Monday, October 3, 2011

A case of the Mondays

Today is once again that much-dreaded, much-detested first day of the week: Monday. In America, it’s technically the second day of the week, but here in France, Monday comes first and Sunday comes last. Why? Because it’s a country of heathens. I’m kidding (kind of). No—there is undoubtedly a long, fascinating explanation for why the US follows the Judeo-Christian tradition of beginning the week with Sunday whereas Europe does not, but that isn’t the point of this blog. I’ll look it up later and write about it if it’s interesting enough (it probably isn’t).

But let’s get back to Monday, which we can all agree is at least the first day of the work week on both sides of the Atlantic. Personally, I find that Monday has gotten a bad rap. Why, as I’ve grown older, I’ve found that Monday actually tends to go fairly well for me: I’m rested from the weekend, so when my alarm goes off at 6:40 am, it’s not nearly as painful as it is on Friday; work usually goes well, since the mistakes and irritations of the previous week have been forgotten, plus my colleagues are mentally absent and thus unable to effectively defend themselves from my usual barrage of witty insults; and before I know it the day is over and I’m on my way home.

C’mon guys! Monday is just a question of attitude! Am I right? I said, am I right?

However, my favorite part of Monday is hands down cocktail hour: G. and I have begun a family tradition—now that we are an official (2-person) family—of leisurely sipping one cocktail each on the balcony on Monday nights, as a means to kick off the week and shake off any pesky negativity that may have followed us home from the office. I come from a long line of dynamite cocktail makers, a talent that I feel it my duty to share with my husband—which I do, every week. And every week we end up perfectly hammered because a) we’re both lightweights and b) we eat dinner at 9:30 pm like good Europeans, which means that those cocktails are the first thing to hit our stomachs since lunch. Effect guaranteed! As such, any attempts at constructive adult discussion are quickly abandoned in favor of pointing and laughing at passers by, insulting the sushi delivery guy who keeps double parking his scooter across the street, complaining about the insane noise of all those damn vehicles barreling by, and critiquing the interior design of the apartments en face. Sometimes we launch a few peanuts at unsuspecting tourists and the occasional old lady walking her dog. See? Mondays are fun!

So about those cocktails. A native southern Californian, I love margaritas. But ordering them in French bars has never felt right. One, the (small, sad) rendition I’m served often reminds me of postmodern art (i.e. it sucks); two, Mexico and France just don’t mesh well. As proof, consider the French “Mexican” restaurant. Oh, there are a few that get it done right, but they still come in a distant second to basically any hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint I’ve ever tried in SoCal. (Sorry for the taco snobbism; I’ve gotta call a spade a spade. French guacamole—fear it.) So imagine my surprise to find myself nose-to-nose with a tequila bottle calling my name from the shelves of our local grocery store a few days ago. “Hmmmm,” I responded, with typically razor-sharp acumen. In the end, I bought it, along with a bottle of Cointreau and a handful of limes because hell—I may be physically closer to Beijing than I am to Mexico City, but far be it from me to ignore a clear message from the liquor gods.

An hour later, G. and I had assumed the position and were ready to toast to international relations. I had to substitute jumbo wine glasses and fleur de sel for margarita glasses and rock salt, but who cares? Those puppies were muy bueno. And muy fuerte! Even if my Monday had been bad, that margarita would have erased any memory of it. Come to think of it, cocktail hour and its mind-altering effects may be precisely why I have the impression that Mondays are cool. I wonder if that could work for the rest of the week....


  1. LOVED IT, as usual!

    as for your readers, i think they should make some more COMMENTS! come on people, this blog is gold!

    cheers to your view on mondays sis; but i think my abilities to stop after one cocktail are severely inhibited due to our mutual upbringing in the land of multiple Gin-and-tonics, followed by beers, and night night night. It makes studies (aka "revising") difficult, to say the least. Gimme a drink and i could care less about the electron transport chain, glycolysis, x-linked recessive traits...wait a second...i need a beer right now

  2. Ok, I'm new to this, but I'll make yet another attempt at a comment which somehow disappeared. This blog is beautifully and articulately written! Katrin's observations about life in France as seen through American eyes are apt and amusing. We couldn't have sent a better ambassador the land of Lafayette and all those Louis. It is obvious that she loves her adopted country but remains nevertheless an ardent American. She pays tribute to what is great about France and its citizens. To any American who has lived in France, her criticisms ring true and I'm sure that most French people would approve of her "esprit critique". Keep those blogs coming, Katrin, and I'll do my do my best to spread the word about your gems of wit and wisdom.

  3. @Lukas: ha ha! Cheers to that! Maybe I should start commenting on my own entries. ;-)

    @Jim: it worked! Un très grand MERCI for your kind review and your support! The day all these articles become a book, I may have to ask you to write the back cover... :-)))