity. If you meet 5 annoying French people, that doesn't mean you know France. But it does mean you're entitled to thinking maybe French people aren't that awesome.

    So seriously, truly, no offense taken whatsoever. Nor do I think your ignorant. Thank you so much for this post, it made me respect you much more, and it made me feel wonderful. You never ever ever ever seize to amaze me.


  2. I'm glad Mae wasn't offended after all. Good thing your wrote this post, so she could respond and tell you that. I don't know your relationship with her. Maybe this would've worked itself out anyway. Regardless, I'm sure you feel better now.

    Lynnette Labelle