well this is rich, no? the french… (and again…
mmmmmwhahahahahahahahah the french, because always)… are all yeah yeah we’re progressive and our president isn’t married and our term “first lady” is fluid and really just means whoever mr. pres. is banging at the time.
and then said former first lady emerges from seclusion to- in the tried and true american literary tradition of pretty much anyone who has ever done anything in the media glare- RELEASE A MEMOIR and it is LE SCANDAL.
this is because apparently the french first lady is just the lady sleeping with the french president whilst the french president IS GOD. not a god. THE GOD. or, at the very least, THE KING.
because “In France, political life is sacred” (per mr. royant of paris match). and to write such things is “indecent behavior” (per renaud dély, the managing editor of the magazine nouvel observateur).
and so HOW DARE SHE?!
all of france (by which i wonder if we maybe mean all the white french dudes of a certain age?) is aflutter.
because one would have to be terribly ruthless, so cutthroat to spill the beans on a relationship gone wrong. as laurent greilsamer said she is “unconventional, imperial, amorous, explosive, unpredictable. And clearly dangerous.”
which one would have to be do such a thing, right? because that neevvvvvvverrrr happens…
yeah, maybe not the best company to be in (srsly, to all mega-tell-alls come down to british royals and american political mistresses??), but still. it happens. it is neither really shocking nor at all unheard of.
well, except in france. where it apparently DOESN’T happen and IS unheard of and is deeply, deeply shocking, so there you go.
we are one, but we are not the same.
in america, i think we thought valerie trierweiler (or at least i did… do other american people think deep thoughts about valerie trierweiler? am i alone?) was a trailblazer because she was first lady without being married to the president. in the land of amber waves of grain that ain’t a gig you get by shacking up.
turns out, we misjudged. she’s just like us! secretly more american than we ever knew. because what is more american than living through an ordeal and publishing a book about it less than a year later?
NOTHING. except maybe macaroni and cheese.
and this hemingway-esque prose:
“I’ve had enough. I can’t listen to this anymore,” she wrote. “I run into the bathroom. I grab the little plastic bag which contains sleeping pills. François followed me. He tries to snatch the bag out of my hand. I ran into the room. He gets hold of the bag, and it rips. Pills fall all over the bed and the floor. I get hold of some of them. I swallow what I can.”
by jove, doesn’t this excerpt sound like something c. david heyman would’ve put in the mouth of marilyn monroe? right?! RIGHT?!!!!
(random aside: HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE THE LINES ON THIS WOMAN’S FACE?! srsly. would that she were our hero even if only for that.)
i’ve not yet publicly made this claim but i’ma make it now: if you’re a FLOTUS and you’re not jackie kennedy or hillary clinton (and even hillary clinton isn’t impervious to the lures of this because she’s done like 3), you only get to be visible after by being FLOTUS by writing a memoir.
that is the career path: thanks for hosting all those dinners, here, ma’am, you can write a book and go quietly into the night…
thanks be to valerie trierweiler for demonstrating that the french likewise have limited career trajectories for their post-presidency WAGs. so we can take solace in the fact that we all of us suck at this.
but it’s also a nice little bit of international comeuppance, yeah? way back in the 90s, the french could never fathom the monica lewinsky brouhaha. they thought we yanks were unsophisticated and puritanical. and yet, lo! there are sacred things in france too. the presidency for one, who knew?!
you can almost hear it, non? from somewhere out there, in new york or arkansas or wherever he may be tonight. the echoes of bill clinton’s quiet laughter reverberating through the dark…