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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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Unwritten Rules

When I was a kid, we always got in trouble if we put the ice cream carton back in the freezer when it was empty.  I guess the dumb thing was not throwing it away, but the truth is, I put it back in the freezer because I wasn’t supposed to be eating that ice cream in the first place.  If I put the ice cream carton in the garbage, I was busted.  When my father went for his after dinner snack, I’d just play dumb and blame one of my brothers or sisters.  “I don’t know”, I murmured, “I didn’t eat the ice cream”. 
The unwritten rule of the house was not to put the empty carton back; as I got older, I understood that.  I still ate the ice cream; I just learned to buy more before my Dad got home.Each society, or even household, has unwritten rules we must abide by; they keep peace in the house or help us become accepted.  It’s not easy learning these unwritten rules because they aren’t something you can pick up in a newspaper or text book.  They are something that needs to be experienced, and this comes by trial and error.
In France, everyone you pass says “bonjour”, regardless if you know them or not.  It’s a courtesy; it’s part of the unwritten rules of society, but, that’s an easy rule to pick up on.  There are others though, depending on the situation, which are not so evident.  They depend on the people and scenario involved.  These are make or break moments, and I am witnessing one in a very small circle of my life.  Should the unwritten rules be stated or should the situation be allowed to run its natural course?  It’s more complex than just buying more ice cream, but the lesson is the same: are you willing to following what is expected of you, or are you willing to pay the consequences?

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