Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Temptation Tuesday - There's Something About a Frenchman...

Myrna MacKenzie joins us this Tuesday with her latest obsession....

My latest obsession (have to have an obsession—they make life so much fun!) is really an old interest that has revisited me of late. It begins this way:

A long time ago (in a universe far, far away), I decided to study French. My reasons were simple. I was told that I needed to study a language, and French was my automatic choice (and a totally logical choice, to me). Why? Well…it wasn't because I thought I would find it useful to know how to speak French. I didn't know a soul who spoke French, I didn't know anyone who'd ever visited France and I had absolutely no hopes of ever getting there myself, but…I totally loved the way it sounded. I still do (seriously, anything that a man says in French sounds sexy, even if he's just asking a woman to pass the butter. I long for men to ask me to pass the butter in French. Fortunately, I have the presence of mind not to ask them such things).

Thus began a love affair with all things French. From French men (bien sûr—of course) to French movies with subtitles (Amélie, anyone?) to French food. Yum!

The great thing about the language is that you don't even have to understand it to fall under its spell. Go on Youtube and find a video of someone speaking French. Johnny Depp accepting the Cesar award in French? Swoon. I could listen to him all day long, even knowing that it was pre-taped and his lips aren't moving.

And even when a Frenchman isn't speaking French…well, Olivier Martinez being interviewed (in English) about one of his movies? I'm totally entranced. Gilles Marini on Dancing with the Stars? He was fabulous, and I can't help thinking that part of the appeal was the image of the mysterious dark and gorgeous Frenchman (although yes, the dancing was great, too).

But as I dug deeper into the language, I discovered that it wasn't just the language itself that I found entrancing. The beauty of Paris, the loveliness of the countryside, the history, the wine? It's all good to me (did I mention that I am obsessed)?

Lately, I've been watching French travel shows. Provence? Burgundy? Paris? Alsace? I'm already halfway there in my dreams.

Now, if only Gilles Marini or Olivier Martinez would ask me to pass the butter…

Myrna's latest Harlequin Romance, The Frenchman's Plain-Jane Project, is an October release (4-1/2 stars, Romantic Times). You can visit Myrna (and enter her current contest) at www.myrnamackenzie.com.


  1. Myrna, this is SO appropriate for me as I'm working on a French duo right now.

    I looked up those YouTube clips (thank you!!) and Johnny Depp was utterly charming (I think the audience, however, had atrocious manners and could've been much more supportive). And as for Olivier... what a GORGEOUS voice.

    Not sure if Kevin McCloud's "Grand Tour" is airing over your way, but I think you'd enjoy it. (Most of it's in Italy, I will admit, but it started in Paris and it ended in Chamonix - bet it'd spark the same lightbulb with you as it did with me!)

  2. Hi Myrna

    Have to say your post struck a chord with me too... I'm a bit of a francophile myself and visit a lot as both my brother and sister and their families live in France. Shamefully their children (ranging in age from 2 to 6) speak better French than I do... But like you say, you don't need to understand the language to know how beautiful it sounds... Especially when spoken by Johnny Depp!

    Plus I got my first proper kiss from a French boy, both of us aged 12, on a campsite in Normandy! So I know just how thrilling French guys can be, especially when they're doing a bit more than asking you to pass them the butter!

  3. Kate, I'm definitely going to look up Kevin McCloud's "Grand Tour" to check that out. I don't know if it's airing here, but if it is, I'll find it. It sounds great! Thank you for the recommendation.

    And Heidi, your first kiss from a French boy? Well, that's a thousand times better than being asked to pass the butter!