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" It's fine to discuss money in France, as long as you're complaining that you don't have enough, or boasting about getting a bargain. "
" I hear people in their 20s describe the 40s as a far-off decade of too-late, when they'll regret things that they haven't done. But for older people I meet, the 40s are the decade that they would most like to travel back to. "
" Optimism - even, and perhaps especially in the face of difficulty - has long been an American hallmark. "
" Every time I pass a cafe, I imagine it being stormed by men with Kalashnikovs. "
" French schools follow a national curriculum that includes arduous surveys of French philosophy and literature. Frenchmen then spend the rest of their lives quoting Proust to one another, with hardly anyone else catching the references. "
" When we're in the U.S., my kids instantly start snacking all the time. I don't know how it happens. There is just more food available all the time. There aren't all these little different varieties of snack foods in France. "
" When people used to ask me what I missed about America, I would say, 'The optimism.' I grew up in the land of hope, then moved to one whose catchphrases are 'It's not possible' and 'Hell is other people.' I walked around Paris feeling conspicuously chipper. "
" In the Nineties, there was all this new research into brain development, with evidence saying poor kids fall behind in school because no one is talking to them at home, no one is reading to them. And middle-class parents seized on this research. "
" Childhood and adolescence are nothing but milestones: You grow taller, advance to new grades, and get your period, your driver's license, and your diploma. Then, in your 20s and 30s, you romance potential partners, find jobs, and learn to support yourself. "
" I don't like rules, because rules, you have to follow. "
" Being an immigrant mother can be hard, but being a poor immigrant mother is much harder. You don't generally get to sit in cafes polishing your French by reading 'Le Monde.' "
" The question on my husband's birthday is always, What do you get for the man who has nothing? "
" In my 40s, I expect to finally reap the average-looking girl's revenge. I've entered the stage of life where you don't need to be beautiful; simply by being well-preserved and not obese, I would now pass for pretty. "
" The French view is really one of balance, I think... What French women would tell me over and over is, it's very important that no part of your life - not being a mom, not being a worker, not being a wife - overwhelms the other part. "
" Babies aren't savages. Toddlers understand language long before they can talk. "
" Your child probably won't get into the Ivy League or win a sports scholarship. At age 24, he might be back in his childhood bedroom, in debt, after a mediocre college career. Raise him so that, if that happens, it will still have been worth it. "
" Early childhood offerings vary, but everywhere in Europe and in Canada, they're far more generous than in the United States. Ukrainian dads may not change enough diapers, but their government offers paid maternity leave; practically free preschool; and per-baby payments equivalent to eight months of an average salary. "
" Remember that the problem with hyper-parenting isn't that it's bad for children; it's that it's bad for parents. "
" My husband is so upset by President Trump's scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims, he refuses to even visit the United States. "
" I spend much of my free time listening to podcasts of American comedians talking to each other. "
" The main thing my bookcase says about me is that I'm not French. "
" Not many foreigners move to Paris for their dream job. Many do it on a romantic whim. "
" Although I wrote a book about infidelity around the world, I ended up concluding that fidelity is quite a good idea. "
" Usually, I'm so self-absorbed that my companion could be bleeding to death, and I might not notice. "
" In the English books, the American kids' books, typically, there is a problem, the characters grapple with that problem, and the problem is resolved. "
" As an American married to an Englishman and living in France, I've spent much of my adult life trying to decode the rules of conversation in three countries. Paradoxically, these rules are almost always unspoken. "
" Unlike the time sink of binge-watching a TV series, podcasts actually made me more efficient. Practically every dull activity - folding laundry, applying makeup - became tolerable when I did it while listening to a country singer describing his hardscrabble childhood, or a novelist defending her open marriage. "
" Eating among the French certainly affected me. After a few years here, I gave up most of my selective food habits. "
" The French aren't known for being hilarious. When I told Parisians I was interested in French humor, they'd say 'French what?' "
" The whole point of a commencement speech is to say something encouraging. "
" If you had asked me what I wanted when I was 12 years old, I probably would have said, 'To marry a plastic surgeon.' You can hardly blame me: I was growing up in Miami. "