Thursday, June 29, 2006

Le Regard de L'Autre

This is a complicated topic that I will not be able to fully explore in one post. I haven't finished my research on the topic yet anyway. We'll call it a work in progress.

Le regard de l'autre, literally, the look of another, plays an important role in French society. Homogeneity is highly valued here and the collective regard de l'autre keeps everyone in check.

As a foreigner, I am somewhat exempt from le regard. But today, perhaps for the first time ever, I felt the full weight of the regard.

The muffler fell halfway off my car today. I was across town from my house with groceries from the co-op and two kids in my car. It was too late to drive it to the mechanic's. It was way too far to walk home with kids and groceries. I drove home, muffler hanging and sparking, hazzards on. I cannot even describe the looks we got. Although from inside my hot, loud car, they looked like incomprehension from the women, wonderment from the kids, and pity from the men.

The boys, of course, thought the whole 'adventure' (their word) was fun.


Amy said...

OH goodness ! What a visual ! Don’t fix it quite yet, wait just a bit and go carting around town throwing sparks all around in celebration of July 4th…

Glad you made it home ok though… sometimes those little ‘adventures’ can be scary.

beth said...

Nicole - I had the baby yesterday 6/29 - and I am home. I will email you the details so I don't tie up your blog - but it happened so fast and furious that I had no time for pain meds - not pleasant. But, Amelia is home with mommy.
Zeb and Nicole - My sister that didn't know how to boil water 20 years ago is now a very good baker - today she is going to bake a apple pie. Yes, this is the same sister that tried to drown me when I was 10.

christi said...

i would have paid to see this display thru laval. not quite as big of a display as "the poop sock incident" but, still hilarious. :)

beth-congrats on your baby!

zeb said...

Beth- congrats on your baby I like the name you picked.

I am sure she did not really want to drown you she was so misunderstood at that age.

Lorraine said...

Yikes! I had a similar experience once with a very flat tire. I think when it comes to making noises like that people cannot help but regard...French or no.

beth said...

Zeb/Christi - Thank you!! And, yes, I'm sure she was just misunderstood to some degree.