Life With Bonaparte–A Frenchman and His Bread. Or…It’s Not Bunny Honey!

Get “Bready” for a true story because it’ll make you hard-pressed that the husband is actually a native Frenchman!

Anyway, Thursday evening I had an appointment with my eye doctor.  The time has come for me to acquire stronger lenses because my job as an Administrative Assistant has me sitting in front of a computer all day.  Add to that, my aging eyes—or rather eye since I only have vision on one, is becoming sight blurry.

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My eye doctor’s place!  I swear I love going here! He and his wife remind me of my daughter Oona and her future husband Sam! They’re so cute!

Now mind you, it was a must that the dear Bonaparte accompany me because the doctor would be dilating my eyes and the husband would be footing the remainder of the cost that medical insurance would not—and we all know how the expense of frames and lenses escalates from year to year.

And let me say, although I am a serious hypochondriac who only expects the worst news, who envisions every serious condition affecting me at all times, and who is deathly afraid of doctors, the eye doctor happens to be my guilty health pleasure.  Even as a child, I looked forward to having my crossed-eyes checked (weird kids grow up to be even weirder adults—I’m validation).

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Just in case I become famous and I’m interviewed on TV–this is the first question I will be asked.  And my answer will be a cute little laugh, a toss of the fake hair, a kick of the fake-tanned legs and an astounding “YES!!!!!” “And I think I’m coming down with something right now!”

The end result of the eye exam is that even though I’m blind in one eye, naturally cross-eyed and need a stronger lens prescription—my eyes are very healthy.

I have an amblyopic eye, strabismus and need stronger lenses, but the insides of my eyes are incredibly healthy.  My crossed-eyes are very happy with this news!

And for those with eyes like mine, a little Opto-humor!  This cartoonist is an artist turned eye-doctor.  If you have an Instagram account, you need to follow him because he’s so funny! @sightgagscartoons

New frames picked out (they are similar to what I’m wearing now but not the same), bells and whistles in the lenses—i.e. blue filter for computer usage, anti-glare for night driving, and we were good to go.

My new frames. Salvatore Ferragamo–and they are tortoise shell colored!

Our plan was to hit Wegman’s to do some grocery shopping for the upcoming storm that was expected for this weekend (BTW, It’s Sunday and was supposed to rain ALL DAY.  At 4:20 PM the weather is bright and sunny and about 10 degrees and windy).

For Bonaparte the storm food supplies did not include milk, bread, and eggs.  It was more akin to butter, tarragon, shallots and any other sauce makings I needed for the weekend.

I knew something was up when we passed by the Wegman’s Bakery.

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All of a sudden Bonaparte was concerned about the over-abundance of baguettes at Wegmans–and he usually complains about how bad they are–OK????

At 7:50 in the evening, Bonaparte spotted a section full of baguettes.  He went over and squeezed one of the loaves.  It was warm. This drove my husband into a full-on frenzy.

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Respect the baguette!!

Oh Merde!  Wha eez zuh mattahr wiz zeez pipoule?  Wha a wist of good bread!  Do you rillee sink pipoule ahr going to buy fresh baguette at zis time of night?  Cassee  you go talk to zuh manager.

Sometimes my husband thinks he is back in France where zuh pipoule line up at the boulangerie and patisserie at approximately 5:30 pm to 6:00 PM and wait like Russians on the rationed bread line to purchase their evening baguettes.  But he did have a point that baking all those loaves to set out at almost 8 in the evening was a waste of good bread.

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There’s nobody here now, but at 5:30 in the evening you need to see the line for the dinner baguettes.  I’ve waited on many a line here and in the morning–Bonaparte runs here for his croissants!

However, no way was I going to speak to the manager.

Bonaparte have a sort of bad cop/good cop going on.  Even though he’s really the bad cop with his complaining, I’m the one who has to do the actual complaining to managers because nobody can understand his heavy accent—especially when he’s upset!

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Unfortunately, I have to be the bad cop–or mauvais cop!

Hence the reason why I bake bread at home!

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Trust me–I’m blessed because Bonaparte happens to love the bread I make.  Give us this day his daily bread!

Groceries in tow, the Frenchman had an idea—or rather a scheme.  He stated that it was very late—too late, in fact for me to cook dinner, and he suggested we drive to McDonalds.

Allow me to explain something.

I hate McDonalds.  With one exception–the McDonalds McCafe on the way to St. Tropez. The coffee is freshly brewed and the pastry selection is astounding! The In general, I don’t like fast food at all—the one exception being my beloved guilty pleasure of Taco Bell!

Just a sampling of the McCafe in France.  It’s pretty darn amazing and the coffee is stupendous!

But with this low-to-no carb thing I’m doing, I told Bonaparte that I would just have my cauliflower hummus and raw vegetables when we got home.

We drove to McDo (inside tip—that’s the French slang for McDonalds *wink*) he ordered his Big Mac, large fries and Diet Coke and we went on our merry way home.  Upon arriving home, I took my wig off, ran upstairs set the oven to 250 in order for him to reheat the fries and burger and we both got changed.

Can you believe my Frenchman ordered THIS?  And he loves it!  I wonder if he really is French at times!

And then it happened.  The second he opened the warm and toasty box that contained the treasure trove of two burgers slathered with cheese, pickles and special sauce—not to mention the unflavored hothouse cardboard tomato, slivered lettuce and onions.

His eyes popped open—like a cartoon where the eyes pop out of the head then back into the sockets.

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Holy Homer Simpson!  Bonaparte’s eyes popped outta his head too!

He started cursing in French and trust me he said far worse than “merde”!

He turned to me with a stern “Look a’ ziz!!!!!!”

I didn’t notice anyzing—anything. And when I stated so he went into a tail spin!

“ZUH BUN!!!!”  “DO YOU SEE ZUH BUN!!!?????”  “EEZ NIT ZUH SEM!!!!!!”  “EEZ ZUH WRON’ BUN!!” “Z’HAIR EEZ  NO SES-I-MEEEEE  SIDS!!!!!!!!”  (More French cursing)

My simple and pragmatic response was “Well, they probably ran out of the Big Mac buns so they replaced them with regular buns.”

His next response was to ask me to take a photo of the burger.  Which I complied.

This is the “Bad” Big Mac!  Plain bun and all–and half eaten!

Regardless of the bun, he still ate every last morsel of the burger with the bad bun!

Fast forward to Friday, the day after the McDonalds episode.

When we awoke, my husband turned to me to ask me if I still had the “resit” from the McDonalds meal.  Now, normally I throw resits—or rather receipts, away, but since he gave me quite a chunk of change from the bill he paid with for his meal, I stuffed both change and receipt into my wallet.

Apparently, he was awake pondering his next move because he looked like he hadn’t slept a wink.

The infamous “Resit”!

I gave him the receipt and knew exactly why he wanted it.

He was going to get a refund for the Big Mac that was now making its way through his intestines. I don’t think he was waiting for the meal to make a reappearance.

And approximately four hours after I left the house, and was ensconced within the confines of my work cubicle, I received an email from him.  It simply read:

I got a refund.

One can only imagine what went on in that McDonalds when he arrived with the receipt.  He explained in his broken English and heavy French accent that his Big Mac had the wrong bun.

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No..nobody understands you…and that’s why you had no issue obtaining a refund!!

The woman at the counter stated that it was too early in the morning to get another Big Mac and so, she just gave him the four dollars that he spent on his entire meal.

There are no words.  However, this episode has now proven to me that the French have a very serious thing about bread.  Even if it is a bun on a disgusting fast-food burger.

You do not mess with a Frenchman and his bread—or any product made of flour and yeast—or any product laden with carbs.

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Yeah…you kinda don’t mess with a Frenchman and his love of the loaf–even if it’s a fast food bun!

Yesterday, I baked a loaf of bread for him.  And he ate the entire thing!

Yes!  Here’s the loaf I made for the husband yesterday–and my wig and wig cap are right next to it because I had to take my fake hair off or it would have melted from the oven’s heat!

And there you have it!  Welcome to my life!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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35 Responses to Life With Bonaparte–A Frenchman and His Bread. Or…It’s Not Bunny Honey!

  1. KB says:

    My husband has learned to bake bread. He’s really good at it. That square loaf intrigues me!

    • Catherine says:

      Its all about the pan, KB–the pan is a pullman loaf pan and I bake bread and brioche in it. It makes for perfectly squared slices that work well for the toaster and sandwiches!!! XOXXOX

  2. Michele says:

    Would you share the bread recipe?

  3. Denise says:

    I am curious about the bread as well. It is so perfectly square! What type of pan do you use?

  4. Ha, ha. I have French blood, though back a few generations and we definitely do like our bread! Great story! I love your renditions of your hubby’s accent. I have a friend who is married to a Lebanese man and whenever she tells us what he says she always has to deepen her voice and use his accent. So much fun. Thanks for sharing, Catherine! – Amy

  5. Momcat says:

    You should be a comedy writer! I could just hear my dear, late Parisian friend getting similarly upset about a situation that any other North American would have just shrugged off. Stop signs in Québec that said ‘arrête’ as, according to him in France the signs said ‘stop’ ” Chérie they are more CATHOLIC THAN THE POPE here”! On the other hand a well placed public washroom was gushed over for being ‘a sign of civilization’! Yet this man could have the most amazing patience with situations that would blow me up!! Anyway your chéri’s sesame seed scenario brought a laugh to my lips as well as a few sweet memories of a beloved and dearly missed friend.
    Have a great week!

    • Lynette Fayant says:

      I had the experience of the stop signs in France. What??? LOL!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Momcat. I think the public bathrooms in France are far superior to here in the States–the Canadian ones must rival the French ones. I swear, I’ve taken photos of public restrooms in France! I wish I was a comedy writer–then I would have more money to spend! XOXOXOXOXO

  6. Oh, this was a bonafide, LOL, read!

  7. Miss Bougie says:

    Ah yes’ bread! My husband is very particular as well. One day old baguette, perfectly edible, toasted or not, is to make “a noeud de cravatte “ , a tie knot, with. In other words, uh… honey, is there any other fresh baguette miraculously available in another part of the kitchen?
    Sometimes I miscalculate the amount of bread we need and I freeze some – mon dieu quelle horreur!!, Now that gets THE eye roll. I understand, as the bakery is just down the street from us, but why waste good bread, I ask? My daughter goes riding every week, so every so often I let the rest of the baguette dry and give it to her to take along to the horses. They at least are very happy recipients!
    On another note Bonaparte would never be able to find his way back to living permanently in France. He’s too entrenched in the American way of life. Who gets a refund for an eaten burger?! Not over here, you don’t. The thought even would never have occurred to me. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      B! OMG. I”ve frozen bread only to be severely corrected on the proper care of the levened dough! But oh boy, when I reminded the Frenchman that he has become too Americanized by asking for a refund on his meal, and that would never happen in France, he replied that “Zuh ri-funnnnnnnnd eez suh best sing abouwt America!!!!” I Swear I’m becoming French. We’re like the Franco-American version of the movie “Freaky Friday”!! XXOXOXOXO

  8. Haha. I love this story, you tell it so well. We love to visit France and always make sure we visit a McDonalds there. My huband thinks it is great that he can get a beer with his meal (something that is impossible here in the UK).

    • Catherine says:

      Jill, when we drive to St. Tropez or L’Estagnol from Theoule, we always stop at the McDo Cafe and I’m telling you, the coffee is great and so are the breakfast goodies. I won’t even eat at McDonalds here!!! XXOXOXOXO

  9. Nancy says:

    Whaaaaa, oh such a funny story! First I am happy for you that your eyes are still strong. But then, we talked about it before….a frenchman and McDo!!! Awfull combination! But to heat that food up at home???? My goodness, your frenchman should be ,,azzjeemd,,!

    • Catherine says:

      Nancy! He should be “azzheemd”..but he isn’t! He’s proud of his refund because he said it was Zuh Pronccipoul. It was all about the wrong bun! LOL!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  10. Judy says:

    Fabulous story! I love a man with principles! He NEEDED the right bun!
    I am really pleased to hear about your eyes, such a relief.
    Can’t tell you how much I love waking up to one of your posts!

  11. junedesilva says:

    Ah, Les français et leur pain! Still, can’t get over how much the French love McDos although the one in our little French town is far superior to any in the UK xoxo

  12. mon Dieu,quelle horreur ;)…a refund 😉

  13. Fiona says:

    Putain! He’d never get a refund for a burger that was ‘making its way through his intestines’ at McDos in France. Respect Bonaparte✋.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fi! Oh and he knows it. That’s one of the things he loves about America–the ability to get a refund on just about anything–even food you’ve eaten!!! LOL!! XOXOXOXO

  14. doodletllc says:

    Hilarious…I love this guy!…and You!…Together…look out!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Jeanne!! Are you back from China! I saw the gorgeous photo of your daughter dancing on the Great Wall–I hope she is healing!!! XOXOXOXO

      • doodletllc says:

        Hi Catherine…Yes. We’re back. Back at work, school, life. It was quite a journey, not easy, but an experience we have now to reflect back on. Her health is wonderful. She is a tough, brave, strong young woman. We also went to her orphanage…wow…after 15 years…the comment from the director and nannies was how self confident she is…how both girls are. What every parent wants to hear. Our next trip (hopefully, finally) to France. Will take a lesson from you and Bonaparte. 🙂

      • Catherine says:

        Oh Jeanne. Im so glad she’s fine! And when you get ready for France you know we are here to offer any travel advice!!!! XXOXOXOXO

      • doodletllc says:

        Hi Catherine…sorry I missed your note…work has been nuts and long hours…This girl is doing so, so well…back dancing, an A student, happy, healthy and no pain. A miracle. We are blessed. That photo of her on the Great Wall was taken by my younger daughter…blown up to 36 x 36 wrapped canvas, it is stunning. Makes me smile every time I look at it. This kid danced almost literally on top of the world…doesn’t get much better than that. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Bonaparte…maybe this will be our year to France. 🙂

  15. Margaret says:

    Glad your eye exam went well, those are some snazzy looking spectacles!
    What a funny post! But I have to agree with Bonaparte, the sesame seeds make a huge difference and I would have gotten a refund also because our McDonald’s is ALWAYS messing up the orders, like missing food also. I’ve sent so many complaints to them already and can’t believe the problems continue. And of course I continue to go because I too love the Big Mac. Not too proud of that though!

  16. Damien says:

    That is one, interesting loaf of bread😮! I never have seen a perfect shaped loaf of bread in my life😁👌🏾!

    • Catherine says:

      Damien! I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooo glad that you’re reading the blog!!! Welcome and thank you! And it isn’t my baking skills–it’s the Pullman loaf pan–makes a perfect loaf every time!!! XOXOXOXO

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