Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chef de famille

I could've also called this post You've got to be kidding me, Tome Whatever.

I had to go to city hall to buy some tickets. The tickets are used for municipally sponsored activities and services, like the cafeteria at school, which, while a private school, serves meals prepared by the municipal cafeteria service. Anyway.

I have made a horrifying discovery. Thanks to city hall.

My value is variable. It depends, it would appear, on whether or not A MAN is around. And I'm not even kidding. Now, there are those of you who might say this is another case of Nicole willfully misunderstanding. And, who knows, you might be right.

So, I went to city hall. I asked for some tickets. I was asked to fill out a small piece of paper with some questions on it. Name, address, family equation (another post will explain this morsel of blah), and then the killer question. Who is the chef de famille. The head of the household. I asked the city hall worker person what on earth that was supposed to mean. Why, head of household, of course. You mean like who wears the pants? I asked in a slightly sarcastic tone. (Shocking, I know.) No, the real head of the household. I replied that we tended to run the family life as a team so I didn't really feel comfortable naming a chief. Ha! Not possible. A chief must be named on the ohsoimportant slip of paper. Fine, then, put me. Husband won't care. Oh, you're married? Yes, I replied. Well then, of course, it's your husband, she stated with finality. Let me type that again for you.

Well then, of course, it's your husband.

And if I were a single mother?

Then it would be you, madame.

So, let me summarize, I said to CHWP, if there's no man around, I can be the chief, but if there's a man around, he's automatically the chief.

Oui, madame.

I could take some comfort in the fact that being classified as family chief at city hall has absolutely no effect on anything anywhere. It's a meaningless classification of no legal value, as Husband was quick to assure me when I ranted told the story.

You've got to be kidding me.


beth said...

I wish I could have been there to witness that verbal exchange! I would have "ranted" too.

Legal Alien said...

I guess it's a good thing we don't live in France. My wife would've restormed the Bastille over something like that.

zeb said...

Ha Ha

I would have paid to see your face.

Lorraine said...

Silly moi. When I first saw the title I thought, "Oh, the family chef". Which of course would be me, but only because I do most of the cooking. But even if I tried to claim that title the other two would complain because they both do cook as well. Which bottom line means that either way we wouldn't be able to agree on who runs things so never mind. It's a good thing we don't live in France, too.

Nicole said...

Beth - It was actually quite surreal.

LA - Next time she comes over I'll storm it with her. Try to schedule trip to coincide with Lorraine's, we could all storm together.

Zeb - I KNEW this story would make you laugh.

Lorraine - the family chef is definitely me. As for family chief, I think the boys believe they secretly rule the family and maybe even the world.

charlie said...

I'm just the labourer here. I know my place. It doesn't bother me. I'm content to be ruled wisely.