I’ve been voused

What. In. The. Hell?

I attend a French conversation group weekly. It’s not the same group from week to week, but quite a few of the same people show up at each group. A couple of weeks ago, I met someone new who is here from France for a while. She, another person, and I spent most of that evening chatting and such. Nothing major. Just conversation.

Let’s stop for a moment. In French, there are two forms of “you:” tu and vous. The first one is used for people you know: peers, close friends, and such. The latter (pronounced something like voo), is used in the plural “you” and also for superiors (like your teacher or boss), strangers (like the store clerk), and, in very traditional families, from children to parents (though I think that’s not so much the case anymore). This is weird to most of us Americans because we don’t have this in English.

So, back to this woman I met a couple of weeks ago. We engaged in conversation where I recall us “tu-ing,” but when she walked in last night and greeted me, she vous-ed me! What?! Aren’t we peers within the context of the group? Didn’t we get past the “stranger stage?” *GASP* She thinks I’m OLD! She was showing respect for my age! Noooonnnnn!

Someone once commented, “You’re aging so gracefully.” That was 13 years ago (I only remember that because I was pregnant with my daughter at the time–damn, I miss the power of prenatal vitamins). Have these 13 years really been that rough on me? I feel young-ish on the inside! Shoot. I suppose I did just celebrate a birthday. . .is it that evident? Hmmm . . . I guess I’m not aging so gracefully now. Dammit.

As Kurt Vonnegut said: And so it goes.

I wish all of vous a great day.