Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Our elderly neighbor entered the building as I was getting my mail. I greeted him with “Bonjour” and he responded with a lovely “Bonjour, Madame” followed by a remark about étiquette. Yes, it would have been more polite to follow my salutation with “Monsieur,” but I’m not Gigi, plus he caught me off guard. Still perturbed when I entered my apartment, I decided to look up the word to make sure that I wasn’t mistaken. Thankfully, smart ass remarks don’t fall out of my mouth in French as easily as they do in English, otherwise we’d be moving again. It seems that étiquette also means identification tag or label. The kind man likely was making chitchat about the makeshift étiquette that I’d stuck to the outside of our mailbox while we await the proper one that is on order from the engraver (or he was telling me that it’s bad etiquette to stick a homemade gummy label to the mailbox).