Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What the Cat Dragged In

This is a WTF WEDNESDAY.  I'm certain it is.  I looked it up, even.

It seems there is no story I can tell you here that doesn't require some sort of back story.

In 2007, I began a French group for adults.  After teaching for many years with no connections to anyone who speaks French, I decided it was time to start a group where people who actually speak French can get together and do just that, once a month.

I had visions of chic, interesting people who visit French speaking places often.  People who know what they are doing when they open their mouths to speak French.  People who would pair up and go out for cafe on a regular basis and eat baguettes chez each other and maybe even organize a trip to Paris.

4 years later, I still host this group once a month.  We meet at the Cultural Center.  After some trial and error, I determined that the most successful evenings were the evenings I showed a movie or we had a potluck dinner.  Not being one to change things that work, I alternate a movie or potluck month after month.

And I get all of the lunatics who live in the area.  Anyone who thinks they might have once spoken French comes.  Most figure out right away that they do actually have to speak French and they won't come back.  Sadly, a few still come though they can't say much and they spend the whole evening apologizing that they can't speak French.  I even removed one guy from my email list, didn't tell him, and last month he reappeared as the guest of someone new!

For the most part, those who come regularly speak very well, some better than I do, and there is a core group that has a really good time.  They are doing what I wanted people to do when I first created the group:  they are connecting, making friendships and coming regularly.

Then there are the very old ladies whose parents came from Quebec.  These ladies are very cute and their French is nearly impossible to understand because a) they are old so they don't speak clearly, b) they have spoken English most of their lives so they speak a mix of franglais and words I am pretty sure they just completely make up and c) they speak with the rural Quebec accent that is pretty hard to decipher.  There are 3 of them and they are cute and I love it when they come because they occupy each other.

Because that's what this has become.  It's yet another facet of my life where I have to worry about what everyone else is thinking and if they are comfortable and tell them where to find what they need and listen to what I could do to make it better.

So much for speaking lots of French with hip, cool people who really inspire me to organize trips and keep speaking le fran├žais.

But, I do make a little money, so it is worth it and sometimes it provides me with good stories.

So, do you get what we do?

Now, last night was a movie night.  I usually pick my movies from Netflix because they have really up to date French movies and I get them early, watch them and then hold onto them until I am ready to show them.

I always preview the movies after the Chocolat incident.  I was told that Johnny Depp speaks French in the movie.  I didn't realize they meant he speaks a word or two but it's an American movie.  DUH.  Never again will I show a movie without watching!

So, I found this movie Le Nom des Gens that I thought was pretty funny.  It's recent, it's clear (sometimes French movies are dark), the sound is good (sometimes they are too quiet) and I was laughing for most of the movie.

One has to be ever so careful with French movies because there are often scenes with nudity that just don't make  sense to our prudish American eyes.  Like why is everyone else completely dressed but a woman just walked through the room naked?

This movie has nudity and sexual themes, but when I watched it, I thought it was tame enough.  I thought maybe people would hold their breath a little, but the entertainment factor of the funny parts would make it all ok.

Did I mention the average age of the attendees might be like 65?  On a good night?  I'm always the youngest and there's always someone pushing 80 and lots of people around the half century mark.

Still, I thought maybe the nudity wouldn't be a problem.

But, I guess it was.  One woman left, so mad that she slammed her bottle into the trash, told me the movie is DISGUSTING and she is "really upset".  It was one of the cute Quebec ladies.

I guess it was the scene where the girl is stark naked,with boots, wandering around Paris while on her phone.  And we see everything.  But it's funny because she got distracted and rushed out to buy a present and that's why she's naked.

Yeah Quebec lady #1 didn't find it funny.

Oh, did I mention the cat?

When I walked into the Cultural Center, I thought I heard someone say "do you have a cat in there?" and I thought I heard meowing.  Since the person talking is in charge of the boutique, I was sure she meant she was looking for a wooden cat, or a stuffed cat, or a picture of a cat.

But no, there was a really pretty cat wandering around.  They said it's been there off and on for a while.  And they feed it.  And it's the most friendly thing I've ever seen.

But it howls to get your attention.  It does that fake sounding meow that you think is someone pretending to be a cat. Not a high pitched meow like that cat on marry Tyler Moore's opening. (or was it the closing?)

I thought "Hmm, this might not go over too well if this cat meows all night" but then I thought it would be let out.  Or that someone's lap would entice it.  Or that the movie would overpower the meowing.

I did casually mention to a few people that there is a cat.  And then I told Quebec lady #2.

And she freaked.  She said she has allergies.  And I know she's been sick and hasn't come for a long time because of it.  And we were so happy to see her tonight.

The cat was up in the office for a while, so out of sight, out of mind.

Then it came down and made its presence known.  And it circled around.  And Quebec lady #2 made noise to make it go away.  While people were watching the movie, of course.

And it howled and cried at the door of the board room, wanting to be let in.

Oh, did I mention the meeting of extremely obnoxious ladies?  Like the creme de la creme of the nastiest, bitchiest, loudest ladies?  I'll give them a little plug but you have to make the effort to go check them out because I don't like them, I just like their cause.  They are Girly Girl Parts, a non profit dedicated to Ovarian Cancer.

But they are not Girly Girl girls.  They are Nasty, Loud, Overbleached Bitches.

Before Quebec lady #1  was offended, these two BROADS walked in and talked in full voice about their meeting and they were sure there was a meeting and where was the meeting and meeting, meeting, meeting.  We go them into the board room and then their comrades arrived.  And arrived.  And arrived, for the whole 2 hours I was there.   They just kept coming.   They brought food.  They made noise.  They opened the door 50 times. All while we were watching the movie.

And then the cat wanted in, so they let it in.

And then they let it out.

And then I let it outside.

And then Quebec lady #2 said "I have to go, where is that cat?  I can't take this anymore, my allergies....I'm all (waving hands)..."

"Oh, I said, I put it outside" and looked down to see that the cat was  BACK INSIDE, wandering between us.

So, I took the cat outside but Quebec lady #2 had to leave anyway because she was all "..."

Then the executive director came back in from the parking lot and asked if I knew that a lady was coughing up a storm out in the parking lot.

"Why, yes," I said, "she is very mad about the CAT and it got her allergies all "..." and she LEFT BECAUSE SHE'S mad!"

I am the biggest fan of animals.  But I know that many people are not.  And some have make believe issues with animals when they hear that there is one.

And you can be sure that this latest addition isn't going to sit well with the people who frequent the Center.

So it's curtains for that cat, I believe.

And I think I might have to show a cartoon next time.  If there is a next time.

**people who were able to remain for the duration of the film really liked it.  Even Quebec lady #3 who is now trying to disassociate herself from #1 so don't think she is a prude.


  1. My life is so boring compared to your Wednesday night. All that commotion reminds me of my stay-at-home mom days when there was a day off from school due to snow and the entire neighborhood of boys were traipsing in and out between playing in the snow and messing up the house when they all came inside to get dry and warm. Typing the word 'night' reminds me of the story your mom told me a loooong time ago about when you were learning to spell and couldn't understand why the word 'night' wasn't pronounced nigit.

  2. Dude this is hilariously unfortunate. C'est la vie.

    Thanks for linking up with #ShowYourWork!


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