Thanks to the benevolence of a friend and the fact that I work in the media, I was invited to the July 4th dinner at Le Meurice Hotel, the dinner that I first read about in C’est La Vie and that all my coworkers went to when I worked at my magazine internship.
I actually squealed when I received the invitation in my inbox. I’ve noticed that since I live alone, I tend to go to the mirror when something bad or good happens to me at home. If I’m having a bad day, I might do a few bars of The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, and if I’ve just been invited to a sit-down dinner by a Michelin-starred chef, I might look in the mirror and have a shootout with myself, then do a little robot until the enthusiasm bursts up through my fingertips into jazz hands. Once you know these things about me, it becomes clear why my friends put away the breakables when I come over.
In the spirit of The Devil Wears Prada, I thought I could try to work in as many name brands and name hotels and name 5-starred chefs as I possibly could into this post. Because it’s summer: being smutty feels so right.
So on July 4th, I put on a turquoise Vanessa Bruno dress and coral peep-toed Fluxa shoes and I was off to the rue de Rivoli.
This is France, so we must get right to the food: The Michilen-starred chef Yannick Alleno did creative interpretations of hamburgers, hot-dogs and caesar salad--dishes so delicate they looked like they shopped at Bonpoint. And the night ended with a huge American flag cake with sparklers. Sparkly sparklers. On strawberry, Michelin-starred cake.
We were seated in a ballroom with chandeliers and gilded everything, and I sat next to the hotel's PR assistant Céline who is just the cutest French girl you’ve ever seen. The whole evening was seriously fun.
And the last thing I must tell you about is the French National Champion Cheerleaders.
Hold for laughter.
No really, cheerleaders in France, they exist! They danced their hearts out to Britney Spears and then did flips in the corner of the ballroom at the end of dinner. They also threw confetti all over the place. And they sang “Appy Birsday Amereeca” and were very pretty.
Later, I met up for a drink with a group of Americans and I rehashed the night, waving my USA flag, (which was snatched from the centerpiece), and speaking poetically of miniature hamburgers. But something about the cheerleaders unsettled me. “They were oddly built--I was really shocked to learn they were French.” And then I realized: right! They had flesh on their thighs! Muscle!
There is something that I’ve noticed lately: the default French girl way to sit. What I call The Yogic Eagle Position, which is to say, the top leg crossed over the bottom (in normal legs-crossed position) and then the top foot hooked back around the bottom ankle like a pretzel. NOT RECOMMENDED for those with thighs and calves unless you want to throw out your knee. I speak from the experience of someone who does not say no to the strawberry American flag cake.
Where else on the internet are you going to find this kind of practical advice?