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When the French
Me & My
Marrying While in
By Gia Lovelady
For Scott, Gia & Our Daughter Scotland Charlotte-Jane
December 25, 2016
If one does not love extrême décadence then one will not adore my wedding day story from Brussels to Paris, not to mention the copious mentions of a little chocolat boutique in Paris. In further announcements of our wedding day, I include the culinary delights of the Belgian chocolat noisettes and a nice scotch whiskey to ring in the celebratory event.
Our American/French Wedding Invitation:
Bonne Journée Mes Invités au Mariage/Good Day My Wedding Guests. Here is the inscription for our Wedding Invitation :
La Mariée (French for "The Bride") is a painting in oil on canvas, 68×53 cm, created in 1950 by Marc Chagall. This effect allows the image of a woman to jumping off the canvas and really attracting attention. There is a man that hangs over the head of the bride, apparently nonchalantly as if it would ensure that the veil is perfect for her.
This is how my engaging memories of marrying while in Paris begins.
This lovely Parisian morning finds my American beau and me, bending over peering into the glass candy cases at the La Petite Château de Chocolat Parisiennes in centre one Paris. Without any notice to the cityscape of Parisian shoppers, a primitive eruption of love echoes from deep inside of my very core with a sudden outpouring, my show of whimsical hysteria. A crowd gathers from outside, witnessing me as I’m pointing in between the Lime Crèmes and the Cognac Ganaches, spotting my sparkling engagement ring in the candy case that was positioned right underneath the eighteenth-century store lighting. My beau throws back his head and begins laughing with loving excitement while picking me up and sailing me throughout the array of homemade bonbons. “Oh, chéris magnifiques!!!” shouts the shop’s Madame, a 57-year-old chocolatier. My beau officially kisses me and asks me to marry him right at that moment, outside of another Confiserie/Confectionaire, L'Art de la Pâtisserie, where he slid the diamond onto my ring-shivering finger. Both shop owners bid us farewell with a box of Van Gough Gouda infused ganache chocolates with noisettes and caramels. The Madame Chocolatier also proudly delivered many of her fine boxes of chocolates straight from Tienen, a town near Brussels in Belgium. These chocolates were flavored with whiskey and peach cognacs and topped off with a dusting of coconut, a decadent addition to my wedding day. I don’t know precisely why we stopped into this little chocolat boutique except for the fact that my husband to be certainly surprised me.
It is all happening today, on Wednesday evening, February 3rd during our trip to Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France which is located on the French Riviera. I am getting married just one day after landing at Charles du Galle Aéroport and after strolling along the banks of the Seine, where others will witness our true, huge and magnificent show of emotion. The feminine mystique is that women are no longer secretive in that we all want to get married in Paris, to witness her own day of the pouring of candy confetti inside of a bubble of imaginative forever hearts, French cherubs, and glowing silk taffeta-laced of a cascading dream of passionate coupledom. It is real love existing between la femme et l’homme.
We are now walking hand in hand, we stop and he whips around with my face in his hands and saying, “Sentir encore les effets de Paris?”/“Still feeling the effects of Paris?” I return a big smile back at him, with the wind blowing my hair and the Italian lace wedding veil up into his face in a whirlwind of both love and fantasy, clouding both our visions so that we can only turn up to the French heavens with glorious smiling faces and closed moonlit eyes. The moment stood still. Our happiness is a thickness of the richest Crème Brulee with caramelizing sugar instead of sand in the rich sands of time. He plopped a Versado or liqueur chocolat into my mouth and followed its digestion with a velvety kiss and laughing with a second bonbon, la fleur de sel, sliding the chocolat through my lips. The caterer of love also followed that one with a spongy kiss.
Today it is all happening and I realize that I will never become la Directrice of single women on Valentine’s Day ever again back in the big apple. I will never be as I was with my girlfriends, as I used to lead the feminine group of cosmopolitan ladies on evenings out in Manhattan, New York. I am trapped inside of his love that is as warm as a fresh loaf of syrupy du pain with raisins and copious fouettée on top. I speak to myself: Excusez-moi, s'il vous plaît, mais aimez-vous mon engagement ? I’m so sorry for being so unprepared, and forgive my poor greetings but, Bonjour life. Bonjour, Bonjour tous et tous. Je m’appelle est la Maitresse. It is all happening today, in the République de la France with l’homme that I love. I then regrouped.
Ernest Hemingway, mon écrivain préféré/my favorite writer, a part of the writers and artists living in 1940’s Paris after WWI, was named the Lost Generation. It was Hemingway’s A Clean Well-Lighted Place that always marked my existentialism in the world until I found God. Here today, I have my own Godly vision as I am illuminatingly dressed in a fleshy pamplemousse-colored feathered wedding gown with shimmering lace. On this day, I am quintessentially wearing every woman’s wedding gown and all radiant wedding gowns that have ever been made. I purchased my bridal gown from Metal Flaque. I even wear the wedding gown of Marie Antoinette as I represent all women desiring love and marriage in the city that promotes love, Paris. My sweet patisserie of a man, down on bended knee, is sliding the radiant Blue Nile Studio Petite French Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring, onto my left ring finger.
I always imagined my beau performing a dignified Louis XVI revival of a bended knee dressed in period clothing, and the height of my love is the altitude of my heart: the height of the Eiffel Tower all lit up in bright white lights at night. Instantly, I become Marie Antoinette the Madame de Paris and her la Chemise à la Reine, my beau catching a glimpse of my chemise. Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI, was often seen in her favorite choice of fashion: the 1783 white muslin dress called a chemise à la Reine. His right hand is flowing along the line of my leg as my Cinderella foot rests on his intrepid thigh. This is the beginning of my life where I’ll be living in the first arrondissement of Saint Germain and where the French language is pouring out of me during my engaging memories of marrying the man that I love in Paris right underneath the Eiffel Tower.
I am taking charge of my life; I am allowing for my life to capture me. Yes, I am fighting to hold onto something, but his love has enticed me like a gale of wind seven hundred and seventy-seven stories tall or like a seven hundred person Swiss army brigade of the French police. I pour of honey instead of tears out of my eyes in honoring our love, so much so that I can barely move as my mind is already satin and laced in a dream. That is how much our love is overpowering the totality of who I am. I did not have time to prepare for the moment, by spending a day at the salon de beaute, nor did he have time to make a trip to the salon de coiffure. And after being caught in an elegant whirlwind, I have to ask the astonishing: Wedding Gowns pour la belle Maîtresse?
On my Parisian wedding day, I am all of the elegant littéraire of Voltaire, et le Coveteur of every elegant centre one of the arrondissements de Paris. Mostly, I am his Maitresse and true affectionaire to him, the love of my life. Through his eyes, I see that I am indeed Scottish, Irish, Swedish, and now, French Parisian. I was not born in St. Germain but I was born into it. Only a flaneur or a flâneuserie would not love and enjoy the city while only lost in it. I’m going to try to quantify in the least amount of words possible why I love Paris, why everyone or most, love Paris. It is a disease of love. Hemingway had it. It’s a pretty difficult job to do but I’m going to try to find just the right words, and place them on this littéraire paper. It might just boil down to the crackle of the crust as one bites into the French du pain, or Un cafè crème s'il vous plaît? The American wedding dream tastes like French E’claires, smells like the Luxemburg Jardin, and resembles a view of the fantastically tranquil Seine.
Paris is the opposition to the unrequited love inside of a dream. The Eiffel Tower is all lit up at night on New Year’s Eve in white lights is a women’s sparkly engagement ring and her église or church. It is a dream of sitting in the outdoor cafes and exploring the nutty marzipan, creamy taste of a French hazelnut coffee with just the right amount of seafoam on top. Paris wins as the number one travel destination in the world, as it is to me the only city that bellos out sweet, passionate operettas and moving violins of love and silky, romantic and passionate pleasures. The city sells and promotes love like no other city, Paris supports love diplomatically and with its tourism, and this is all that the Wedding Gowns pour la belle Maîtresse really wants. People are in awe of the beauty of Paris, and lovers take solace in its living cities shops with outdoor seating. The fresh allure of flower boxes in Parisian windows is just so beautiful. There is no need to marry on a beach or away in another faraway land. Just bring all of your love and dreams to the city by the Seine.
I do have memories of years ago when I wished that I would have lived in Paris for a number of years, from about ages 25-30 or so, possibly as a baker in a boulangerie. Even if I didn’t continue to study French since high school, I could have picked up studying in my twenties, but I could have never gone to Paris as a young mom. So, it would have been either “go to Paris” or don’t have children. I could have been so fluent in French by now, living and working as an American in Paris, about to leave a fine shoppe and exiting by now a fine brasserie or a magasins de moutarde. I am here just in time to hurry and say bonne nuit again to the Fromager and his fromagerie. All of my forties I could have been an American in Paris, but then I would have not experienced that feeling inside of me because of this particular boyfriend whom I first met in December of 2015. So, it is okay that now, at this age, that I am picking up French again, and enjoying the language of my passion.
In my partial duty attempts of admiring and therefore writing about the culinary aspects of cultures, I had to admire the local Strasbourgian culture of Strasbourg, France, ripped from a page in my journal entry:
Journal Entry: May 4, 2016
Upon arrival a few days prior, I took note of the French culture and the local living language of this iconic European city of unity which is Strasbourg. The people speak (Alsatian or Elsassisch), a language which has a high German dialect. I work in language teaching so this part of the introduction was especially useful in my ongoing knowledge of people, culture, language, and tradition.
What I love the most is the cuisine which is distinctively German and French because of Strasbourg's sprawling landscape of people who boarder the Rhine location between France and Germany. While attempting to conceptualize the idea of "What is Europe," further memories come into the mind of my personal readings outside of class of French cuisine which include shoppes of wines, cheeses, croissants, mustards, chocolates, truffles, and other fine delicacies of France. France has shoppes that specialize in world mustards with some shoppes which house hundreds of specialty vignettes. France is known as having mustards of the world for tasting and for purchase. This, together with the scent of warm, baked loaves of bread and the best culinary schools in the world, France is factually superb. What is striking on the Germany border is Strasbourg's 12th century "Cathedrale Notre-Dame, the main centers of Brussels and Luxembourg, and cyclists touring Strasbourg by bicycle epitomizes my conception of this part of the world. – Wedding Gowns
One other event that I found most interesting in this course was the construction of the Palace Versailles, which is located twelve miles from the capital of Versailles in what is considered suburban Paris. The construction of the Versailles began in 1601, (originally a hunting lodge for Louis XIII), and further additions to the Palace Versailles continued by Louis XIV well into 1660 when improvements of The Louve helped the King's wealth with massive public works projects.
While studying history as it relates to the fine arts, I was struck by reading about how the palace of Versailles was erected and how different people within Paris lived and worked at Versailles. The author Hunt mentions the apparent luxury and frivolity, and that overall life at Versailles was often cramped and cold. One has to imagine what an event, such as housing in Paris, might have been like. Fifteen thousand people crowded themselves into the palace's apartments, and when the author states how various citizens of Paris occupied the Versailles, and if one has a passion for both history and art history, (and in this case accommodations in Paris in 1682), one gains a sense of past Parisian lifestyles. Since the author mentioned the highest of military officers, ministers of state, and households of the royal family, I got a further glimpse of past housing accommodations. Art history is not always beautiful, so when the author spoke of refuse and prostitutes that overran the grounds of the Versailles, I was equally taken back into the reality of French history.
Another part of art history would include the decor of the Palace Versailles, an invaluable insight as to how Louis XIV did more than just play a dominant role in government. Flemish painter Adam Frans van der Meulen depicted Louis XIV in dominant roles and the artifacts such as gardens, pools, fountains, and statues erected and appreciated by King Louis XIV helped to give credence to much of what is now art history all throughout Paris.
Another event that I found most interesting in this course was absolutism and the reign of the French King Louis XIV, (1643–1715). In studying absolutism and the reign of Louis XIV, I got a glimpse into how Paris was ruled, such as in 1655, when Louis XIV reputedly told the Paris high court of justice, “L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”), emphasizing that state authority rested in him personally. This one phrase signified how Louis XIV felt about his reign, and of how he wanted to rule France. Absolutism to the French king meant that he ruled with the dominance that was partially contrived and manipulated through the use of strong taxation, and through psychological dominance of France. I found that absolutism was not really achieved, and even though many students and scholars vary in their understanding of the term "absolutism", and whether or not Louis XIV did in fact achieve it, history dictates that the fall of Louis XIV, his reign and principles, speak for themselves. This is evident in the annals of the Chateau de Versailles.
At last, in the midst of all of the Parisian personifications, it was out last night as we left Strasbourg and the Versailles and traveled back to Paris. I stood at the Eiffel Tower with the man that I love and we kissed a thousand sweet kisses. I imagine myself in my twenties, wistfully strolling through the streets from the Montparnasse train station with our bodies interlocked inside of passionate lovemaking spread out over l’herbs verte. Lock me in and never let me leave Paris, as I want to live here forever inside of this rendezvous of splashing around in light pink meringue or chantilly anglaise crème de la crème!
It grew dark and the Eiffel Tower was sparkling when we came out. It sparkles for five minutes on the hour and my heart still skips a beat every time I see this miracle. Cross Boulevard Saint-Germain and enter Rue de l'Ancienne Comedie. Le Procope at No. 13, opened in 1686 and is our most adorned lover’s cafés. I’m in Paris since I’ve embodied my new mantra, the belief that “it’s never too late to be what you’ve might have been.” So, here I am, making love in Paris! It was just the other day back in the states while studying French, when I realized that I did very well. For the first time, I could understand a great portion of what I was reading, more of a reason to keep up the excellent joy of learning a new language.
So here I am with the love of my life, head tilted to meet his lips in another soft kiss, and then he turns with his deep voice humming into my ear, “for you, Wedding Gowns, still feeling the effects of pregnancy?” His heart drifts off inside of our soft, warm kiss, continuing, “Notre bébé est un grain flottant librement dans le vaste univers de l'utérus, est-elle pas?” /“our baby is a free-floating speck in the wide universe of the womb, isn’t she?” My husband adds that it is time for another chocolat from our red-ribbon ballotin box, “Voudriez vous et Crème Bebe? « Ou, voulez-vous et Paganini, crème de noisette sur le double praliné lait?”
I’ve read a quote that when good people die that they go to Paris. And so, my new husband and I are still standing at the Eiffel Tower, embracing one another in an all American-Parisian kiss, and again in front of the Baiser Chocolatier de Paris and just weeks ago at the one in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. One day after my Eiffel Tower Wedding, I ask the question: is love real? I don’t know if it can always last forever but it is real. Americans witnessed that infamous couple embracing in a kiss upon his return from World War II in the USA. For all lovers who have lived and died just to love in Paris, France, this one is for you. Viva la France!
Off to le boulangerie, to le chocolats, et to a fine bottle of Bourdeaux!
I am his Maitresse et sa pamplemousse & white-feathered wedding bride, always, truly & with love. I am happy to be your wife, ta femme. Bonne nuit and passez une soirée grandiose! I wish every couple a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday, and Happy Valentine’s Day.
La belle Maîtresse
Copyright 2016 Gia Lovelady and Le Journal Litteraire
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Les Deux Magots. Café Littéraire. 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris, France
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Rigo, Pascal. “The American Boulangerie: Authentic French Pastries and Breads for the Home Kitchen.” Russell, Keith. "Chocolate Bread, Sacred Rice: Continental Ways of Looking At Things." Design Issues
Vogue Magazine – The Best Bakery in Saint-Germain: Hugo & Victor
LE JOURNAL LITTÉRAIRE is an online French literary journal. The journal is currently accepting new works that document global travels by other travel writers, especially writers depicting Parisian culinary. LE JOURNAL LITTÉRAIRE insists on portraying research on any of the boulangeries of Paris, France, and desires for writers of Parisian pâtisseries and boulangeries to submit their very best meringues, éclairs, mille fieulles, opera cakes, baguettes, and croissants to the online journal. The journal accepts culinary articles depicting the rich histories of Parisian shops along with their recipes encased in creative fiction creative nonfiction. Submissions with photos will be published in LE JOURNAL LITTÉRAIRE in Summer 2020. (A Play in Three Acts: Les Boulangeries Français de Paris, Acts Deux & Trois, will be published on this site in Spring, 2020).
Work may be submitted in English or in French.
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