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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I have to admit, I’m a bit tense about time.  Not just time as in, “I wish I had more” or “Is it already Friday?”, but as in being on time.  I do not hate being late; I am actually scared of it.
I have memories of worrying about getting to school on time and arriving at my job astronomically early.  My stomach still ties itself in knots if I’m late, and this makes me a horribly nervous traveler.

Growing up, my family was painfully on time.  My father would wait for us in a running car and threaten to leave without us if we weren’t in it when it was time to go.  Perhaps this is the root of my stress, but I’m not going to over analyze my childhood.  Who would? 

As a young adult, I dealt with this stress the same way I did as an adolescent; I arrived early for everything and then waited.  I calmly flipped through magazines, looked out the window, or just sat there.  I felt serenity in knowing wherever I was going, or whoever I was meeting, I was keeping up my part of the bargain of being there when I said I would.  Then, I moved to Southern France and my calm, my Zen, my how-to deal with not being late was thrown out the window.  No one, and I really mean no one, is on time.

Sadly, Christophe is as guilty of this as any other Southern Frenchman.  He is late for most everything, at least the way I see it.  The term “2-ish” is not 2 to 2:15 as I define it, but rather sometime before 3, or maybe 3:15 or perhaps later.  When we’re invited to lunch, he says it’s considered impolite to arrive on time in Southern France.  “You want to give the host time to prepare”, he says.  My stomach is knotting up just thinking about this.

He knows I stress, and he tried to reassure me that this is normal here.  No one is going to start the aperitif, let alone drive off without me, but I still can’t help it.  I have a need to be on time if not early.  But, time is different in France, at least the southern part of it anyways.  Apparently, there is an abundance of time here, so there is no need to arrive early and no need to stress; however, I am clearly the only one not aware of it.

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