Monday, February 13, 2012

Je râle. Tu râles. On râle.

Râler : v : contester, protester avec mauvaise humeur.

Râler is a very important word in French. It is simple enough to translate: to contest, protest with a bad attitude. 

 In other words to complain, bellyache, yell, grouse, moan, whine, gripe, bitch, grumble. Yet it is a very complicated concept for most Americans to embrace let alone apply to everyday life. Although I strongly dislike it I am finally learning to râler because it is a necessary evil in this land and if you want to get anything done you have to complain and cry and call and shout and if you do all of that louder and more often than the person next to you, then and often only then, you will be served. 

Thus it is with a mix of pleasure and discomfort that I am reporting to you that my efforts described in my recent post, Square Trees, which details my crusade to get a spot in a daycare, have paid off. Admittedly it is hard to say if the good news is thanks to my keen new skills as a râleuse (person who really knows how to râler) or if the fact that the city finally completed the remodel of our local daycare thus opening a flood of new spots... but guess what folks? Our little cabbage now has a spot in a crèche after 14 months of waiting patiently combined with 4 months of waiting impatiently.