As an 8 year old child, I remember sitting at a diner in Connecticut surrounded by my Mémé (Great Grandmother), Grammy and Great Aunt Claudette. My Mémé did not speak much English, so the conversation around her was always in French. I did not speak French and it drove me crazy. I vowed to learn French in order to speak with them one day. Sadly, by my Senior year and my 5th year of French, they had all passed. Though my love for the French Culture did not.
Later, I went on to take courses in Philosophy at Sorbonne in Paris which introduced me to the sophisticated styles and tastes of Paris. The impact of this aesthetic education was immediate and lasting. It led me to a job at L’Oreal, at Armani in Marketing in New York, and has continued to influence me both consciously and unconsciously in all parts of my life.
I suppose what I love most about the French culture is the no nonsense approach to life. They are direct and if you don’t like it… domage! The French are rarely willing to compromise beauty or attention to detail. The roots of authenticity and the savoir-faire run deep. They take pride in skills and knowledge that have been passed from generation to generation, knowing that you can’t sell wisdom.
So much of my character today draws its essence from my French heritage. As an admirer of the French culture on so many levels, I am grateful to be part of an organization that is working to foster the fraternal bonds of America and France.