French Holiday Special

Happy Bastille Day everyone. In case you’re not sure what Bastille Day is, it’s best described as the French version of America’s Independence Day, or Canada’s…Canada Fest or…Day of the Dead?…OK I don’t know what Canada has, but it’s probably awesome.

Anyway back to the French. Today’s holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille Prison (an act that helped a grand total of seven people gain freedom). The storming and subsequent burning of the prison are generally used as the point of reference marking the beginning of the French Revolution. While this oversimplifies things greatly it has the advantage of saving us from sitting through a lengthy discussion about French history.

We can use this time we saved when we skipped a history lesson to instead read about my favorite Bastille Day story.

Holidays With The Family

The peril of living away from my family is that I never, ever, ever remember holidays, except Bastille Day. I remember the Bastille because when I was a kid my mother took me to a party that was held on July 14th. It was supposedly in honor of the French Holiday but basically it was an excuse to spend a Saturday with friends (probably a better idea than burning a prison).

At the end of the party a few of my mom’s friends wound up stranded so she offered them a ride home. However, there were more people than there was room in the car, exactly one person too many.  Someone would have to be left behind and my mother suggested a coin flip between the two people not already in the car.

I lost this coin flip and asked how I was supposed to get home.

“You can ride with Mark”
– “Who is Mark?” I asked.
“The guy we met at the party, with the beer hat”
-“But he’s been drinking”
“You can help him find the house”

After a few minutes she reconsidered this and I got home safely.

I think my mom is great, now that I’ve survived to adulthood.



Filed under Family

6 responses to “French Holiday Special

  1. we’ve got Canada Day.
    apparently, when deciding to have a holiday celebrating all the goodness of the North… they didn’t both to invest in creating a committee for giving it a kick ass name.

  2. Just a few suggestions:

    Great White North Day, Eh?
    Take Off, You Hoser Day
    Toque Day

  3. the way you write, a movie plays in my head. could be your fat talent writing or i can relate all too well and the images are of my own childhood but with you playing the part of me.

    or not.

  4. Thanks for reminding me. Not a lot of French folks in Phoenix. However, I do have the distinction of knowing what Cinco de Mayo actually is. And it’s not Mexican 4th of July.

  5. melissa

    I’m so glad to know someone else was explaining Bastille Day this morning. I remember it because I had three years of high school French.

    It is the only thing I remember. One fifteen minute presentation about Charles de Gaulle that I had to read mostly phonetically ruined French for me for life.

  6. I remember Bastille Day ’cause it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary. (Forty years, today.)

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