When I was in high school, I used to threaten to write “scathing letters” to people who pissed me off. “Dear annoying kid in my AP US History class,” they would begin. “Dear college admissions board…”
Right now I would like to write a scathing letter to the weather in Paris. Because technically, spring started mid-April. I had to wear a jacket today. Over my cardigan and jeans. Qu’est-ce qui se passe?
Today when I got home from class, I ran into Dénis, a guy from my floor, in the elevator. Feeling loquacious and glad to finally be home (after riding the 27 bus for the longest six stops of my life and then finally getting on the RER at St. Michel), I struck up a conversation.
MOI: Il fait froid aujourd’hui!
(It’s cold out today!)
DENIS: Ah, ouais.
MOI: On doit écrire une lettre fâchée!
(Someone should write a scathing letter!)
MOI: Oui…il faut écrire une lettre à quelqu’un là-haut.
(Yes…we should write a letter to somebody UP THERE.)
DENIS: *visage plein de confusion*
(*face full of confusion, clearly sorry to have gotten on the elevator with people who want to write letters to God*)
MOI: Parce que ce doit être le printemps, mais il fait froid et il pleut!
(Because it’s supposed to be spring, but it’s cold and rainy!)
DENIS: Ahhhh, oui. Et ça continue demain, et le lendemain.
(Ahhhh, I get it now. And it’s going to be cold and rainy tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.)
Clearly it’s not as funny to write a letter to the weather in French as it is in English. Caveat emptor.
P.S. The French approach to singing the letter H in English is uncannily similar to Eliza Doolittle’s.