Le Business Meeting

First let me say that my computer has gone haywire. For some strange reason, spell check has switched to French. So when I type, every English word that I type appears underlined like it is misspelled. But the French words are not underlined, in other words, c’est parfait. I may have typos now because only my French words are being spell checked correctly. Go figure.

Something I may not have mentioned: I actually have a meeting scheduled in Paris for a public relations client. My small public relations firm is working with a beauty service provider in Jackson Hole that is unlike any I’ve come across in my spa trekking around the U.S. She has a spa near Los Angeles that attracts the celebrity clientele and now she is opening a spa in Jackson Hole. The product line that she uses is based in Paris. So voila, the next thing I know I am scheduled for a facial and a meeting with the Directeur des Ambassades de Beauté followed by lunch.

This all sounds great, n’est ce pas? Except for the meeting and lunch which is making me nervous. The French have different manners than we do in the U.S. I watch a video on YouTube about how to eat in a French restaurant. You put the napkin in your lap immediament. You keep your wrists on the table (no hands in the lap.) You wipe your mouth before taking a drink of anything. You keep your fork in the left hand—always. You eat everything you are served.

The Ambassade is located on the Champs Elysee so I take a cab. I arrive at my appointment early; the note I received telling me my appointment was at 11 :00 but it is actually scheduled for 11 :30. The people are gracious and make me feel very welcome. I meet with the director and a vice president who explain the company philosophy before continuing for my facial treatment. The facial treatment is fabulous–I have never had such an experience and when I leave I’m quite sure that I’ve never looked better.

Note: this is not me but you get the picture

Note: this is not me but you get the picture

Following the treatment, I am invited to lunch with the director—a woman my same age who is the spitting image of Nicole Kidman. People approach her on the street and ask if she is Nicole Kidman so I am not making this up. She is lovely and so easy to talk to. Lunch is going swimmingly but that is exactement when I commit the faux pas.

 

I cannot eat my entire lunch. I try, really I do but then my lettuce is swimming in ceasar dressing, all limp, and I cannot eat the final third. The well-mannered beautiful French woman eats her entire salad and there is not a drop of dressing remaining on her plate. I can tell that our relationship has now changed so I’m determined to redeem myself.

She orders un cafe. I am not a person who ever drinks espresso and certainly not at 3 :00 in the afternoon. But when in Rome, or Paris, or whever I am…I do it. My hands are shaking ! I will not sleep for days! But at least I look great!

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