Oil on canvas
30 x 20
One of the things I love about the Parisians is the way they dress. No one looks sloppy, no one’s wearing their pajamas to run to the store! They’re all dressed smart. These days, you do see jeans in Paris, but the young men will wear a blazer and a scarf, no tennis shoes, dark colored shoes. If a woman is wearing jeans, she’s dressed fashionably but most of the women are in skirts or leggings with boots or cute flats. They don’t wear leggings with tight t-shirts that ride above the rear end, they wear long shirts on skirts to cover their bottoms. Even the children are dressed well. To be honest, it was refreshing to see people dressed well, not expensive, just well dressed. Even those that didn’t have money wore decent attire, worn maybe, but still they dressed as well as they could.
When we were there, we followed suit and wore nice clothes and we found that we really liked it. When we returned to the USA and got off the plane in Atlanta it was one of the first things that hit us in the face–culture shock! Americans looked like complete slobs. It was shocking, to be honest. Look, I’m an artist and I get paint on EVERYTHING, so I tend to wear jeans and t’shirts most of the time, until now. I’m finding I feel better about myself when I dress a little better. I’ve taken to painting in leggings and long sweaters, caring about the way I look, especially when I go out.
I think, as Americans, we’ve lost something along the way. We don’t value simple things like dressing appropriately OR simple etiquette. We’ve become almost too laid back. In France, when you walk into a store, you say, “Bonjour, Madame!” or “Bonjour Monsieur!”. You don’t call people by their first name unless you know them really well. I loved how the waiters spoke to me, even in English, “Madame, what can I get you to drink?”. Wow! It was so respectful.
Americans complain about the French, but every single person I met in France was so kind, helpful and friendly. While we were in Paris, we attempted the language as best we could and we were respectful of how they do things. In return, they were very hospitable. I think that when Americans travel we’re loud, sloppy, rude, and demanding, and we don’t honor the way other people live. It’s no wonder they don’t respond very well.
The French are beautiful people and I think we could learn a lot from them.