9 mai 2019. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid (The in-laws are coming). French Hostess Survival Phrases. Moving From I Run to I Have Run.

One Ticket One Ride –

Sweet, sweet life.  Last night at dinner I remarked “we are at the point in life with our parents that we only used to talk about in terms of one day.”

As this phase sees us move from child to caretaker, we hope to stand up to the examples our parents have shown.  Remembering how they supported their own parents with selfless love and with the all too scarce commodity of time.

I Remember The Time –

She has already said that this will be Jean’s last visit to the states.  I’ll believe it when I see it. Thirty-four years of visits.  Thirty-four years of tears and laughter.

He’s traveled the globe and I’m pretty sure he has completed most of the items on his bucket list.

This visit will be our family’s moment to gather and be together / ensemble. 

Mon Cheri – dans ma tête (in my head) you are young.  Dans ma tête so am I.  In my head nous parle french ensemble (we speak French together).  In my head tu aime ketchup (you like ketchup).

Jean’s French Military Kepi


Suz Learns French, While I Run –

Suz apprend le français, pendant que je cours.  Suz learns French, while I run.  Et j’aime ça!  And I like it!

This week as I ran, I worked on the perfect tense also known in French as passé composé.  Focusing on how to conjugate verbs to describe things that happened in the past.

Here’s the crazy part. I genuinely do not fully understand these concepts in English, so understanding them in French is très difficile.

The perfect tense or the present perfect tense is used to describe what you have done.  For example, I have run.   Je cours. J’ai couru.  I run. I have run.

Needless to say, I’ll be running and practicing this set of lessons for a while (maybe years).

Merci beaucoup pour ma nouvelle casquette.  Thank you for my new hat.  Customized by:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MonogramsAndSthnGlam

Mon Amie – merci pour ma nouvelle casquette


We Just Don’t Talk –

Jean will be here in a few weeks and my mind is scrambling.  Jean is the French man I met in France in 1985 and even though we’ve known each other for thirty-four years, we’ve never had a real conversation – we just don’t talk…

There’s plenty of background information if you’re interested and those of you who know us, know it’s complicated.  You can read more on our language issues here: August 11, 2017. Dear long run, you can bisous ma miche… And a pulse check from Suz Learns French.

I have my entire dialogue planned out for the big arrival.  I practiced it last night in my head and it went pretty well.  Flawlessly executed AND with the perfect accent (as heard in my head).

It’s going to be a different visit this year.  Our sweet, but feisty Jean will be 88 this June and a few health issues are trying to slow him down.  I don’t think they will stop him, but they will slow him.  Never one to quit, I see the adjustments he is making in his everyday life, from adding in an afternoon nap to walking just a tad bit slower.

Planning The Dialogue –

What’s your favorite French word or phrase?  I have several, but one of my fourteen go to words in French is quelque chose (meaning – something).

Quelque chose, it just sounds French.  J’aime dire – quelques choses. Pourquoi?  Parce que c’est un mot très utile.  Surtout si vous avez des visiteurs.  I like to say – quelque chose.  Why?  Because it’s a very useful word.  Especially if you have visitors.

Voudriez-vous quelque chose? (formal to mean – would you like something?)

If you are hosting guests, THIS is the most important French phrase to learn (beyond bonjour).

K.I.S.S Keep It Simple Stupid –

Trust me, when I say keep it simple and USE the formal (vous) form of you, until told otherwise or for at least 34 years.

Simple survival phrases for hosting French house guests:

  • Hello, welcome!  Bonjour, bienvenue!
  • Would you like something? Voudriez-vous quelque chose?
  • Do you want some wine? Voulez-vous du vin? 
    • always offering more wine
    • ensuring the house is stocked with wine
  • Would you like something to eat? Voudriez-vous quelque chose à manger?
  • Would you like something to drink? Voudriez-vous quelque chose à boire?
  • Good Morning, do you want some coffee? Bonjour, Voulez-vous du café ?
    • Now / maintenant
    • Later / plus tard
  • Would you like another coffee?  Encore café?  Not to be confused with un autre café, which means another coffee as in a different coffee.
  • Every day at 5pm.  Would you like your night cap? Voulez-vous du whisky?
  • And finally / Et enfin, the most important sentence you will ever need, while hosting a French guest in your home.  Would you like me to shut my mouth?  Voudriez-vous que je ferme ma bouche?

Note to self:  K.I.S.S.  Please for the love of French cheese keep it simple. Do not try to impress him, just keep it simple and don’t talk too loud.

My French language skills have improved somewhat over the years, but these very simple phrases are how I communicate with / avec Jean.

Each word lovingly spoken with a smile, a gentle touch on the shoulder, or sometimes a yell from across the house.  Mais, ces mots sont dits avec amour.  But, these words are spoken with love.

Mon Cheri – dans ma tête (in my head) you are young.  Dans ma tête so am I.  In my head nous parle french ensemble (we speak French together).  In my head tu aime ketchup (you like ketchup).



  1. Your French is amazing Suz. It is neat to read about Jean, who have been and continues to be an important part in your life. Hope you have an amazing visit, and great conversation this time around! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. adorable blog-post! ❤ gonna continue in French just for fun and to invite you to practice it: jolie casquette, aussi; btw, un ami américain en porte une bleue avec un logo de circonstance: make America INTELLIGENT again! 😀


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