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  • The emigrant's destiny: The foreign country has not become home, but home has become foreign.

    --Alfred Polger (d. 1955), Der Emigrant und die Heimat

    Emigranten-Schicksal: Die Fremde ist nicht Heimat geworden. Aber die Heimat Fremde.

    Between 2007 and 2009, I lived in Los Angeles after living in Paris for many years. My Paris blog (before and after my Los Angeles sojourn) is Rue Rude.

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    « My Country 'tis of Thee | Main | The Berber »

    20 February 2008


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    Décidément I am still French when it comes to the dinner party.


    Absolutely. Here in UK, dinner party = no children. I don't think that parents would want to bring their children - they see it as an opportunity to get away from them for the evening! 8pm is the usual start time.

    I think babysitting is a big part of the problem. It's a lot harder to get babysitters when they have to have their own cars, and you don't want to leave even older kids alone in a house with no car (as opposed to the Paris apartment with a concierge and public transportation). I do have sympathy but would prefer to be asked, not surprised....

    I have not had this experience in San Francisco. Our boys are young adults now, but NEVER did I consider bringing them to a dinner party unless specifically invited to do so. Same on my end. We have dinner guests who have young children, and sometimes we will suggest they bring a (single) child...but only if we are certain they know how to draw the line. Oh! they are all European!!!

    I am quite surprised by your post. We may not have the same definition for diner party.
    I am French from the middle class and as far as I remember, my siblings and I have always attended diner parties or weddings my parents were invited, and I do exactly the same now. If I invite people, I expect them to bring their children. They will usually "prendre l'apperitif" with us then play while we are having diner.
    For the past 3 years, I have been living near Philadelphia and I see the opposite. I consider the family is invited, not only the parents. Mon son come with us to any party, wedding or restaurant and I have the feeling I should not. It may be rude, I do not know

    Well, this is obviously a case of two different groups of people: one group that thinks it is normal to expect children when you invite adults, and one group that doesn't. It's fine as long as the groups don't mix!

    I would say in the past in America There were manners. You would ask If you mind if the kids came along, and the kids would get spanked out in the car if they misbehaved. I can remeber going to peoples house that had kids when I was growing up. My parents ussally asked if it was alright if we came along. If it was a problem we didnt come along. If we did we were expected to behave.
    I wasnt perfect but my parents loved me and disciplined me when I need it. Today in the US ,many parents treat there kids more like their pets. A frenchmen in the 1800's came over to America to find out what made us a rising star as a country and said "America is great becuase America is good, and when she cease to be good, she will cease to be great

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    Today's quotation

    • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

        –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

      À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

    Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

    • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.