After watching French Open tennis my husband Mike decided to become European. It happened without warning; one day he was as American as a toddler in a tiara and next he was French. Or British. Or Italian. It was hard to tell from the accent. He might have been Mexican; the accent was thatbad, as Roland Garros became Rrrrrroland Gaaahrrrrrossssss. It sounded like he was swallowing his tongue.
Next, when I couldn’t remember the name of the actress playing Don Draper’s French mother-in-law on Mad Men, he suggested it might be “Mar-Go Faw-Two.”
“Margot Faw-Two? Ah, no. That’s not it,” I assured him.
“You’re not even pronouncing it correctly,” he scoffed, sneering in such a way his upper lip landed somewhere in the middle of his forehead.
“What? ‘Faw-Two?'” I asked. “I’m not pronouncing ‘Faw-Two’ correctly because it is a totally made up French noise, not a name.”
He shook his head with disgust, threw down his croissant and lit a cigarette. He doesn’t smoke. I have no idea where he got the croissant. He hadn’t had one just a moment before.
The next work day, he took a two hour lunch and quit at 2pm. He biked to work, which was really weird, because he works in our basement. As he pedaled by me in the kitchen, he leaned over the handle bars and flipped me off like I’d seen the Italians do to my taxi driver during a trip to Rome. Whenever I left the room he called “Cheers!” Whenever I entered the room he kissed me on both cheeks. When I brought him a cold lemonade, he eyed me suspiciously, unsure what the floating cubes of frozen water in his drink might be.
He seemed very happy, so I had every intention of letting it continue. Then the Jerry Lewis DVDs started showing up from Netflix. That was the end of that. I took emergency measures and sat him in front of a marathon showing of Goodfellas and Hooters commercials until it finally wore off and he was once again an American.
At least until The British Open in July.