For the past few weeks, we’ve been de-cluttering our basement, and quite frankly, it’s been quite a sheepish trip down memory lane for me. Looking back on what I thought my life in Paris was going to be like before I moved, compared to how it’s really played out has resulted in some pretty funny (my husband might actually say “costly”) results. When I moved to France, I had a very long list of necessities that I thought were needed for my new Parisian life. Those “absolute necessities” will be sold off to the highest bidder at our neighborhood brocante (flea market) at the end of the week. Included in the sale will be:
The Perfect Parisian Wife
A wide assortment of French pottery, silverware and cookware, including a 10-ton iron cocotte and 127 escargot dishes. You see, I was so convinced that by marrying a Frenchman, I would instantly start cooking like one, that I crammed my wedding registry with enough kitchen gear to make Martha Stewart swoon. Once married, I tackled my new role of Parisian Wife with stereotypical American gusto, pairing each gadget with a recipe and reveling in my new found talent. During our second month of marital bliss, I even felt comfortable enough to prepare a French meal for my mother-in-law. My “Poulet détrempé sans saveur avec petit pois écrasé” went over so well that mon amour took me to meet a special friend of his the very next day. The friend’s name was “Picard” and we’ve been on intimate terms with him ever since. I believe the cookware was brought down to the basement that same evening, and can now be yours for just one low price.
Market Day Accessories
If you stop by our table, you’ll also find a remarkable selection of straw hats and wicker baskets. I had imagined that one of the more simple pleasures of my Parisian life would be spent strolling through markets, thumping at fresh produce in a wide-brimmed hat with a panier on my arm, like Emmanuelle Béart in Manon of the Spring. This was going to be such a central part of my Parisian experience that I actually bought my first “French Market Basket” at Williams-Sonoma before I left San Francisco (just in case I needed to pop into the fishmonger at Charles de Gaule Airport). In hindsight, it seems as if I was suffering from a pretty strong case of market-basket envy during those early days, and managed to accumulate quite a collection before I met Mr. Picard (see above). What would you say to two euros per basket?
The French Artist
Also on sale will be several mixed lots, including a folding leather artists stool, tubes of watercolors and an assortment of canvases, all gently used. Once comfortably installed in Paris, I had planned to follow in the footsteps of the Impressionist Masters and pass long days “en plein air”, capturing the sun’s movement across quaint western Parisian villages that I’d read about, like Gennevilliers, Argenteuil and Nanterre. I made my first foray into Nanterre dressed to “blend in” in a linen blouse- and-gauchos ensemble, complete with espadrilles and a wooden easel hung from my shoulder. After wandering shell-shocked for an hour, I finally just propped the easel up against a burned-out Twingo and painted my one (and only) Parisian masterpiece, “Sun Setting on Degriff’Portables, La Defense .”
All items are considered completely essential to any new arrival in Paris, and will be priced to move.