1. At the restaurant:
ME: My daughter will have the Pasta Carbonara.
WAITRESS: That’s not on the kids menu.
ME: I realize that. She would like the Pasta Carbonara.
WAITRESS: But that’s not on the kids menu.
ME: You already said that.
WAITRESS: She can’t order it if it’s not on the kids menu.
ME: Why not?
WAITRESS: Because she’s a kid.
ME: She eats adult food. She’ll have the Pasta Carbonara.
..... What follows is a painful and awkward staring contest wherein my daughter begs me to Mom, forget it! I’ll just have the nuggets! Just please stop embarrassing me! ...... But I do not blink. I stare at that waitress like I was born to fight this battle.
WAITRESS, exasperated: Fine. And for you?
ME: I’ll have the salade chèvre chaude and a glass of rosé.
2. At monoprix:
ME: There is a woman sleeping in the changing room with her two dogs.
CASHIER: Et, Alors. So?
ME: So, I would like to try on this t-shirt.
CASHIER: So, isn't there another changing room?
ME: If there was another changing room, why would I choose to try on this t-shirt in a tiny cabin that smells like a homeless person and two dogs?
CASHIER: Je comprends. I see your point. I will call security.
3. Standing in the world’s longest line:
A woman blatantly cuts right in front of me, just as I reach the cash register.
ME: Excuse me, are you dying or about to give birth?
RIDICULOUS WOMAN: Just looks at me like I’m rude.
ME: Non? Back of the line.
RIDICULOUS WOMAN: Storms to the back of the line, fuming and murmuring incomprehensible swear words that I didn’t understand but really want to learn.
I'm not gonna lie:
I'm feeling mighty proud of myself. To successfully win three arguments in FRENCH? I'm freakin awesome. Also, the Hoosier in me likes to smile and be nice and get along. But apparently, the French girl in me is not afraid of a little confrontation. And this feels absurdly liberating.