Before you reach for the Clorox bottle to rinse that obscene visual from your eyes, let me explain. I meant to pack a scarf, really, I did. After all, Parisian women wear them often and with such flair, and I wanted to blend in—another oddity, I know.
But swagger being swagger, I gave the thought strong consideration. I fingered scarves in stores, wondering if or what I should buy. Fringed or straight hemmed? Plain or print? Since it was ninety-two in southern Virginia that day, I knew it would never get worn.
When we arrived in Paris, it was fifty-five degrees.
Some Parisian women were wearing winter coats and leather gloves—and scarves, artfully wrapped around their necks. So were many of the men. Oh, and if they’re wearing a suit with a scarf, fashion dictates a broach — I kid you not — be worn on the jacket lapel. Parisians do love their fashion. And scarves were everywhere.
Me? I was scarf naked.
But, guess what? I was also in Paris, smack dab in the middle of café culture, where for the price of an espresso or a cappuccino or café au lait, one is welcome to sit at a tiny table for hours. Traffic rolls by like a never-ending tide and motorbikes rumble past like bumblebees on steroids.
I love the energy of the city. Where I live, I’m too far removed from it. I use a car to go everywhere, missing the up-close-and-personal sounds of traffic and conversations, the staccato beat of high heels on the sidewalks, the hiss of espresso machines or the pop of champagne corks, and the aromas of freshly baked croissants perfuming the early morning air. I love watching two women, dressed in office attire, hurrying home from work, exchanging girl-talk—like we do here on Chick Swagger. They’re each holding a three-foot skinny loaf of French bread in their hands, tearing off morsels to stuff into their mouths as they exchange news and snarky remarks.
What provokes me are their narrow hips. Were I to eat a complete loaf of bread the way they do, hell, I’d have to make two trips to “haul ass.” Know what I mean? All I can figure is the French female motto must be walk fast and eat carbs.
Looks to me like our French sistahs have their own brand of Chick Swagger goin’ on.