French Phrase of the Day: Housewife
While at one of Rio’s favorite neighborhood stores, Bières Cultes, which is solely dedicated to beer, we started chatting it up with the salesperson. Hearing us speak in English, he naturally asked us where we were from and we said New York. Cue typical French response: eyes widen and interest in us exponentially grows immediately with Frenchie exclaiming “Oh! J’adore New York!” This is usually followed by a question on how long we’ve lived here, whether we like Paris or NY more or a comment on “L’ènergie! La diversité!” Anyways, I digress… as the salesperson rang up a bunch of Trappiste beers, he asked what we were doing here.
Rio: Financial reporting
Me: Well, I freelance for American companies doing PR, but besides that, I basically run errands, have lunch with friends… what do you call that in France anyway?
Bières Cultes salesperson: Hmm, une femme au foyer.
Me: You mean like a woman in the lobby? Um, ok…
Well, I mentioned this to someone who speaks way better French than I do a couple days later at a party and apparently it means “housewife”… however, it’s not used that often anymore since it’s a really old-school term. But anyways… housewife?!?! OMG – my worst nightmare. No offense to housewives out there, mais c’est pas pour moi… especially considering I’m childless and I think having a child is a valid excuse to be a housewife/stay-at-home-mom. And this is who the pseudo-cool beer sales guy thinks I am? Isn’t there a French term for something like “lady who has boozy lunches, runs errands, cooks more than she ever did before, plans social activities and vacations, but also works a bit because she risked her career to move to Paris”??