There is something about the French and their culture that truly intrigues me. I think it might be their willingness to embrace character quirks and imperfections and overall enthusiasm for life. In a society that is continuously striving for perfection- to be the perfect parent, eat the perfect balanced diet, to Iive each day just perfectly- we tend to overlook the small opportunities of pleasure and joy presented to us daily. These are the sort of "joie de vivre" moments the Parisians seem to embrace as if it's their philosophy on life.
I collected a few of my favourite tips from the book How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, and have shared them below.
A GUIDE TO BEING PARISIAN
1. Read the newspaper by yourself on your lunch break.
2. Talk to everyone in the same tone of voice, whether it's your parents, the taxi driver, your boss, a celebrity you met at a bar, or the newspaper vendor on the corner.
3. Be thankful you always wear nice lingerie- you never know what might happen.
4. Promise yourself you won't go out on a Friday, so as to get a good night's rest. Nevertheless, go for a drink after work, then get dragged to a restaurant, and end your night in a club, in spite of yourself.
5. Be aware of your qualities and faults. Cultivate them in private but don't obsess.
6. Treat yourself to some flowers to brighten up your apartment.
7. Eat croissants and buttered toast for breakfast- because it's Saturday morning and you burned enough calories last night, damn it.
8. Agree to (at least a little) weekend exercise but only in "beautiful" surroundings: a run in a picturesque public park or a swim in a historically listed pool.
9. Order wine at lunch.
10. If you only own one sweater, make sure it's cashmere.
11. Go to the theatre, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.
12. Be best friends with friends of different generations. (both young and old, but especially the old)
13. Cross the street when and where you shouldn't.
14. Not too much makeup, too many colours, too many accessories.
15. Enjoy the face you have today. It's the one you'll wish you had ten years from now.
Above photo- Jane Birkin