paris-vs-nyc

The other day I was on the phone with my father, who I don’t call nearly enough (not calling enough is probably one of my biggest faults), and I was trying to communicate just how much I loved him.

“Papa, I love you!”

Silence.

“Uhhhhh, papa?

-Yes my dear?
- I love you!
- I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. What did you say?
- Ummm. Ok… I miss you!
- Yeahhhh, yeah yeah yeah. You too my dear. I miss you a lot.

No, my father and I aren’t having any relationship issues. We love each other! It’s just that in France, you don’t really say “I love you” casual like that. My father didn’t hear me right because “I love you” (how American of me) just didn’t register. In France, “I love you” is strong. “I love you” is dramatic. “I love you” runs deep.

Of course, there are degrees. Some families never say it amongst themselves (which isn’t to say they don’t love each other) and some families, like mine, only say it in special moments in life. Some say it often too, but in my experience, those families are more rare.

Imagine my surprise when a year after I moved to the States, I got an e-mail from an American friend who ended her note with “I love you!”

?

Wait, what? I spent a half-hour re-reading the e-mail.

“I love you,” wait like you “looooooooove me.” How exactly do you mean? Do you mean like, LOVE love? Like friend love? You love me like you want to kisssss me? You love me like a sister? You…

I started drafting a super long e-mail to her telling her that yes, I loved her too, but not in the same way, but that I wouldn’t let any of it effect our friendship and that I ….

And then I just let it go. And phew! I did good there.

Love or Love you is a common way to end an e-mail here.

Aaaaahhh, I was so dumb before.

I just didn’t get it. I still had a super Parisian way of speaking which I’m sure raised a lot of eyebrows when I first was assimilating into New York society. There’s a whole new language to master.

And just because you “love!” someone doesn’t even mean you necessarily want to have lunch with that person. Like here are a few examples…

In New York : “Oh my gaaaaaaad so happy to see you! How aaaare you?”
In Paris : “Hey! How’s it going?”

(It works with non-verbal communication too….
In New York : Big hugs.
In Paris : You give kisses on the cheek. If you really want to show affection for someone, you give them their cheek kisses with your hands on their shoulders. Wow. Best friends forever.)

In New York : “Wow. Your dress. OMG I love it! Where did you find it???”
In Paris : “Your dress isn’t bad (Not bad = pas mal = very French expression). Where’d you find it?”

In New York : “Garance? She’s my BEST friend!”
In Paris : “Garance? Yeah. I know her.”

In New York : “Beyoncé? She’s hilarious!!!”
In Paris : “Beyoncé? Yeah, she’s funny.”

Voilà. Now you know one of the most important and foolproof secrets to Parisian coolitude, which is not to “love” anything too much. Which is not too bad (hehehe), because when you say “I love you,” it carries a lot of weight.
And so if one day a Parisian comes up to you and says she “loves” your dress, I give you full permission to jump up and down and get the dress framed.

As for me, of course, I’ve adapted. I hug all the time, I love everyone, even my father, even my accountant (Love… Oops, I mean, Best!) and I’ve come to find it pretty fun. It’s cute, this collective vocabulary hysteria.

But here’s the thing. I’m a little confused.
In the US, when do you get to that big first “I love you”?
How do you end an email with your boyfriend?
What do you say between two lovers?

Patiently awaiting your responses….
xoxoxoxo

Love you!
Garance.

—————–

PS: It should be noted as well, our strange usage of “J’adore” in France. It’s almost become weaker, more casual than “j’aime.” I suppose we’re not so far from the New Yorkers…

PPS: This past time when Alex and Emily and I were talking about the titles for our mini-posts, without really thinking we called the new section “Obsessed!” Then one day we said, hmmm, ok, we love this pair of shoes but we’re not OBSESSED with them.
“Obsessed is a little strong. No?”
“What should we call this little section?”
“We like?”
“Interesting?”
“Pretty cool but don’t lose your shit over it?”

PPPS : If I ask you the question, I’ve got to give you my answer :
The “I love you” slipped out of Scott’s mouth the first day we kissed. I looked at him and said, “But Scott, you don’t say ‘I love you’ on the first kiss!” (How very French of me)
He told me : “What if I know I love you already?”
I was kind of shocked, but I thought, aaaaah, these Americans are too sweet.

Translation : Tim Sullivan


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263 comments

Add yours
  • Elisa November, 6 2012, 9:19 / Reply

    Sujet tres interessant Garance. Moi qui habite a Londres et suis entouree de culture anglo-saxonne, j’ai developpe l’envie de dire ‘je t’aime’ a mes proches, mais (malheureusement) en France, comme tu l’as explique, ca ne passe pas aussi bien, Ca fait meme un peu noeud-noeud, genre feuilleton americain. Ce qui est dommage, d’une certaine maniere. Je ne pense pas que la retenue emotionnelle soit une bonne chose. L’anecdote du je t’aime de Scott est ADORABLE.

    Elisa – Wandering Minds
    ourwanderingminds.com

  • andreea November, 6 2012, 9:19

    europeans are just plain cooler :P

    http://lilaesthete.wordpress.com/

  • Noémi / Trendy Mood November, 6 2012, 9:19 / Reply

    Trop mignon Scott <3 !

    Et sinon on ne se le dit jamais non plus avec mon Papa le "je t'aime", même si on le sait, et du coup parfois ça fait du bien de l'entendre et ça a beaucoup de force…

  • Alice November, 6 2012, 9:21 / Reply

    I think english is the same as french – potentially more so!

    Please take a look at my latest drawing (this time inspired by the wonderful Vivian Maier):

    http://aliceauxpaysenchantes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-sketch-from-vivian-maiers-photography.html

  • Alice November, 6 2012, 9:22 / Reply

    oh my god just read the ppps. that is adorable!

    Please take a look at my latest drawing (this time inspired by the wonderful Vivian Maier):

    http://aliceauxpaysenchantes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-sketch-from-vivian-maiers-photography.html

  • Ella November, 6 2012, 9:22 / Reply

    Je surkiffe ton style et ce mssage Garance!!!! Le ton léger mais très juste: j’adooooooore!!!
    XOXO
    e

  • Gigi November, 6 2012, 9:28 / Reply

    Super post Garance. Moi la retenue française me convient parfaitement, l’enthousiasme américain est hyper agréable au départ et puis au fur et à mesure, je ne sais plus distinguer un “happy to see you!” qui veut dire je suis VRAIMENT CONTENTE DE TE VOIR à une formule toute faite et qui n’a plus de sens. Et ça, ça me gêne … Quelle est la part de sincérité, de franchise ou d’hypocrisie? Bref c’est sans doute la qualité de la relation qui donne la réponse sans doute.

    x

  • abigail November, 6 2012, 9:30 / Reply

    if there was a prize for most amazing couple in the world it would go to you and scott. as someone who comes from one of those rare, love effusive families i probably use love even more often than your average new yorker but what can i say, there’s just so much to love here! obviously, LOVE this post!

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com

  • rose and William November, 6 2012, 9:31 / Reply

    So good, I love it Garance mmxxxx

  • Kim November, 6 2012, 9:31 / Reply

    Super ce post , me voilà à 3 semaines de mon grand départ aux états unis (Rhode Island :x). Merci de souligner ces points je suis en panique niveau ” relationnel pour se faire des amis”. Mais vous venez de me rassurer, je suis plutôt dans l’exagération et les superlatifs. Je vais me régaler hahaha.

    Ps: ici où là-bas il est évident que je reste fidèle à vos post ! :D

  • K November, 6 2012, 9:33 / Reply

    It came as a surprise to me when I finally got my dream designing job. I tried for months to be very serious, very sober, professional, practical, not a giggling, frivolous kid or a dramatic diva. The head honcho would say stuff like “We’re considering this new campaign. What do you think?” and I’d go “hm, yes, that works, I can do that.”

    Then at my mentor pulled me aside and asked “we’re concerned that you’re not enthusiastic about your job or head honcho’s ideas – are you okay?” at which point I had to laugh. Trying so hard to be a grown up when all the grown ups around me were hoping for just a little gushing. Now I’m a lot more free with the “I love it!”s and the jazz hands. Amaaaaaazing!

  • stylewaffle November, 6 2012, 9:34 / Reply

    An Irish “I love you”… I remember my now husband saying to me…. “I love you and if I change my mind I’ll let you know”!!!!! Translation: I love you. Now you know. Can we get on with it?!!! I thought it was so funny, but maybe that is because I am Irish too! p.s. we are still happy together and laugh a lot!

  • Jasmin November, 6 2012, 9:37 / Reply

    oh, Swiss people are very “French” in this manner =).

  • The New Diplomats Wife November, 6 2012, 9:38 / Reply

    love the pps story. yes, this whole love thing can be a bit confusing, but basically in France plus up what people say, in the US, dial down. But here’s the real kicker. If you’re in a relationship in the US and someone blurts out “I Love You”, then that’s it – gates down, you’re locked in, one love at a time. In France, I don’t think that’ necessarily the case – love doesn’t necessarily guarantee happily ever after, and it’s possible for love to exist in multiple formats simultaneously. That one always throws americans for a loop too.

  • So November, 6 2012, 9:38 / Reply

    Haha pour Scott! Mon petit ami est moitié américain, moitié français, et il m’a aussi sorti “je t’aime” à la fin du premier rencart! Je me sens moins seule du coup… Et maintenant ca fait plus d’un 1 ans qu’on est ensemble et que l’on se dit “I love you so so so much, like crazyyyy” tous les jours!

  • véronique November, 6 2012, 9:39 / Reply

    your PPPS makes me swoon
    ton PPPS me fait fondre.

  • Corinne November, 6 2012, 9:40 / Reply

    J’adore ce post. Vraiment mignon.
    Merci Garance.

  • Lucien November, 6 2012, 9:41 / Reply

    English version : OMG I JUST LOOOOOOOOOVE YOU GARANCE ! You’re so amazing I juste love your blog !!!!
    French version : (la clope au bec) Ton blog est vraiment coolos…

    Mais c’est tellement vrai. On dirait que les anglo saxon en général sont des espèces de père Noël sous prozac par moment et que les français, et pour le coup les parisiens plus précisément retienne toutes excitations par peur de chopper une crise cardiaque.

    Enfin bref.
    Love.
    (hahaha)

  • Joy November, 6 2012, 9:42 / Reply

    Being an aussie – I wasn’t used to using the “L” word too often either – but in the UK it’s waayyy more prevalent… and what’s with xxx at the end of messages?? I’ve only just started doing it after 9 years here!! Even my boss at work sends me xx

  • A November, 6 2012, 9:42 / Reply

    ha! i adapted when i was in the states too. so with me & my american friends it was more like “love ya” and the other would respond “love ya more” this was usually on the way out the car/door/party/email.

    Now that i am in France its once again a readjustment. In France its more like:

    “How was the pasta?????? Great right?????? right????”

    The parisians with a shrug of the shoulders: ” Pas trop mal/ Not too bad!…but i would add etc etc”

    So i had to give my french husband a cultural FYI (because i am from the caribbean.) When visiting my grandmother there….
    1) Do not shrug at her food while saying “not bad”!!!!…this will basically translate to ” oh its barely edible but i’m eating it anyway for you.”
    2) Do NOT tell her how you would have cooked/what you would have added to her dish.

    I also find that in the US while i could have gone up to a random woman and said ” your shoes are epic. what brand are they? where did you get them?”
    That is not so much done here in France. :(

    But on the other hand i have had a man i just met for 5 munutes ask me if i were breastfeeding my 5month old. (genuine curiosity on his part)
    And the other day i went into a boutique for the 1st time and the woman there actually came around the counter, unlocked my infant out of his stroller, lifted him up and kissed him (he loved it ) but in the Anglo world that would never happen, with a stranger. (it made me smile)

  • Vanina November, 6 2012, 9:42 / Reply

    Hahaha! Tres drole ce post! Au debut j’ai cru que votre papa faisait la sourde oreille pour entendre le je t’aime encore une fois :) .
    En tout cas tres d’accord sur toutes ces petites et grandes nuances dans l’expression du vécu de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique.

  • Dea November, 6 2012, 9:45 / Reply

    Aaaaah, so sweet!
    And you? When did you tell him you loved him?

    http://www.timelessdifference.com

  • Daiana November, 6 2012, 9:45 / Reply

    In Argentina it’s much like in France: we don’t go about saying “te amo” (I love you) to everyone. In fact, we have that little phrase “te quiero” (I like you) which is a more subtle version of “I love you”. For us, “I love you” means either you love someone because you have romantic feelings for them or because they are family or almost family. You say “te quiero” to your friends, also to your family, but we’re not always saying “I love you” to everyone. In my case, I only say it to my boyfriend, and to my family and friends I say “te quiero”. But I do love my family! Hahaha.

  • Mariama November, 6 2012, 9:46 / Reply

    Comme tu disais le “Je t’aime” parisien est si fort. Ca fait vraiment film romantique en noir et blanc. On ne le distribue pas à tout va, c’est comme un cadeau précieux. Posé à côté d’un “Je t’aime… bien.”, on sent la différence. Ca a quelque chose de vraiment total et irréversible.
    C’est plutôt surprenant au départ de recevoir des “You’re so sweet !” dans un cadre pro anglophone, mais ça fait pas de mal ! Par contraste, les français doivent sûrement passer pour des sans-coeur :-)

  • Brown November, 6 2012, 9:46 / Reply

    Quand j’ai déménagé de la Suisse au Canada, j’ai eu le même 30-secondes-de-panique quand une amie à moi m’a dit “love you” au bout de quoi… 3 hang-outs! Pourtant l’anglais est ma langue maternelle, mais ayant grandi dans un cadre complètement opposé à celui des américains, ça m’a semblé bizarre. Depuis, et ben je m’y suis habituée!

    Sinon je trouve que la différence entre le “love you” amical, et “love you” amoureux réside dans les petites choses comme la ponctuation. Parfois je finis mon love you amoureux par un “like” et puis ça le transforme en mini phrase “Love you like a …” Avec une touche d’humour, et ça passe comme une lettre à la poste :)

    XO!

  • ElsaMuse November, 6 2012, 9:46 / Reply

    I LOVE THIS POST, I LOVE U !

  • Clémence November, 6 2012, 9:47 / Reply

    Trop vrai!!!!
    J ai compris que j etais infectée quand j ai commencé à finir mes mails avec ” have a wonderful day!”
    J aime bien m américaniser de ce côté la c est tellement plus sympa et friendly!!
    Trop mignon l anecdote du je t aime de Scott!!!!

  • kitchen afternoon November, 6 2012, 9:49 / Reply

    To uote Henri le Chat videos, this super drole cat in Seattle who does French videos, Mon Francais is perfect.
    I do love the culturel differences of languages, and hete the homogenization.

  • Clem November, 6 2012, 9:53 / Reply

    Ah comme toujours Garance j’adore ces posts comparant mode vie américain et français (comme celui sur les New York and Paris nights ou sur LA bague de fiancaille ;-) Ayant vécu au New York pdt un an j’ai à peine eu le temps d’effleurer cette culture américaine. Continue, continue, continue pleeeeeeeeeeeease ! =)

  • JJ November, 6 2012, 9:56 / Reply

    I had a French boss and when I first started working for him, he would always say to my team’s design concepts and projects with, “not bad.” At first, I was going crazy!
    …..
    “what do you mean, ‘not bad??’” (mind you I had dark circles and baggy eyes to my chin from working long nights).

    Eventually I slowly started to understand that, “not bad” was a good compliment. Hence, the following thing you wrote made me laugh out loud…. merci Garance!!

    In New York : “Wow. Your dress. OMG I love it! Where did you find it???”
    In Paris : “Your dress isn’t bad (Not bad = pas mal = very French expression). Where’d you find it?”

  • Laura Ann November, 6 2012, 9:57 / Reply

    I think for young people, who especially overuse the term “I love you” or “I love that”, and who have developed their relationship psyche in a swirl of casual sex and friends with benefits and the like, the caveat is being IN love with someone. I’m not even sure what the precise discrepancies are between these terms but I have found that the later is used far less often and I think therefore carries more weight.

  • Vanessa November, 6 2012, 9:57

    I think that’s a good point. No one says IN love unless they really mean it. Since we only have one word to express different kinds of love, we use it like crazy, especially for non-romantic love.

    But, as far as saying “I love you” to friends vs. boyfriends, I would be quick to say it to my girl friends, but it still means something completely different if you’re saying it to your significant other. I wouldn’t use “love” at all before the first big “I love you.”

  • viola November, 6 2012, 9:58 / Reply

    When I opened your blog (which I do everyday, more than once), and I saw the illustration, the first thing I did was scrolling all the way down, to see how long the writing is (because I know your illustations are alweys followed by text). I do so because I love your videos, your photos, style editorials, and weekend inspirations that you post, but most of all (yeah, most of all…. I love the way you mooooooove :) just kidding), I love your writing.

    Hugs and kisses from Montenegro.
    V.

  • Sevan November, 6 2012, 9:59 / Reply

    Je vis aux U.S. depuis 30 ans et ai garde (presque) toutes mes habitudes francaises, surement parce que je suis tres, tres discrete et les grandes effusions ne sont pas mon genre. Je n’aime pas les tapages verbiaux, vestimentaires, etc….

  • Sevan November, 6 2012, 10:01 / Reply

    P.S. J’aime beaucoup le dessin et la fille a droite me fait penser a F.Hardy (en parlant de discretion…..)

  • The slow pace November, 6 2012, 10:01 / Reply

    Then, I’m kind of French. I always feel uncomfortable when someone says love easily…

  • Angela November, 6 2012, 10:02 / Reply

    I read this and laughed having just returned to London from 5 years in NYC, I too had a bit of a culture shock. Yes the word “love” is used very casually on many occasions. Maybe it’s my british stiff upper lip but I never really got use to it, but loved NYC! LOL!

  • Lan | angry asian November, 6 2012, 10:02 / Reply

    i grew up in a staid home, very bland, with not much emotions, very Asian. now i am super american and my emotions are extremes. i prefer it that way.

  • Pamela November, 6 2012, 10:03 / Reply

    In America, at least from my experience, if a man says he loves you and you know he’s not a scoundrel, he loves you. If a woman says she loves you, then that can mean any variety of things ranging from “I despise you and would like you to go away from me immediately”, to “I actually love you and everything you do”.

    Now, the real question is, what if the man says, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” What. Does. That. Mean!

  • Irene November, 6 2012, 10:03 / Reply

    Love the illustration! They are always so full of movement and vitality, beautiful line work. I would love to know what scale you work on and if it’s all done with various pens or maybe you add a little in Adobe Illustrator?

    http://illustratedlines.blogspot.co.uk/

  • jussilva November, 6 2012, 10:05 / Reply

    Garance! Pour pouvoir traduire , (comme il faut! avec le bon sens de la phrase ..) Aucun doute ! Il faut avoir vécu … Je dis bien vecu ! dans les pays dont tu veux faire la traduction… Je suis née au Portugal, j’ai vecue en France, j’ai passé quelques temps en UK …. Aujourd hui pour pouvoir traduire , dans mon agence de voyages vraiment ce que je veux transmettre a mes clients … J ai eu besoins de toute cette experience … Les mots Ha les mots !!!!

  • Olivia November, 6 2012, 10:05 / Reply

    Ah, le “gushing” américain! Moi aussi, quand j’ai débarqué aux Etats-Unis, j’étais étonnée de me faire des BFF (meilleurs amis pour toujours, c’est vraiment du langage de maternelle) si vite (vite désenchantée d’ailleurs). Une dizaine d’années plus tard, j’appelle mes copines américaines darling, sweetie, je fais des déclarations I love you, I am so thankful to have you in my life, j’essaie de garder mon détachement bien français avec les autres, une vraie double personnalité qui est fatigante d’ailleurs!

  • en-mode-parisienne November, 6 2012, 10:07 / Reply

    So cute and so true I love it
    Merci Garance pour ce joli post !

    http://en-mode-parisienne.com/

  • THE STEL STYLE November, 6 2012, 10:12 / Reply

    I’m also a little French in this regard!!! Love you illustration

    http://www.thestelstyle.com

  • LUVANA November, 6 2012, 10:13 / Reply

    c’est pas faux tout ce que tu dis là ! et j’aime beaucoup comment tu l’écris ! comme tout d’ailleurs!
    mais F..k tout ça biseshugbisoushugcâlinskiss
    La vie c’est l’Amour !

  • Lizz DeLera November, 6 2012, 10:14 / Reply

    Garance, how funny!

    Since I used to live in NY – but most of us americans in general (except for more conservative areas of the country) are quite demonstrative with our feelings. Maybe more italian-like, but not quite that much :)

    When i met my (now ex-) husband in NY who is Australian, on our first date i double kissed him hello, thinking that was just normal..and he told me later that he thought “wow! she must really be keen on me!” ha ha ha. I lived there in Australia for some years also, and was struck by the utter lack of emotions people showed each other – never would they say I love you – not even families to each other!? and CERTAINLY not physical. It kind of bummed me out! But I understand the concept of Parisian coolitude…and they were the same there. Everything was “underplayed, and understated,” in case it made you not cool to let your feelings slip out of their tightly padlocked box. Somehow americans have an “i don’t care what you think of me” attitude, almost an override button, about expressing ourselves profusely :-P

    And, my blog is up now… that I mentioned to you in Dallas!
    http://www.happenstancing.com

    And bon chance in L.A. with your hopeful project…all of our fingers crossed for you!
    ciao, lizz

  • francesca November, 6 2012, 10:14

    we italians don’t use “I love you” either. In fact, we have the “ti voglio bene”–>”I like you”–>”te quiero” and we keep the “I love you” only for the person we have romantic feelings for, and it may take months (if not years) before you find the courage to say it first.
    So yeah, we may be loud but we are very careful with words!

  • Ambyr November, 6 2012, 10:17 / Reply

    haha this is fantastic. I love you Garance. I’m pretty sure I’ve commented something about loving you like a million times in the past year alone. I think between male/female, love is used less unless it’s the “real love”. Who knows. We use all words too casually here and sometimes they lose their meaning.

    xoxo
    http://www.thewrittenrunway.com

  • Flavie November, 6 2012, 10:19 / Reply

    J’aime toujours autant ta manière de voir les choses et de les écrire, tu m’as bien fait rire Garance ! Je vis à Rome et je dois dire que les italiens sont assez expressifs aussi. Par exemple, les hommes se font des hugs comme les américains, alors que bon on part quand même du principe qu’un italien est très fier et se veut très viril, mais non ils s’enlacent pour se dire bonjour, et puis pour les femmes c’est pareil, limite même des fois on peut se demander si ça ne frôle pas l’hypocrisie tellement c’est fort !
    Have a nice day Garance ! Love u !!!

  • OLIVIA B November, 6 2012, 10:20 / Reply

    Merci Garance!!!
    Love xxx

  • Jo November, 6 2012, 10:23 / Reply

    Salut Garance, je me jette. ça y est, je laisse un commentaire. Je te lis tous les jours mais ne prends jamais le temps de commenter. J’aimerais ajouter un petit clin d’oeil mais en ne parlant pas des US mais des subtilités des langues en général. Mon homme est allemand, nous vivons en Italie. Nous parlons en français à la maison. Au début de notre relation, il m’écrit un SMS : “je t’aime beaucoup”. Je lui réponds ” Je ne suis pas ton pote :)”, et lui ne comprend pas ma réponse. A la maison, le soir, je lui explique la subtilité. Un “Je t’aime” est d’amour (souvent), un “Je t’aime beaucoup” est d’amitié (genre je t’apprécie). Sans oublier le “Je t’aime trés fort” qui, selon moi, peut etre d’amour ET d’amitié en meme temps !
    Quel bordel ! Che casino ! What a mess, no ? Continue à nous faire rire, Baci

  • Carin (Paris in Four Months) November, 6 2012, 10:25 / Reply

    This post is too cute! I love (and yes, I mean looove) it. And I can absolutely relate. I’m from Stockholm Sweden and I think that we’re very similar to the French when it comes to things like this. Now I’ve got a few American friends, and I’ve also visited the US a few times, but I still get a little (a lot) chocked when somebody I barely know calls me “daaaarling” och “sweeetie” for example. I think I’ve gotten the same “you said whaaat?!” face like you when you read that e-mail.

    But just as you, I’ve gotten used to this difference and now I actually find it kind of fun. I think absolutely think Swedish (and Parisian) people should adapt a little bit of this way. But I can also feel that it sometimes get too much, and perhaps a little bit fake? But most of the time it just makes me happy!

    I’ll stop talking now, sorry :) But than you again for this post. It’s always as much fun to read your cute little stories.

    All my best,
    Carin

  • Cristián Pavez Díaz (@cristianpavezd) November, 6 2012, 10:29 / Reply

    Semantics can be really tricky. It’s often hard to find the exact words we need to express our feelings. Thanks for sharing this very human aspect of you!
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile.

    http://www.carethewear.com
    Twitter: @cristianpavezd
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/uywe6X

  • kata November, 6 2012, 10:30 / Reply

    Very interesting ideas, as always… :)
    Regarding this subject, i think it depends also on the age.
    For example, here in Romania, elderly people, and even mature ones, do not usually express themselves very openly or freely. However, the young ones are almost all American like with regards to expressing their feelings in such a dramatic way (maybe because of the American culture presented in all the Hollywood movies and shows, they tend to asimilate behaviours).

    Kisses :)
    Kata

  • vanessa la belge November, 6 2012, 10:39 / Reply

    Garance ou comment expliquer la vraie vie de manière hyper drôle et touchante….

    Et pour le ppps: Ooooooh my gaaaaaad it’s so cuuuuuute !!! :)

  • Monsieur J November, 6 2012, 10:40 / Reply

    C’est horrible!!!
    J’avais jamais imaginé que je t’aime d’amour en anglais, c’était pas I love You.
    Pour la partie pratique culturelle, en suisse dans le milieu culturel, tout le monde te fais la bise, même des fois des mecs que tu connais pas. La première fois ça fait super bizarre.

  • Adrienne November, 6 2012, 10:47 / Reply

    Your PPPS=Adorable.

    I remember once when a co-worker’s wife came in and casually threw out the words, “Love you, girl!” as she was leaving. My reaction… “Love you too???” My thoughts… “Say what? But we just met.”

    My then boyfriend, now husband said I love you first. I however, didn’t say it back until I knew that I felt exactly the same way. I feel that it takes a special person to give those words to as far as love interests go.

    Thanks for another wonderful post, Garance!

  • Labériane November, 6 2012, 10:50 / Reply

    Excellent cet article, très doux et joyeux à lire ^^

    WE LOVE YOU GARANCE ;)

  • S November, 6 2012, 10:51 / Reply

    Haha this is soso great …
    I live in Finland :’) and the Finnish I love you (‘minä rakastan sinua’!) is a huge deal, so dramatic and strong and full of emotion and scary like if you sat it once you can never back out of it.. But as I study in English & use it a lot I have no problem saying how I ‘love’ this and that and xxxsmooches. But in my native language..NEVER EVER.

    The Americans are a bit intimidating tbh:!!

  • Juliette November, 6 2012, 10:51 / Reply

    C’est toujours passionnant le sujet des us et coutumes comparés France/US en matière de relations entre personnes! Venant d’une famille où, certes, l’on s’aime très fort mais où on ne se le dit jamais, c’est vrai que parfois, tel un gros Bisounours que je suis, j’aimerais bien qu’on puisse de temps en temps se lâcher un peu et exprimer tout ça franchement… Et en même temps, en y réfléchissant bien, je préfère que ce soit comme ça, parce que le “je t’aime”, quand il survient (et même si en l’occurrence c’est une fois tous les 15 ans), il est teeeeeeeellement précieux que c’en est bouleversant! De la valeur du “je t’aime” :)

  • Raph November, 6 2012, 10:51 / Reply

    J’adore la…non. J’apprécie beaucoup ! Non. J’aime ! Voila. J’aime (puisqu’il s’agit d’amour) la petite histoire avec Scott à la fin.

  • Toni November, 6 2012, 10:56 / Reply

    I have ALWAYS been over the top with expressions of Love, and it seems the world is just catching up! I live in and am from Key West, FL. But my blood is very Italian, maybe that’s it? In any case, I am SO glad I stumbled accross your site Garance, you always make me smile. And I love your illustrations and writing the best also! Oh, and I’ve always ended my writing with XO…even on my blog…so XO!

  • Céline November, 6 2012, 10:57 / Reply

    Même histoire en Irlande avec les hugges! Moi Belge, mariée à un Irlandais, quand j’ai rencontré sa famille et ses amis au début (et encore maintenant) je faisais des hugs avec un bisou un peu dans le vide, car ils ne font pas la bise en “huggand”, bon maintenant ils ont plus ou moins tous compris qu’avec moi il faut faire les deux! Ce n’est pas mal au fait! ;) En tout cas j’adoooooooooooore les hugges! (Mais je ne sais pas comment ça s’écrit! )

  • Lolita November, 6 2012, 10:58 / Reply

    Le première fois que je suis allée au USA la plupart du monde me paraissait très hypocrite. D’une manière ou autre je continue d’avoir ce sentiment en relation à ce que tu expliques, les relations personelles. Peut être que les européens, étant plus “froids”, avons du mal à dire a n’importe qui que nous les aimons. J’habite quand même en Espagne ou on est supposés d’être plus ouverts, mais au moins dans mon entourage ce n’est pas si évident. Ma mère est française et pas du tout affectueuse, mon père, espagnol, ne l’est pas non plus (au moins pas d’une manière gratuite et avec tout le monde) et moi pas tellement non plus. Mais ici on se salue toujours avec deux bises sur les joues, pas les hommes, qui se serrent la main (sauf exceptions) et on sait bien qui on aime ou pas et qui nous aime ou pas, pas besoin de faire de “théatre”, moi, ça me choque beaucoup.
    PS.: mon homme ne m’a jamais dit qu’il m’aime… mais il m’aime, je le sens, je le vois… comme mes parents ou mes amis.
    :-)

  • Me November, 6 2012, 10:59 / Reply

    J’adore tes Paris vs NY posts!
    Le jour où j’ai troubé ça, j’ai pensé à toi à l’instant ;)
    http://parisvsnyc.blogspot.com.es/

    Je crois que en Espangne on dit je t’aime pas très souvent, c’est plutôt comme tu dis pour France…

  • Jessie November, 6 2012, 11:01 / Reply

    we spoke on this exact topic in my psychology class very recently. it’s funny because americans are quick to show emotions, but these revokes meaning from the words that are being said. in other languages there are many words for love, which makes the phrase “i love you” seem so bold. in english we only have one and use it for several different connotations. while i wish american culture was a bit less direct and always so emotional, there is no way to change it without coming off as emotionless. what a good argument you raise garance!
    xx, http://wordbyjessie.com/

  • deb November, 6 2012, 11:07 / Reply

    In Portugal is just like in France! “Amo-te” is not a word that we say all the time… I think I’ve never even said it to my parents and brother, and of course I love them! It would be super weard if I said that to my best friend, I bet she would react as you did after that e-mail ahah Sure there are people that sai it easily, but is not so common here… For me is something that you say in really special moments to your family or boyfriend /husband…

  • LD in NY November, 6 2012, 11:11 / Reply

    Je me lance pour mon premier commentaire car je suis explosée de rire ce matin en lisant ce post! J’ai eu l’impression qu’il était écrit pour moi…Déjà presque 1 an que je suis installée mais je suis toujours aussi perdue entre toutes les effusions, les “qu’est-ce que je dois répondre?”, les “c’est bien cela qu’elle veut dire?”, les “mon dieu, mais, il exagère pas là un peu?”…quelle aventure!! Qu’est-ce que cela me fait du bien de voir que je ne suis pas la seule! Merci pour ce post mais aussi tous les autres qui parlent de ces douces différences :))

  • L November, 6 2012, 11:12 / Reply

    Being American but lived in Italy for a bit, I would use the word love (amore) and people would be kind of shocked. They would be like “You love a coffee? You actually love it???? As for me, I say love all the time, I think that the word has kind of morphed into something more. It’s understood that when someone yells “love you” at a friend doesn’t mean romantically, it means “hey, you’re my best friend” or something. I also think that here in America that hugging is like kissing on the cheek in Paris. The only time that Americans kiss is when we real love someone. We are much more likely to hug.

    As always, love the post,
    - L

  • capucine November, 6 2012, 11:12 / Reply

    encore un post que j’ai bien fait de lire jusqu’au bout du bout!!! so chute !

  • Justine November, 6 2012, 11:13 / Reply

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kx1UK7ACmw&feature=related

    HILARIOUS!!!!!! Surtout quand on est français!

    ps: N’y voit pas un parallèle avec ton père, que je ne connais pas et même je ne me permettrai pas, mais voir des français débarquer à NYC sans grossir les traits, bref un bon film du dimanche soir!

  • Sunny Side November, 6 2012, 11:16 / Reply

    T’as vraiment le chic pour cibler tes posts et celui-ci est criant de vérité. Quelle confusion la première fois qu’une copine espagnole très expansive m’a appelé “chérie” tout le long de la journée et a signé aussi ses mails I love you . Après j’ai comprris qu’elle appelait tout le monde “chéri … quant aux “je t’aime” c’est une chasse gardée et secrète ! Que Scott te le dise si vite est très touchant ! Les photos du Vogue brazil sont si belles et cette jeune femme mannequin rayonnante! beau travail.

  • Alexsfashion November, 6 2012, 11:25 / Reply

    HAhaaaa-that’s so funny…I guess if you’re calling the French people un-ethustiastic the Germans must be half dead! :D We always think French people are so open and especially always with the “bises and bisous” at the end of mails!
    xoxo Alex

  • Devon November, 6 2012, 11:26 / Reply

    Hier, la vendeuse à la papeterie au Marais m’a regardé comme si je suis folle…parce que j’ai dit “oooh. j’aime bien ces couleurs! (des cahiers)”…
    Evidemment, je dois dire que “les couleurs ne sont pas mal” la prochaine fois….

    http://www.informedstyle.com

  • Mariatru November, 6 2012, 11:36 / Reply

    Yeah, I understand you so well.
    I had a funny moment in America. I have a friend who spoke Russian but had been in US for some time. One day we were talking and BAM! – he said he loved me in Russia. But after a long second he hurried up to explain – that he didn’t LOVE love me, but loved me in an American way. It was so funny! Fortunately for both of us I had been in US for two years and new by that time that love didn’t mean love.
    I didn’t feel very comfortable saying left and right though. I saved it for special moments. That way no one got confused.

    -From Russia with Love. xoxo

  • Vibri Wulandari November, 6 2012, 11:37 / Reply

    I’m with you Garance. I grew up in Indonesia where (by reading your post) the society sort of has similar ways of expressing themselves. I’ve lived in Canada for 16 years, but I don’t and still can’t easily blurp out “I love you”. I still feel weird when some of my girl friends say that to me. I usually just smile because I cannot give the same response “I love you too” unless I really mean it.

    I also never say “obsessed” with shoes or clothes.. because I don’t. I like them, but I know that sooner or later they will become passé, and I will move on to the new styles. I can say “obsessed” to food because the obsession is usually very long lasting (more than 3 years), while for fashion 2 seasons are perhaps max.

    http://www.chasingruins.com/

  • Rachelle November, 6 2012, 11:40 / Reply

    Oh mon Dieu, c’est si vrai, au Etat-Unis les gens sont plus affecteux. Dire Je t’aime est un “BIG DEAL” pour moi. je viens d’Haiti est on est un plus influence par la culture Francaise mais je me suis rapidement adapte aux manieres americaines.
    xo
    Rachelle
    http://pinksole.com

  • Catherine November, 6 2012, 11:43 / Reply

    Nice post! :- ) I never say ‘I love you’ to my family. I think some people in Holland do it, we just don’t. We love each other anyway.
    I used to say it a lot to my ex-boyfriend, who was from Brazil. I rarely ever say it to my boyfriend now, who is Dutch, although I do love him. I said it when we first had sex, and we have said it about four times since then I do end my messages to him with ‘love’, not with I love you though. I do say it to my friends (the girls).

  • steph November, 6 2012, 11:55 / Reply

    Hey Garance !

    I am still stuck at work , bored,……… it’s 6 pm in Europe ,
    .your post brought me back to life and put a smile on my face,
    you are a GENIUS !!!
    See you in Switzerland maybe , one day ???? i know , middle of nowhere sucks .

  • yas November, 6 2012, 11:56 / Reply

    Je n’est jamais dit “je t’aime” c’est très bizarre ça me fait peur même si je peut aimer une personne il y a un coté comme si on se donner a cette personne . je travailler avec une suédoise qui était très expressive dans les mots et les gestes et sa ma toujours gêner . Tu sais pas si c’est pour de vrai ou juste une posture social .

  • Gabrielle November, 6 2012, 11:57 / Reply

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m Swiss and hey, we not only have a lot of ice at the top of our mountains, saying “I love you” and in general showing your feelings, is not very “Swiss”, I think there we are quite similar to French people, everyone want’s to be super cool all the time. I made exactly the same experiences like you when I was in the US. And also in Australia everybody is so much more open. There you know the whole life story of the woman at the post office, just after posting one letter. And you know what? I loved it! I became so comfortable with that attitude when I lived in Australia and the US. But at first I was somewhat perplex too, being called darling all the time just doesn’t happen in Europe that often ;-) But after a while I started to appreciate this lade back attitude and didn’t judge it as superficial anymore.

    And what do you say to your boyfriend…. maybe like…. I love you to the moon and back …..

    and hey when we are talking about that….. I love you Garance, thank you for inspiring us every day! xxx

  • Briana Rose November, 6 2012, 12:03 / Reply

    I loooove how the frenchies always say “impossible!”.

    “Can we move these two tables together?”…”Impossible!”
    “Can we sit in that booth over there?”…Impossible!”

    I know when I’ve won the frenchie over when they wink at me or smile over their shoulder while walking away, when no one is looking. God forbid.

    Impossible!

  • Hûlya November, 6 2012, 12:04 / Reply

    J’adore ce post! Je m’y reconnais, ma famille est un peu comme la tienne. Chez nous, on se dit très très rarement je t’aime mais quand on le fait c’est fort.

  • sev November, 6 2012, 12:06 / Reply

    C’est trop chou ET c’est très intéressant !!
    Alors c’est clair que je ne comprends jamais le OH MY GOODD, peut être parce que sorti d’un contexte. De loin ça semble tellement superficiel et faux ! Mais aussi tellement plus gai ! Alors je sais pas je suis partagée :)) Mais les parisiens sont tellement tristes et cyniques, que je préfère les comportements intermédiaires au final.

  • lovlov November, 6 2012, 12:06 / Reply

    In America, when you express romantic love versus platonic love, the difference is in the tone of voice and body language.

    For example, when you say “love” to a friend or compliment a dress, you say it in a fast, overly excited, higher-pitch way.

    When you say “love” to a lover, you lower your voice, say it a bit more slowly and make eye contact. That is, for the first time you say it. After you’ve acknowledged you romantically love one another you can start saying it in a more casual way and know what it means.

  • Curieuse et futile November, 6 2012, 12:08 / Reply

    Ce qui ne peut pas ressortir d’un dialogue écrit, c’est le ton et le niveau sonore employés par les américaines pour s’extasier de la sorte!!!
    J’avoue qu’aprés un an à NY, ca ma frise toujours les oreilles et que je ne peux pas m’empecher de me moquer un peu avec les copines francaises!!! OMG!!!

  • Chelsea November, 6 2012, 12:11 / Reply

    Oh, I’m going to be very American and say I love this post!!

    I spent time living in France and had to adapt to all the nuances of coolness in the language and tone everything down… It’s fun acting la Parisienne, but in my heart I had so much suppressed enthusiasm!!

    The American way, while not totally sincere and hard to read, can be fun too : )

    Love love love your blog (not in a romantic way, don’t worry)

  • Serdane November, 6 2012, 12:13 / Reply

    C’est clair ! On est plus pudique ! J’ai une amie américaine qui vit à Paris et à chaque fois qu’elle me voit elle saute au coup comme si on s’était pas vu depuis … 300 ans. La première fois, j’était terrifié et j’ai poussé un cri en croyant qu’elle allait me taper. Maintenant ça va, j’ai réussi à m’habituer à cette expression ( un peu trop ) étalée d’amour !

    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  • Sophie November, 6 2012, 12:13 / Reply

    Ah Garance tu m’as fait bien rire! Si je dis “je t’aime” à mon père je crois aussi qu’il y aura un grand vide dans la conversation et même qu’il ira demander à ma mère si je vais bien à Paris, que peut-être je devrais prendre des vacances et venir faire un tour à la maison… : ) Je crois qu’il s’inquiéterait pour moi, ce qui est dingue non?

  • Alice November, 6 2012, 12:15 / Reply

    This is so interesting. I knew people saw americans as being “open” and “friendly,” but I guess I never realized part of this was our effusiveness/outgoingness! Hm! I am putting on my armchair cultural psychology cap.

    Another cross-cultural comparison: I am not terribly comfortable with hugs, except with those I am close to, but when I go to Peru (where I work) I am still uncomfortable with the cheek kisses! It seems *more* intimate to me. I can sympathize with your efforts to figure out the “rules” of social forms that are part of politeness, and feelings of complete discomfort! Like I know I physically just have to do it, but first I have to override my brain! Sometimes the override doesn’t work smoothly, and I end up with this terrible half-way-there-lunge! How embarassing.

    P.S. cute Scott story! That is very sweet.

  • Murielle November, 6 2012, 12:16 / Reply

    Aaah le PPPS … trop beau !
    En effet, pourquoi on ne pourrait pas se dire “je t’aime” la première fois, si on a déjà eu beaucoup de contact par mail ou téléphone pendant des mois avant la première rencontre…

  • Nadia November, 6 2012, 12:18 / Reply

    Hahahahahaça me rappelle les sketchs du Compte de Bouderbala, personnellement je n’ai jamais été confronté à la très très très bonne humeur des américains, en France ils sont froids mais ils te font quand même la bise, se faire la bise je trouve ça intimiste ce côté joue contre joue, moi je préfère les HUGS, mais cette extravagance aux Etats-Unis elle est sincère Garance ? Parce qu’en France les gens qui exagèrent quand ils s’expriment, ça s’appelle des faux culs!!!! xoxoxoxo

  • sandra November, 6 2012, 12:24 / Reply

    C’est tellement vraie ce que tu décris ici…j’ai habitée à NYC et faut du temps pour s’y faire à tout sa mais au bout d’un moment le trop tue le trop, en clair parfois il m’est arrivée de penser si tel ou tel personne était vraiment sincère car dans l’éxageration des sentiments on sait plus ou on en ai au bout d’un moment, surtout avec ma fille (qui au passage est la plus BEEEEEELLLLE!!! j’éxagère pas.. métisse au yeux vert y a qu’à voir!!) les gens était limite hytérique OMG YOUR EYEEES Like a diamond pretty girl…on s’est plus si c’est du lard ou du cochon, moi je reste Parisienne et je dis t’aime à ceux qui me sont chère ce mot est top importante pour nous Française.

    Love you Garance….LOL

    Sandra

  • l'heure d'été November, 6 2012, 12:30 / Reply

    Coucou,
    Je commence par l’anecdote avec Scott, elle est craquante, je fonds !
    J’apprécie ce grand écart entre ces deux pays… Il me met le sourire au lèvres, même si mes réflexes de pudeur reprennent le dessus au bout d’un certain temps. On ne se refait pas… Quoi qu’il en soit, je suis d’accord, un “je t’aime” frenchy ne se donne pas à tort et à travers, surtout dans les familles. Bon, je dis ça, mais je n’arrête pas de dire “Je t’aime” à chacun de mes enfants. Usante, la maman qui cherche toujours de bonnes excuses pour avoir des câlins…
    Pour terminer, juste un détail, j’adooooore ton billet !
    Ou alors encore : Oh My Gaaaad ! Quel amour de billet !
    Ou alors, plus parisien : Oui, pas mal, ton billet.
    ;o) With love,
    Nathalie

  • G November, 6 2012, 12:30 / Reply

    Please don’t become too ‘Americanizzzzed’ Garance! It would be painful to watch ‘Pardon My French’ with you squealing “Oh! My! Gaawwwwdddd!” all the time. I’m Australian, and I’d say generally Australians are fairly reserved with our more sensitive emotions (cut off an Aussie when driving however, and watch the emotions fly!), but it’s not as though we avoid them, we’re just quiet about it. For example, my grumpy, taciturn Dad and I just say, ‘Luv you, and it almost sounds like a throwaway comment, but both of us are aware of how very deep that statement runs.

  • Axelle November, 6 2012, 12:31 / Reply

    Ah les confusions linguistiques… J’en ai vécu des moments comme ceux que tu racontes!
    Personnellement, je préfère les américains. Je trouve cela tellement important de pouvoir dire aux gens à qui on tient qu’on les aime sans pour autant que ce soit aussi cérémonial qu’en France… Et donc tant pis, je le fais, même si je passe pour une dingue!
    xx

  • Russell Beazell November, 6 2012, 12:32 / Reply

    To differentiate between the enthusiastic love of everyone and the intimacy of a relationship, I speak to my lover in a mixture of two forms: a direct, no bullshit realism that few speak in the US, and a more intimate and quiet expression of love in which we know all others are purely business. The love of everyone else is when you are on stage, and the intimate love in a relationship is back stage.

  • Laetitia November, 6 2012, 12:33 / Reply

    Dans ma famille, (du côté de mon papa) (les Corses) (si tu savais combiiiiiien j’AIME -un J’AIME IMPORTANT, à la française- quand tu parles de la Corse), on se dit souvent je t’aime. A la fin d’une conversation au téléphone avec lui, ma grand-mère, mes tantes… Des bisous, et puis “Je t’aime”.
    Simple, pur, sincère. Juste pour se rappeler qu’on ne s’oublie pas, parce-qu’on le sait mais que ça fait tellement du bien de l’entendre.

    Et j’ai beaucoup AIMÉ ce post. Avec un caractère aussi entier que le mien, je me dis que je dois avoir un fond de New-York en moi… ;))

  • Elena Stein November, 6 2012, 12:38 / Reply

    Hi Garance,
    I’m spanish and in Spain is the same than in France, i love means I LOVE YOU, but i preffer this way because when you use “i love you ” to much lost its original meaning.
    ps: i love your blog!
    xo

  • Marie November, 6 2012, 12:38 / Reply

    Such a great post – the comparison of Parisians and New Yorkers is a very interesting subject, I’d love to read about it!
    I’m actually German and we’re so much like the Parisians, I never figured that even though I think I know them quite well. I’d say we’re even more reserved….. “I love you” in German means so much, we’d never just say that to a friend, not really to our family and certainly never to just any stranger. But we have other expressions to express our love to those who are dearest to us whilst “I love you” is really just for lovers over here. And we really love to hug! Anyone, even people we met five minutes ago!

  • Miro November, 6 2012, 12:42 / Reply

    Haha very nicely said Garance!

    I think all us Europeans we know what you talking about:)

  • Laurène November, 6 2012, 12:48 / Reply

    Merci Garance !!!! ce post est ma révélation. Je vis à NY depuis deux mois et mes deux roommates n’arrêtent pas de me dire I love you (text, email, aloud…). Je commençais à être à court de subterfuges (yeahhh me too, you’re so sweettt voire ne rien répondre du tout et me sentir très mal à l’aise). Je suis désormais prête à dire I LOVE YOU

    xx

  • mad November, 6 2012, 12:50 / Reply

    I guess it is true for the whole “old Europe” (I am from Latvia) – we are more reserved and we assign more significance to revieling our deepest feelings. and sometimes it comes from the language itself – how versatile it is.

    I have a wonderful example – Americans saying “thanks for saving my ass” vs Latvians (and Russians even more) saying “thanks for saving my soul”…:)

  • CUPCAKE November, 6 2012, 12:50 / Reply

    Il est trop chou Scott.
    Moi j’hésite pas à dire à mes proches que je les aime.
    C’est toujours quand il est trop tard que l’on regrette de ne pas l’avoir dit.

  • titou November, 6 2012, 12:53 / Reply

    Bonjour Garance,

    Ton blog est super…. j’adore te lire.

    Pour ma part, il ne faut pas hésiter à dire je t’aime aux gens que l’on aime car on peut le regretter quand il est trop tard. J’ai perdu mon papa il y a presque 2 ans et je regrette de ne le lui avoir pas dit car nous étions trop timide avec nos sentiments.

    L’amour….langage universel ;-)

    Christelle

  • cath November, 6 2012, 1:04 / Reply

    ouh là, il a pris des risques Scott, même aux US, on ne dit pas à qq1 qu’on l’aime tout de suite (même si on le sent, qu’on est en train de tomber amoureux -cf le premier épisode de HIMYM, Rory et Dean dans Gilmore girls, etc, dans plein de séries américaines même si on ponctue les échanges de ‘love you, on ne dit pas ça au cours d’une date, donc bravo Scott!!
    Moi je dis à mes enfants 11 et 7 que je les aime plus que tout, on quand ça ne va pas, de ne pas oublier que je les aime; eux en revanche ne le disent pas trop, et avec mon mari, au bout de 16 ans de vie commune, on ne se le dit presque plus; c’est dommage, mais c’est bien français!
    Merci Garance pour ce post génial!!

  • Lila November, 6 2012, 1:08 / Reply

    This post is really interesting, as languages are very interesting themselves! And yes, it is true that the word love nowadays is highly devalued, some people over use it and give it a different meaning to what it actually menas. I like your pov as a french native, it is really intresting how a little word influences your daily life and your personal relationships, and it is very cute the way you express yourself. As for me, being half argentinian and half italian, I like to call my friends ‘amore’ either male or female, and they are used to it. The first time I said I loveyou to my boyfriend was really meaningful for me, but then I got my heart broken in a million pieces and now I use it more cautiously in that field because I know that when U say I love you, my heart is on my sleeve. And as far as family goes, I barely use it, I rather demonstrate it through actions than through words- besides I know rhat if I say that to my mother I will start crying!!!

  • petit soleil November, 6 2012, 1:09 / Reply

    ahahaha!!! excellent comme toujours! tu m’as fait trop rire garance!! OH MY GAAAAD!! you’re SO AMAZIIIIIINGGGG!!!
    c’est trop vrai ce que tu dis, et qu est ce que je kiffe le cote expansif des new yorkais, c’est telement plus chaleureux, entrainant et joyeux que la mine triste et le regard froid circulant a paris ^^, pour moi qui suis extravertie et joyeuse, c’est un vrai bonheur pour moi quand je suis a new york!!
    alllez xoxoxoxo
    LOVE YOU

  • danielle November, 6 2012, 1:13 / Reply

    I have friends who say “I love you” to EVERYONE, as a form of goodbye and it drives me crazy. I think I prefer the French way. My boyfriend and I have made up special words and sign our emails/texts with those or sometimes just text each other with the word to show we’re thinking about each other.

  • Nora November, 6 2012, 1:18 / Reply

    my dearest Garance,

    just stay as European as possible :) I don’t dislike you!

  • Eva November, 6 2012, 1:18 / Reply

    Recognize these conversations. Here in Holland (or at least in my family) we’re also not saying I love you a lot. We should do that more often though, before you know it it’s too late. Europeans are just a little more sober I suppose… xx

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.blogspot.com

  • madame b November, 6 2012, 1:31 / Reply

    I am a born and bred New Yorker and approach life more like your French Side although I have had my moments of jubilation. I think this over the top “hysteria” is part of a revolt for most people to stop using their brains. I often talk to people and think everyone is from “the valley” in California like the girl from Clueless. I prefer a balance to enthusiasm….maybe the French take it to one extreme and the Americans take it to another….maybe if we take a little from one another it is a better balance. What do you think?

  • Nicole November, 6 2012, 1:37 / Reply

    I agree. American way of expression is a little bit too extreme, such as “OMG I LOVE IT” (with eyes popping and slow-motion mouth movement), what it really means is just “oh, I like it.”

    I come from a culture which is more similar to the French coolititude. As you could imagine, the first time I got compliment from a North American, I was like…really? I never knew this dress was that amazing…

    Now I got used to it and when people giving me that kind of exclamation marks, I have my inner peace.

  • Solexine November, 6 2012, 1:45 / Reply

    Ha, ha ! C’est vrai que c’est drôle ces différences; paradoxalement, on se demande d’où Paris -et la France- tirent cette réputation de ville /pays de l’amour et des amoureux du coup !… Le souci, c’est qu’aux U.S -du moins le souvenir que j’en ai, parce que ça commence à remonter-, cet enthousiasme ultra exagéré et feint ( ?) est pratiqué tous azimuts : comment faire la part des choses entre la manifestation sincère d’amitié d’une personne qui te veut du bien, et l’amabilité hystérique d’une serveuse de restau qui te demande avec un air extatique si toi et ta famille allez bien aujourd’hui, et qui est même à la limite de te dire “je t’aime” pur que tu commandes un plus gros steack ;-) … ( attention hein, je ne dis pas que c’est nul les serveurs aimables, et même, s’il pouvait y en avoir un peu plus en France ;-))
    Allez, sur ce, BIG LOOOOOOVE ! ;-)

  • Hajiba November, 6 2012, 1:46 / Reply

    C’est bien vrai !
    Il y a quelques années, j’ai reçu une carte de ma tante (avec qui j’ai toujours vécue et qui m’a élevée) où elle m’a écrit un “je t’aime”. Autant dire que ce fut un vrai choc. Je l’ai relue 5 fois et j’en garde un souvenir émue. Pas parce que je pensais qu’elle ne m’aimait pas mais parce qu’on n’a pas, mais vraiment pas l’habitude de ce dire ce genre de choses.
    Je sais pas si c’est une question d’éducation ou de pudeur mais c’est comme ça.
    Et c’est pareil avec mon oncle et mes cousins, à qui je ne fais jamais la bise par exemple. Pas parce qu’on en a pas envie ni qu’on s’aime pas mais c’est comme ça. On en éprouve pas le besoin.
    Pareil avec mes parents à qui je n’ai jamais dit que je les aimais mais qui je sais le savent comme moi je sais qu’ils m’aiment. (Par contre, on s’en fait des câlins mais ça doit être culturel (ils sont marocains))
    Et c’est aussi vrai avec mes amis, on ne se dit pas qu’on s’aime, on le sait c’est tout.
    Et j’ai remarqué que je suis “tactile” , seulement avec les gens que j’apprécient vraiment. Alors les hugs américains à tout vas, je ne pourrais vraiment pas.
    Enfin, j’ai remarqué, que les personnes qui disent “je t’aime” facilement (du moins plus facilement que les autres) dans une relation amoureuse sont issus d’une famille qui se le dit régulièrement. Alors que les personnes comme moi, on en mets du temps (mais ça c’est une autre affaire)!!

    (Bon, j’ai fini d’étaler ma pensée auto-psychanalyste)

    PS: C’est aussi vrai avec les “bisou”, je n’arrive pas à en écrire ni à le dire à des connaissances ou à des personnes que je ne connais pas..
    Mais Garance, vous venez d’ouvrir une auto-analyse importante !
    (Bon, là c’est vraiment fini)

  • ines November, 6 2012, 1:46 / Reply

    HAHA je vis a Paris depuis 1 an et “la main sur l’epaule m’a bien fait rire…” c’est ca! puis le ” je sais que je t’aime deja…” Mais Garance, c’est plus que mignon enfin!!! ;) love love love love love kiss kiss smack slurp

  • belva November, 6 2012, 1:57 / Reply

    I LOOOOOOVEEEE this post, you’re sooooo Perfect!!!!!!!!!!
    bon c’était juste pour jouer ma new-yorkaise deux secondes ;), mais ton post n’en reste pas moins super réussi, c’est le genre de post qui m’a fait te découvrir et t’admirer et vu qu’il se font de plus en plus rare, je les déguste avec encore plus de plaisir (oui il est 19h33 chez nous et je commence à avoir faim :D)!
    Dans ma famille, on ne se dit pas je t’aime comme ca, c’est implicite pas besoin de formuler ce mot à bout
    de champs et je trouve ca bien comme c’est, mais résultat le mot “je t’aime” est pas tabou pour moi, mais disons important.

    Mais il y a un phénomène qui est né chez les ados ces dernières années, les gens se dise de plus en plus je t’aime à tort et à travers, la plupart du temps c’est via les réseaux sociaux donc à l’écris( c’est beaucoup plus facile), mais à l’oral c’est moins répandus.
    Et puis les filles se disent beaucoup je t’aime entre amis. Par exemple j’ai une de mes amis qui a toutes les occasions me dit “tu sais que je t’aime”, oh début en bonne parisienne j’étais “shock” puis j’ai commencé a m’habituer mais je répond rarement “je t’aime aussi” j’esquive par “moi aussi”.
    Tout ca pour dire qu’il y a un vrai paradoxe avec le mot “je t’aime” chez les ados d’aujourd’hui!
    On se le dit à l’écrit, à l’oral on se le dit mais pas avec son sens premier profond, et entre fille et garçon c’est même plus ” je crois que je l’aime” c’est “je crois que je la kiffe”!
    Heureusement qu’il reste des ados comme moi XD!
    Et je suis d’accord avec sur ce que t’as dit sur le “j’adore” , à noter que l’on dit souvent ” J’adoooooore ce groupe” mais pas “J’aime ce groupe

    Après pour en revenir aux New-yorkais entre-nous je trouve ca un peu pathétique! C’est comme dans ces talk-show americain ( ophra, Tyra banks etc) tout est excessif, et ca sonne la plupart du temps “faux-cul” que ce sois dans le tragique ou la comédie, surtout dans le tragique on a droit en vois tu en vois là à des “Oh God-main sur le coeur- it’s so saaaaaad!!!!!!! I understand you – petit larme virtuel effacé- etc”

    xoxo
    Belva

    madhattergirls.blogspot.fr

  • CRISTINA November, 6 2012, 1:59 / Reply

    Moi, je pense dire « Je t’aime ! » pour un vrais européen c’est une grande chose, c’est tabou, même si on désire de le dire ca reste dans la gorge et ca sorte pas. Et on aime profonde comme n’emporte quelle être humain. Moi, je vis maintenant a Montréal, et le canadien est pareille comme l’américain, si il t’aime il te dit direct et souvent. En français je peux dire moi aussi « je t’aime » mais dans ma langue maternel oubli, c’est impossible… il y a un blocage psy je pense ; moi aussi si je dis je t’aime a ma mère elle va faire semblant qu’il y a de grincements sur le fil….
    Bizou xxx

  • léontine November, 6 2012, 1:59

    J’adore votre commentaire, je le trouve à la fois drôle et émouvant, tout comme ce post de Garance, plein d’humour et de tendresse

  • Laura November, 6 2012, 1:59 / Reply

    Trop mignon le petit souvenir avec Scott :)

    Et sinon c’est vrai qu’ici c’est pas courant de dire ” Je t’aime ” à tout va!

    XX
    http://Lauralexo.blogspot.com

  • Shug'A'Very November, 6 2012, 2:04 / Reply

    Super ce post ! J’aime ce genre de série que tu fais sur les différences entre les USA et la France. Je n’ai jamais été aux USA mais j’ai été surprise lorsque j’ai rencontré des américains pour la première fois. Le fameux et les formules “I love you”, “you’re so cool” etc..je dois avouer que c’est super “overwhelming”. Je ne sais pas comment réagir à tant d’effusion !
    En Italie j’ai été très surprise au début car les gens ne se font pas la bise comme en France ils se serrent la main, un truc super formel pour moi, genre au boulot oui je veux bien mais entre jeunes…mais apparemment c’est la norme ce n’est qu’après quand les rapports sont plus proches que là on peut se permettre de faire la bise, ce qui n’est pas plus mal à la fin. Les italiens sont aussi très démonstratifs mais c’est plus dans les gestes que dans les mots. Et puis il n’y a pas de “I love you” formel, soit on aime soit on aime pas, tout se voit, c’est sincère, même parfois un peu trop mais c’est aussi pour cette raison que je les apprécie !

    Tu donnes toujours autant envie de te lire et de partager, merci beaucoup !

    Shug’A'Very d’Incognito

    http://www.thinkincognito.blogspot.com

  • Carole November, 6 2012, 2:12 / Reply

    it wasn’t always this way pre 60′s ….but it’s kind of sweet…but i can see how it gets watered down….what do u think of some Americans kissing on both cheeks…kinda pretentious…when i lived with this french guy(down grated his title) so many french friends kissing both cheeks it was normal… but in NY some of this is from technology, when i text a friend I write xx big hug.. …. But 2 people stand out my niece and nephew i can’t say i love u enough…it comes from deep in my heart!! Countries who speatk romance languages r much more familiar and passionate xxx & hugs Carole lol

  • NYSgonzalez November, 6 2012, 2:15 / Reply

    How cute is this Garance & Scott love conection? I’m all teary-eyed at my desk–so ADORABLE!!!!!
    And thanks on all those Parisian chic snobby tips (they are tips for a francophile like me!)

    Love Love Love this post and all the comments in this section. Love all you girls!!

    Big hugs and Kisses

    xxxoooo

    Grosses Bises! Calins!

  • Luiza November, 6 2012, 2:15 / Reply

    Funny how I had exactly the opposite impression about the “J’aime” when I heard a guy saying he didnt love his girl from the very 1st moment, and I was like “but how can you instantly call it love?”
    then someone explained to me that in France you can love anything just because there’s no equivalent to “like”, and she said “here in France they love anything from a chair to a person”.
    Plus the subtlety of “Je (t’)aime beaucoup” which means actually I like it a lot, hence, not as intense as love itself.
    Well anyway, matter of grammar and culture I’d say!
    Still was a shock for my german boyfriend the 1st “I love you” when he could only say “I like you more than I ever thought I could like anyone”, so I started using the theriffying L WORD! lolol
    n xoxox foy ya all! *with love of course ;)

  • Céline November, 6 2012, 2:17 / Reply

    C’est surement à cause de ce détachement que les étrangers trouvent les français snobs.
    Dans ma famille on ne se dit jamais je t’aime. Mes parents ne me l’ont jamais dit, ma mère me l’a juste écrit une fois, ça m’a troublée.
    En tous cas, la réponde de Scott est parfaite. SO WONDERFUL AND AMAZING!!!
    Bises

  • CBC November, 6 2012, 2:24 / Reply

    So many guys say I love you translation i really want to fuck u!

  • Shompoo November, 6 2012, 2:27 / Reply

    Just like ( most ) Asians, we don’t often say ” I love you!” even to our parents ( that doesn’t mean we don’t love our parents, we love & respect them, of course. ) We love our friends, but we’d say we ” miss” them instead!

  • Cathy November, 6 2012, 2:28 / Reply

    your first kiss story is so cute. i die! hahaha
    i say “love you” to my fiance like 100 times a day. sometimes it feels like wow that’s a lot but i just cant help it. maybe i should learn the Parisian coolitude.

  • Amélie November, 6 2012, 2:40 / Reply

    Trop drôle et mignon ce post Garance ! J’aime bien quand tu fais ces petits comparatifs de sociologie quotidienne ! Et ce qui est rigolo c’est que dans ce comparatif France – USA sur le domaine de l’affect, tu emploie à la française une expression très américaine “I’m confused” “je suis confuse”, qui n’a pas exactement le même sens mais ça rebondit bien avec le sens de ce post !

  • VERONIQUE November, 6 2012, 2:40 / Reply

    Garance, I was so moved by this piece. I lost my beloved father in 2008 to cancer. I loved him dearly and yet the words failed to come. I could whisper it but I could never really say it to him. I still do not understand why those three little big words failed me. It’s amazing that you call your father simply to tell him that you love him. xxx V

    Garance, j’ai été tellement ému par cette pièce. J’ai perdu mon père bien-aimé en 2008 d’un cancer. Je l’aimais beaucoup et pourtant, les mots n’ont pas à venir. Je ne pouvais le murmurer, mais je n’ai jamais pu vraiment le lui dire. Je ne comprends toujours pas pourquoi ces trois petits mots grandes m’a manqué. Il est étonnant que vous appelez votre père a tout simplement lui dire que tu l’aimes. xxx V

  • dk November, 6 2012, 2:41 / Reply

    Oh, it’s all in the tone!

    “I LOVE YOU!” vs. “I. love. you.”

    For some reason, adding “very much” seems to make it all serious: “I love her very much.”

  • Amy November, 6 2012, 2:42 / Reply

    It’s so refreshing to get to read a “real” blog every day. I had the pleasure of getting to see you speak in Dallas… Truly a lovely, and “real” person. Thanks for being you.

  • Camilla November, 6 2012, 2:43 / Reply

    This is why I LOVE being italian: we have the expression “ti voglio bene”, that means I love you, but you can use it with your friends and your relatives, while “ti amo” is extremely strong, and you use it just with your lover!
    Bisou

  • CarolineJ November, 6 2012, 2:44 / Reply

    C’est sur que c’est le genre de détail culturel qui peut être bon a savoir :) Quand j’irais a New York, moi qui n’est pas très très expressive, il faudra que je me donne à fond ;)
    Adorable Scott hihi

  • ange November, 6 2012, 3:03 / Reply

    Trop mignon ce post!
    Ps: mon père et moi on se dit tout le temps qu’on s’adore ;-)… d’ailleurs: papa je t’adore! <3

  • Jane with the noisy terrier November, 6 2012, 3:13 / Reply

    Love this post! I was schooled on the Parisian nonchalance before I left for 4 weeks this summer. Good thing as I am a tad enthusiastic myself. Your story about Scott is one of the dearest I’ve ever heard. Pure romance. And as for your PPS., how about “cravings?”

  • Laura November, 6 2012, 3:23 / Reply

    Anaïs Nin on Paris vs. New York, 1939: “Sometimes I think of Paris not as a city but as a home. Enclosed, curtained, sheltered, intimate. The sound of rain outside the window, the spirit and the body turned towards intimacy, to friendships and loves. One more enclosed and intimate day of friendship and love, an alcove. Paris intimate like a room. Everything designed for intimacy. Five to seven was the magic hour of the lovers’ rendezvous. Here it is the cocktail hour.”
    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/page/68/

  • Marcia November, 6 2012, 3:25 / Reply

    In Brazil is exactly like in France , Argentina etc…We use “I love you” in very special occasions not like in US. I was surprised, when I first moved to America, hearing “love you” in the end of every phone call almost like good bye, hello….

    Different countries different languages different minds….

  • Loulune November, 6 2012, 3:29 / Reply

    L’idéal ce serait d’être moins étriqué que les Français :), donc de dire et accepter des ‘je t’aime’ sans se sentir gênéz, et en même temps prendre le sens de cette expression plus au sérieux que les Américains, pour que le poids y reste.
    Bon, c’est pas les Slovaques, dont je suis une, qui vont vous servir d’exemple. J’ai dit mon premier ‘je t’aime’ à ma mère quand j’avais 32 ans. ‘Wow’, vous venez de vous dire et vous avez bien raison! :)

    http://loulune.wordpress.com/

  • WI November, 6 2012, 3:47 / Reply

    I think Italy is the same of America, but North Italy is more similar to France and South to America… I’m an italian girl from Venice and we used to say ‘I love you’ maybe when we are ready to marriage….

    http://whiteindoor.blogspot.it

  • stephanie November, 6 2012, 3:47 / Reply

    Alors là ce post me parle complètement!
    Ca fait un mois que je vis à Vancouver et j’ai également un peu du mal avec cette “love attitude”. J’ai travaillé 3 semaines comme vendeuse dans une boutique de fringues et là je viens de me faire virer parce que, en tant que belge (attitude bien plus proche de la française que de l’américaine ou canadienne, quand même), je ne lâchais pas assez de “WOOOW MY GAAAAAAAAAD, THIS OUTFIT IS AMAZING ON YOU, IT’S MADE FOR YOU, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!” quand une cliente essayait qqch. Le service clientèle est bien différent du notre: ici, il faut faire comme si la cliente était une amie proche, faire des hugs, des blagues, se raconter nos vies et faire essayer un max de fringues évidemment.. Bref, moi si je vois une vendeuse comme ça, qui me lâche pas la grappe, je fuis!!

    Est-ce que toutes ces simagrées ne sont pas un peu de l’hypocrisie? Ca me gave un peu, moi, tous ces hugs et “love you” alors qu’on ne se connait pas ou peu. Je trouve ça pas naturel et over the top, pour parler comme eux ;-)

  • Jill November, 6 2012, 4:03 / Reply

    My mother recently had a similiar conversation while in Malta visiting family. A friend was puzzled by the two of us always saying “I love you” before hanging up. Apparently I do it more (natural born American) than she, but it was still more than he was accustomed. I figure you never know when you’ll never see someone again and I want them to know how I feel.

    As for my husband, it’s usually “I love you.” But he has been known to toss out a “I lovers you.” And the “I love you” can mean so much depending on the expression on ones face…could be gratitude, sweetness, or come hither.

    PS – I don’t think you stood a chance. It seems your man is a determined romantic. You’d have to be stone cold dead to refuse him.

  • Anne c November, 6 2012, 4:11 / Reply

    J ai vécu la même expérience en vivant au Canada et le décalage est difficile au début. Comme tu as dit, ça ne signifie pas qu’on a envié de déjeuner avec toi ni qu’on soit très proches! Nécessaire temps d’adaptation pour une francçaise :D

  • Linda November, 6 2012, 4:13 / Reply

    ahh Garance~ I’m so IN LOVE with the way you write! for some reason when I read your (longer) entries it just fills me with this quiet joy..almost like when I read a light book.

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • Sheree November, 6 2012, 4:16 / Reply

    I have spent time in both Paris and New York, two of my favorite cities, very exciting cultures…. In reading this, I wonder if New York is like the performing arts and Paris is like academia? In Australia, in my experience, a lot of actors hug and kiss and greet you with a ‘New York’ style and there can be some unapologetic ambition… in academia, there’s detachment upon greeting, perhaps this is the ivory tower way….
    http://boygirlmodernworld.com/

  • Karina November, 6 2012, 4:19 / Reply

    Garance, you’re a huge inspiration to me. You’re lovely, classy and I adore your talent for the written word. I love how expressive you are in your writing. Love. Love. Love.
    Bref, tu es magnifique! J’adore.

    Juste une petite message d’une jolie petite fille de la ville de Montréal.

    Karina xx

  • Paula November, 6 2012, 4:23 / Reply

    I’m from Argentina and I used to date a parisian guy. We used to talk to each other in english as my french is not so good, neither his spanish.
    After some time we reached a point were I felt the necessity to express my feelings for him. But I was not in love, I just wanted to let him know that “I cared” about him, though those are not the exact words I was looking for and here comes the thing:
    In spanish we have two ways of saying “I love you”; one is “te quiero” and you usually say it to friends and family and people you have affection for. The other one is “Te amo” which is similar to your french “Je t’aime”; it’s something really “heavy” to say, very meaningfull, if you say it you have to be TOTALLY in love with the other person and the first time you say that to someone is a little bit scary because of the reaction it might cause on the other person. You just feel it or you don’t.
    Anyway, I couldn’t say I love you to him because he would think I was saying Je t’aime, and that would be too much, far away from what I wanted to express, he would have freaked out. I just wanted to say to him Te quiero!! But I never found the words..
    Ahhhhh language barriers, so annoying!!

    Te quiero Garance!!

  • Emilie M November, 6 2012, 4:25 / Reply

    À Montréal, on dit: «J’capote! ou J’trippe!» pour «J’adore ou J’aime beaucoup». : )

  • Edwige November, 6 2012, 4:26 / Reply

    Ahah c’est tellement ça. J’ai passé l’année dernière en Angleterre, moi qui suis à la base plutôt distante et introverti, ça m’a chan-gé. Je me rappelle les premiers mois, où je fuyais l’embarra des grandes accolades et des “Iooooove youuu” ainsi que des flots de compliments sortient de nul part. J’ai même répondu une fois à un “I love you!!!” “Thanks but I just like you”… ils ont prit ça pour de l’humour et ont déclaré pour la 56899e fois de la soirée : “funniest thing eeveeeer”.

    Mais maintenant, ça me manque tellement !

  • Mathilde November, 6 2012, 4:32 / Reply

    à New York : OH MY DEAR LORD THIS ARTICLE IS AMAZING I NEED TO MEET GARANCE SHE’S LIKE THE BEST WRITER IN THE WHOLE WORLD
    à Paris : sympa l’article, j’ai bien aimé le coté comparaison France/USA

    non je rigole j’ai adoré et puis c’est tellement vrai… je n’ai pas dis “je t’aime” à un seul membre de ma famille depuis que je suis née.. ce qui est un peu inquiétant je l’avoue… mais je sais pas c’est comme si c’était trop solennel ou trop ” cheesy”…

  • catherine November, 6 2012, 4:35 / Reply

    ooommmggg sooooo cute :D

  • Ami November, 6 2012, 4:50 / Reply

    Seriously, I thought I liked Scott before but now I LOVE him (hahaha)…for saying that “what if I know I love you already.” Not only is that pretty cute, but I’m also how’d you say losing my sh*t over it. It’s going to take me a while to come down from how sweet I think that is. If I think of something for the “obsessed” section I’ll definitely let you know, if it’s good.

  • maru November, 6 2012, 4:54 / Reply

    Garance, i feel really identify with your point of view. Ive been living in the US for a year now, (im from buenos aires) and it was called to my attention the same thing. How americans LOVE to emphasize everything in life. How they feel, how big they live, how big they consume, eat, shop, party, thinking if they are competitive enough, and most important how the others see you,i can go with this exagerated list of events for ever…
    They need to chill out a little bit.

  • Danisha November, 6 2012, 5:00 / Reply

    Il est cute Scott dis donc. Bon moi j’ai eu la situation inverse, finir mes phrase et conversation par Bisou. Un jour à mon agence d’intérim (mais bon elle était sympa lol)

  • Liv November, 6 2012, 5:08 / Reply

    Ah, cest tellement vrai! Moi, qui vie en Norvege depuis quelques annees, n’utilise quasiment plus le “je t’aime”, ni le “I LOOOOVE it”, ni le “j’adooore”. Ici, tout est: C’est CHIC, ou COOL ou au mieux, SUPERCHIC, voir j’aime bien… Mais ou est passe l’amour dans tout ca??

    Je suis daccord avec toi, vive les Etats Unit pour leur (meme si cest tout faut) OMG, I LOVE YOU!

    best regards,
    vennlig hilsen,
    avec mes sinceres salutations,
    XOXOXOX lots of love <3 <3 <3

    Liv

  • Nina November, 6 2012, 5:10 / Reply

    Hello Garance! :)

    Hahaaa this post made my day!
    I´ve never been to NY and Paris but i noticed one thing..
    When i was in Munich, i met one swiss guy from french speaking part of the country.
    Now, when i red this post i realised that he used to use the word “not bad” really often.
    Finally, i understand, what he exactly meant by “pas mal” ;)

    The other thing is that we knew each other for a very short time and after one night spending together he said to me “i love you..” i was a little bit shocked ..
    But when i look back in time i have to say, that it was the most romantic words i´ve ever heard … ;)

    anyway… looove your illustration! ;)

  • chuss November, 6 2012, 5:13 / Reply

    Adorable as always Garance!!! I felt super-identified with your post! Big kisses from Galicia!!!

  • Nutellita November, 6 2012, 5:55 / Reply

    Je ne connais pas d’Américains, mais dans ce post je reconnais complètement… les Latinos! Je suis sortie deux ans avec un mexicain qui très rapidement et facilement m’a déclaré sa flamme, me déconcertant totalement. Mais en venant vivre avec lui au Mexique j’ai vite compris qu’ici les “te quiero”, “te amo”, les câlins et compagnie avec la famille, les amis ou même les collègues, c’est normal! Comme tu dis, en France le je t’aime est dramatique, profond, alors que là-bas ils en ont une vision complètement différente. Je ne dis pas que ses déclarations étaient fausses, mais elles n’étaient pas aussi lourdes de sens qu’elles le sont dans notre culture française.

  • celine November, 6 2012, 6:00 / Reply

    Et bien c`est la meme chose a Londres, tout le monde se love, tout le monde est meilleur pote, tout le monde est lovely, sublim, amazing… Et j`aime bien ce genre d`hysterie familiere, ca fait du bien, ca met de bonne humeur et ca me fait sourire gentiment quand je pense a la retenue francaise.
    Par contre ya un truc avec lequel j`ai du mal, c`est le “hugging”. Je comprend pas vraiment. En France, on se fait la bise, c`est simple, 2, 3 ou 4, tout depend d`ou on vient. Alors oui il peut y avoir confusion si l`un est de Paris et l`autre de Montpellier ms c`est regle en une bise de plus. Mais pour le hugging, j`y arrive pas, j’ai un blocage non pas a cause du geste mais a cause du temps et de la distance qu`on doit respecter… C`est vrai, c’est quoi les regles? On s’hug avec les deux bras? un bras? On met sa tete ou? On se dit quoi pdt qu`on s’hug? Et surtout, combien de tps on reste accrocher a l’autre????? Ca depend de la personne? si elle est plus ou moin proche? Ou de comment on la connait? Ou depuis combien de temps on l’a pas vu? Bref, so confusing, et apres 3 ans je sais toujours pas donc je tend au maximum ma joue…Si une personne doit etre embarassee, je prefere que ca soit l`autre… quitte a passer pour qq`un de distante! Je suis francaise apres tout :)

  • chryssa la grecque November, 6 2012, 6:15 / Reply

    je ne comprends pas pourquoi we have to be so cute!!! je suis grecque et je dis je t aime seulement quand je le sens vraiment. mais, si c’est vraiment le cas, c est pour la vie! ._

  • Ava November, 6 2012, 6:26 / Reply

    This scenario between you and your father has absolutely happened to me and my brothers, who were all raised here in the US. However, the way we were socialized to express affection was by our parents, who were Vietnamese (who were not only influenced by Chinese Confucianism but also French ‘cooltude’). Love this post Garance. Thanks for sharing.

  • Susana Leite November, 6 2012, 6:29 / Reply

    hahaha! this post is really good! And I can totally relate with it! I’m Portuguese so European like you and I have never been to the US but I get that vibe from the movies and TV shows and even in books. It’s weird. To much emotion! That feels a little bit false! Total opposites but after all if we were the same, “USA” and “European” citizens, it wouldn’t be so fun! Did you really said “I love you” to your father? Because I can’t imagine myself ever doing that in that situation. It was really American of you.

    Thank you! You are one of my favorites illustrators and blogger! Congratulations and best of luck in your projects and future! :) Bye

  • Katie November, 6 2012, 6:33 / Reply

    Garance – I love your illustrations!! Do you use illustrator to draw them on the computer? I enjoy drawing a similar style of illustration but have difficulty translating colors and shading in illustrator. I would love to hear what you use!

    Thank you!

  • Dadou November, 6 2012, 6:34 / Reply

    J’ai trouvé que dans l’ensemble ton article était très juste. Par contre concernant les “je t’aime” à Paris je ne suis pas vraiment d’accord. Enfin j’aimerais émettre quelques réserves. Au sein de la famille ton analyse me semble correcte mais entre amis ou amants je ne suis pas d’accord. C’est peut-être une question de générations mais les ados parisiens disent aussi “je t’aime” à tout bout de champ. C’est une véritable manière de clôturer un message. Si bien que comme tu l’as dit le véritable “je t’aime” perd tout son sens. Mais il est vrai, qu’avec les années cette manière si anodine de dire “je t’aime” nous parait ridicule et on se met à l’utiliser de moins en moins souvent.

  • Audery November, 6 2012, 7:00 / Reply

    Garance, I so enjoyed your post as a new yorker who lived in paris for a year + and fell deeply in love with a parisian. Are relationship bares the difficulty of distance, but we still love each other as much as we did in the beginning ‘thrills’ of things. We often would joke how we had grown tired with saying ‘i love you’ to one another…those three little words just seemed so trite and over-used. It all recalls a beautiful moment in ‘Annie Hall’ when Alvie (Woody Allan) turns to Annie (Diane Keaton) and decides he loves her so much he lurves her, he luffs her…

    so say what ever you wish, say it as many times as you wish, so long as you both know what it means.

    for me words are clothes, try new ones on, get rid of old ones…but most of all have fun and be clever. that is true style, and that is true love.

  • kamanda November, 6 2012, 7:10 / Reply

    J’adoooooooore cet article, tellement vrai. Mon père dit rarement le “Je t’aime” conventionnel. Un jour, peine de coeur oblige, je l’ai appelé pour avoir du réconfort. A la fin de la conversation, il m’a dit “Je t’aime ma fille!” Juste waowww ça m’a rechauffé le coeur d’un coup, et je me suis senti vraiment mieux. c’était fort et vrai et j’en avais besoin à ce moment là. Tout ça pour dire que les “Love you, everything is amazing” a effusion c’est cute mais juste un moment. Plus une chose se fait rare, plus elle a de sens à mes yeux (pas trop rare non plus quand même).
    En tout cas, ton post m’a énormément touché. Et le PPPS est juste adorable à souhait.

  • Gwendoline November, 6 2012, 7:11 / Reply

    L’article est super intéressant !! Je viens d’en parler à toutes mes sœurs !! Et ça nous a bien fait rire tellement c’est vrai ! Et à vrai dire je préfère le “je t’aime” français, qui a beaucoup plus de sens et de profondeur que chez les Américains, qui je trouve sans le vouloir devient presque hypocrite..
    Et puis c’est tellement vrai que dans les familles françaises on ne se dit pas beaucoup je t’aime, ce qui par contre devient un petit peu dommage dans ce cas, mais bien sur on s’aime, mais on ne se le dit vraiment pas assez.

    En tout cas super article !! :D

  • Raquel Pizarro November, 6 2012, 7:33 / Reply

    I loooooove this post! You belong here in the love boat. Living in NYC for almost 22 years I have acclimated to its ways of displaying affection. May I add to the rest of the global community that in certain New York City circles, is common to kiss your friend on the lips, no french-kissing, dry and short but very affectionate. If you see it from an anthropological point of view is a way to publicly show you belong in the inner circles of a certain group. Having been part of this inner circles I can say that it guarantees some community benefits. New Yorkers are a tight community and need each other so they make sure Love is in the air all the time. I would say that this public and verbal display of affection might seem superficial at first but after twenty years of loving New Yorkers who tell me they love me, I can say it’s for real and it feels good to say it and hear it. Love is like oxygen…

  • Lavang November, 6 2012, 9:08 / Reply

    Fantastic post, Garance! This reminds me of my family, so I’m thinking the Vietnamese are quite similar.

    Although I have to say, my French-Libyan boyfriend and I tell each other “Je t’aime” often, which makes me très contente, of course!

    - Lavang

  • Donnah November, 6 2012, 9:28 / Reply

    Love the cultural differences…so subtle, but for some strange reason I get along very well with the French. I am nice myself and expect they mean well back to me. My girlfriend has difficulty with the French so she stays away from conversations. She will order her meal and sit back. NO INTERACTION. Pity. I always talk and soon enough they open up and then we have a great time. :))

    I had a coworker from France several years ago. He started every day saying hi to us all with kisses on the cheek. My patience was truly tested. We would rush in to the office and start turning on all the computers, listening to voice messages and checking the faxes. And there he would be, calmly going around to all of us – kissing each cheek. xxx I was and still am envious of the time he made to greet us all individually. It was lovely.

    Thanks for your insight Garance. You are the best of both worlds :)))
    dd

    PS xxxx

  • Gina November, 6 2012, 9:43 / Reply

    I am from the Midwest. And while we participate in the general inflation of vocabulary, we do not say ‘I love you’ except, perhaps, to our grandparents (which is why I am somewhat surprised by Scott’s precocity in that matter), although all letters, cards, thank you notes, etc. to family members are to be signed ‘love’. Saying it to a partner is a huge step. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t until I had a best friend from New York that a friend said ‘I love you’ to me.

  • Kristen November, 6 2012, 10:12 / Reply

    This is a great topic! It’s funny because when I met my first French friends and they kissed cheeks to greet me, I found it to be much more intimate than people I’m used to in NYC! Also when my French friends would sign off emails with “bisous” or call me “ma chere Kristen” I thought about how I would never sign an email in English this way! I guess it all depends on what you are used to. But now, I’m more comfortable with “bisous” than the tres americain “XOXO” ;)

  • Tracey November, 6 2012, 11:17 / Reply

    I’m American and in my family we always say “I love you” at the end of a conversation, in case it’s our last. I guess we’re kind of morbid that way. I once was asked by an Eastern European friend what an American guy meant when he said, “I love you to pieces.” Answer: who knows!

  • Amelie November, 6 2012, 11:48 / Reply

    Oh it remind me my first hug, i was like ” what’s going on man” calm down ! I did not say anything but my friend ( yes we become friend after that ) explain me many things about american culture. He saw how uncomfortable i was , staying like a stick.Then he explained me what that means , like don’t worry we are just friend. It was so funny . And now it is good because i know how to hug people wich was a big step for me at that time !

  • Geoffrey November, 7 2012, 12:33 / Reply

    In my country there two words for say Love: Te quiero! (for friends, family and other people) and Te amo (for your parents, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife and it’s more strong with more weight) in english is only a word with many meanings but I like this word in several languages aren’t you?

    Regards,

    Gale.

  • AlineP November, 7 2012, 12:54 / Reply

    J’aime beaucoup ton raisonnement. Je suis d’accord avec toi sur une certaine mentalité après cela dépend aussi des gens. Des français disent aussi très facilement “je t’aime”.

  • Renée November, 7 2012, 2:20 / Reply

    Maybe you can call this new section “currently coveting”?

    And so true, when I write in English it’s like I “love” everything, while otherwise everything is okay, alright, fine, cava……

    xo

  • Emily November, 7 2012, 2:35 / Reply

    Love this post (clearly I’m American!)

    For most of the Americans I know, there’s a big difference between saying ‘I love’ a pair of shoes, “love you!” in a casual sense to friends or acquaintances, and “I love you” to family and significant others. There is something very serious about attaching the “I” to it when you are speaking directly to someone.

    But your observation about exaggerated/ extreme language is really spot on. Somehow, making everything excessive (which is the American way after all) hides how we really feel about it, or the extent to which we really like it. If everything is “fantastic!” then the difference between okay, good, and great, is very hard to tell.

  • Cece November, 7 2012, 2:36 / Reply

    We all “love” you. Why wouldn’t Scott, after the first kiss?
    You’re just that kind of person Garance. Lovable. Meaning, people care about you.

  • Echidna November, 7 2012, 2:57 / Reply

    I don’t know. I can be political incorrect sometime. I can say I really love those guy or I love his job just because I really admire their work. Things are closer in Thailand. Thai people usually call stranger bro, brother or sis. Or when met someone older aunty. Sometime I want to be friendly but coming out too strong. It’s my thai habit that hard to fix. :-)

  • Jazz Seijii November, 7 2012, 3:25 / Reply

    Loving the post! As cheesy as it may be, I also want to know- when did you say it back?!

  • K November, 7 2012, 3:41 / Reply

    LOVE this post!
    (and I don’tmean it in an nyc way ;) )

  • catherine November, 7 2012, 3:54 / Reply

    I’m an American living in France for 8 years. I still have a problem with “faire la bise.” It doesn’t come naturally to me. In the U.S., you show up at work, or at school to pick up the kids, and you say hi to people, but you don’t systematically go around greeting each one. Nobody is offended if they aren’t greeted, either. Hugs are for very close friends/family or people you haven’t seen for a long time–when I go home, I hug everybody the first time I see them, but for the rest of my monthlong stay, we don’t hug again until I leave. In France, I never know whether to give kisses (I guess you always can give kisses, but I feel weird), and it seems that if you have already done kisses earlier in the day, if you see the same person again later you don’t do it again? Like once a day is it? It’s so confusing. It also seems very weird to go to my gym class, where I don’t even know all the women, and as another one arrives, she makes the rounds of the room giving kisses. It seems like a lot with 30 or 40 people.
    If you have pointers, please let me know. None of my friends here has been able to define when to do it and when not to (or when to be the initiater).
    That said, I tell my daughter about 20 times a day that I love her. And I make a point to say it to my parents and my brothers when we talk on the phone. It’s important to actually say it, and I went too many years leaving it unsaid.

  • nono November, 7 2012, 3:54 / Reply

    hi garance !
    super ton article, eclatant de vérité. très dur de dire je t’aime a sa famille. un jour, j’ai osé l’écrire sur une carte postale à ma grand mere, et en la recevant, elle m’a appelé direct, avec plein d emotions dans sa voie ….
    pour ce qui est de l’hystérie New yorkaise versus le dédain parisien, je trouve que tu as plongé un peu du coté obscur de la force (= hystérie NY). en effet, quand tu presentes quelqu’un dans tes articles, c’est toujours “la personne la plus cool de la terre”, “la fille la plus drole que je connaisse”, “la plus fun”, “la plus jolie, “la plus creative”… etc. je comprends que tu aimes beaucoup les gens, je trouve qu’on s’y perd un peu avec ces superlatifs de coolitude…

  • Kristell November, 7 2012, 4:09 / Reply

    Ce post est vraiment très interessant, le coté “expensif du language” des américains leur donnent un coté extrémement sympathique je trouve. Je suis allée à NY en janvier dernier et j’ai adoré leur “Hey, how are you ?” dans les boutiques, resto,… etc.
    Moi qui vit en Suisse avec un boyfriend allemand je peux vous dire que le français est très chaleureux et tactile comparé à l’allemand… j’ai entendu le “ich liebe dich” une seule fois et je crois qu’il faudra attendre des années avant que ca se reproduise :-)

  • Mimiesoftly November, 7 2012, 4:32 / Reply

    Super ce post, Garance!.Tellement touchant…
    J’ai dit à mon père “je t’aime ” une fois..après une dispute mémorable où je lui ai balancé tout ce que j’avais sur le coeur. Quand j’ai vidé mon sac, il n’a rien dit. Peiné Et puis un peu plus tard, je lui ai dit “je t’aime ” en le serrant dans mes bras. Et il m’a répondu “je sais”. Et tous les deux, on s’est sentis mieux et apaisés. Sans grandes effusions.
    Je suis heureuse de le lui avoir dit car il nous a quittés il y a 10 ans et j’aurais regretté de ne pas l’avoir fait. Depuis, je le dis plus facilement aux membres de ma famille.

    Avec ma meilleure amie qui est finlandaise, on communique en anglais, et spontanément , on se dit I love you souvent, ou on ponctue nos sms et mails de Love and hugs. Sans malentendus. Cela fait chaud au coeur et cela a du sens. ça veut dire je suis heureuse de t’avoir dans ma vie, de cheminer ensemble quel que soit l’endroit où nous vivons, France, Finlande, USA…, notre amitié est précieuse, you are my soul sister. En fonction du moment, il revêt une signification particulière.
    Love is everything après tout.
    C’est vrai qu’en France, à Paris, on est un peu frileux et on admet tout du bout des lèvres qu’on aime ….

  • CREEZY November, 7 2012, 4:49 / Reply

    Je suis gênée par les “hug” prolongés, les compliments ou les exclamations de certains anglo-saxons parmi ma famille ou mes amis….c’est plutôt embarrassant pour moi et je ne sais jamais répondre avec spontanéité – même si je suis touchée parfois par ces manifestations.
    Tout comme les 4 bises sur la joue que se font certains Français : par contre çà je ne supporte pas !
    Je vois aussi sur ce blog que beaucoup de Françaises tendent à prendre les habitudes de nos amies américaines dans leurs appréciations sur les sujets proposés par Garance…c’est par ailleurs assez amusant d’examiner les petites différences dans la façon de s’exprimer de nos amies de nationalités diverses et aussi par la petite différence dans les goûts, les attraits…c’est intéressant et amusant ! et gardons “ces” différences : cela fait partie de notre charme à toutes !
    Donc merci Garance de nous faire partager cela !
    PS = je réserve le “Je t’aime” à l’homme de ma vie ! notre pudeur française nous empêche de le dire à nos parents – même quand il est dit avec une autre intonation- ..pourtant nous aimerions mais nous n’y arrivons que rarement…et quand on le dit : tout le monde pleure ! c’est ce que nous voulons éviter…:)))

  • myrna November, 7 2012, 5:17 / Reply

    J’adore! Et bien oui au Liban on s’evertue a dire je t’aime a tout bout de champ, a faire des effusions de tendresse, d’amour, de pleurs….Tout est extrapole…..Par contre c’est totalement different des autres pays arabes ou l’on est plus conservateur dans ses emotions et leurs expressions

  • Sophie November, 7 2012, 5:33 / Reply

    De loin un des meilleurs post que j’ai pu lire tu as su décrire avec des exemples juste parfait la difficultés que l’on peut avoir à dire “je t’aime” mais en même temps la rareté fait que ça devient tellement plaisant quand on se l’entend dire :)

    Merci garance

  • Martina November, 7 2012, 5:53 / Reply

    Hahah I so get this! As a Czech girl, the ‘love’ thing also used to make me feel uncomfortable, but then after living in a few English-speaking countries it just comes naturally to me. Now I think it’s nice to say you love your friends (or write it at the end of an email). xx

  • Anna November, 7 2012, 6:20 / Reply

    This explains a lot.No wonder everyone keeps hugging the first time they meet. Tis an American thing.I am in India.since USA is a popular destination for students to study AND it is the American sitcoms that everyone watches and not the european ( you should see the number of 18 year olds who say ‘legen -waitforit-dary’) so a lot of young people have this weird mix of indian and american mannerisms.
    it’s globalization ,really.

    love the post ::D
    anna

  • Flopsy November, 7 2012, 6:48 / Reply

    C’est vrai, je suis bien ce raisonnement aussi mais c’est toujours bien que les amis nous expliquent leurs habitudes quand on débarque dans un nouveau pays /nouvelle culture. =)

    Flopsy
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeliciaeFR

  • Lulu November, 7 2012, 7:05 / Reply

    Garance, it’s the same in Argentina. I can send a message to my friends and never end it with “I love you” , I always say something like, ” hugs and kisses”. To my parents, I would say, “miss you a lot”. To my husband, I can say “love you”. My family is half French and half Italian so maybe that’s why we are that way.

  • E. November, 7 2012, 7:06 / Reply

    I’m from The Netherlands and I guess we have the same ‘rules’ about saying I love you as in France. I vividly remember saying ‘I love you’ to my boyfriend for the first time, when we had been dating for quite some time. When he replied that he loved me too, I couldn’t have been more happy. It really meant something (all the more when I found out that I was the first girl he ever said it to). And now we’re happily married :)
    It would be very strange for me to say ‘I love you’ to friends, or on a first date. I probably would’ve run when someone would have said it after a first kiss, thinking that he’s completely desperate and wants to marry the first girl around! But this really has to do with my ‘context’, what I’m used to and what is regarded as ‘normal’ in my country. So, once again, cultural differences play a huge role. I’m just really happy for you that you didn’t run away, Garance!

  • Pat November, 7 2012, 7:23 / Reply

    I think that it isn’t Paris vs NY. The title should be: Europe vs US. After watching american movies and TV shows I was curious if it’s just my thing with “I love you” or people in US are far more effusive. I’m from Poland but I have friends (friend as someone I know and communicate with from time to time – polish vocabulary contains a lot more names for ‘friend’ ;)) in UK, France, Germany, Greece, Austria and from more eastern countries too. I’ve asked them about I-love-you-thing and everyone said that in Europe when you love everything you simply don’t love anything so we’re more careful with words. We want them to mean something.
    I’m not saying that it’s better or worse. I hear often from my parents that they love me. But from friends? Naaah.
    I’ll end in sooo not european way – Garance, I ADORE your blog :)

  • Jill November, 7 2012, 7:38 / Reply

    Haha so funny! (not like o my gaaaawd you’re SO funny…)
    I think it’s kinda the same in The Netherlands actually.

  • Cristiana November, 7 2012, 8:18 / Reply

    You’re so right! I’m Italian and I’ve been living in the US for years. We usually say “ti amo” to our partner/boyfriend/girlfriend only, for the rest of the world we use (not frequently), “ti voglio bene”. By living here I learnt to say more often ti voglio bene to family and friend and I love it!

  • Meg November, 7 2012, 8:57 / Reply

    Love this comparison!! I live in Montreal and used to live in New York, it’s similar here. :-)

    Meg
    styleenvie.com

  • Marie Calabrese November, 7 2012, 9:01 / Reply

    Bonjour Garance, ma blogueuse préférée,

    Je comprends parfaitement ce que tu décris: je suis Québécoise et vis à Montréal, cette magnifique ville de l’harmonie bilingue (je fais de l’ironie, là), et franchement, je peux te dire que les Anglos du coin, quand je les entends, ils m’énervent! (Mais bon, la situation n’est pas du tout la même: je ne suis pas une touriste ou une étrangère, je suis chez moi; et parfois, oui, le fait d’entendre parler anglais fait que j’ai de la misère à me sentir chez moi. C’est compliqué.) Pourquoi m’énervent-ils? À cause de cette expressivité qui frôle l’hystérie et qui s’entend de loin. Un exemple? Il y a des années, je travaillais dans une boutique; une cliente anglo me demande un sac (en plastique); je le lui donne; et elle: «Oh, thank you very much!», sur le même ton que si je venais de lui sauver la vie. Heu, oui, on relaxe un peu? De mon point de vue, je ne trouve pas du tout les Québécois comme ça. Je crois qu’on a gardé de la réserve française. Chez nous, on dit «se garder une petite gêne».

    Garance, I love you!

  • Estefy November, 7 2012, 9:07 / Reply

    hahaha Garance you are sooo hilarious hahaha
    The truth is that maybe latin culture are like that, because some years ago I have some americans in my house and we found them so expresive! we are also not use to say “i love you” between family, its like people is a litte conservative but it does not mean we didn’t feel it.

  • Rebekah November, 7 2012, 9:17 / Reply

    I just wanted to chime in and say we North Americans may use “love” a lot but the meaning can be changed a lot depending on how it’s used. For example, “Love you” is much more casual (for friends and family) than “I love you”. The “I” is subtle but important. Still, “I love you” can be used for both romantic and non-romantic love, but if you need to distinguish because it’s not inherently understood (say, with a friend with romantic love potential) you can use “in love” to add more weight. For example, I love my friend but I’m not in love with them.

    However you say it, I think it’s important in a serious romantic relationship to express love often. I find that every time I say it is like a mental reminder that I do, and reminds me to appreciate and hold on the the love. My husband and I exchange I-love-you’s at least a dozen times a day.

    This discussion among people from different cultures around the world has been very interesting to read, so thank you for starting it.

  • Lelu November, 7 2012, 9:50 / Reply

    I have only one shocking ‘I love you’ experience: I was casually seeing a guy and on the third date he blurted out I love you. I was rendered speechless and when I pulled myself together I scolded him… Worst thing I can’t say it was a cultural difference because we were practically neighbours :)

  • About Foood November, 7 2012, 10:46 / Reply

    Ton post m’a beaucoup rappelé ma vie en Australie, où je disais I love you à tous mes copains et copines. Je continue à le faire avec eux à distance, mais pas avec les français à Paris!
    D’ailleurs à l’époque je m’étais posé la même question existentielle sur le meaning “I love you”, j’avais longuement discuté de ça avec mon ami australien et finalement on avait conclu que le vrai “je t’aime” se disait “I’m in love with you”!

  • Clou November, 7 2012, 11:31 / Reply

    Argh le “I Love You” de Scott… Do you die? I die!!
    Bon, après, les hugs, les yeux écarquillés, les voix haut perchées pour dire à quel point “you’re such a good personn” heeeeu très peu pour moi, quand ça dégouline d’affection ça devient suspect.

    Mais il faut leur reconnaître une très grande spontanéité à ces américains, j’avoue… :-)

    Bises!!
    C.
    http://le-blog-de-clou.blogspot.fr/

  • CaroTeigne November, 7 2012, 11:32 / Reply

    SO CUUUUUTE le “Je t’aime” de Scott!
    Oui, je suis hypra romantique..

  • IS THIS IT? models review November, 7 2012, 12:04 / Reply

    hehe yep, “pas mal” is so Parisien. :) btw the “New York” (exaggerated with no reasons) attitude is generally the one of (good part of) people in fashion system I guess, more than actually only of New York.
    PS “not calling enough is probably one of my biggest faults” – I’m part of the club too…

  • Sara November, 7 2012, 12:08 / Reply

    Première fois que je t’écris…ça fait bizarre. Tout d’abord j’aaaaaadore ton blog, tu me fais tellement rigoler!!! Merci :)

    J’habite en Espagne et ici comme en France «te quiero » n’est pas à l’ordre du jour… Je vais raconter une petite histoire qui peut sembler un peu triste mais je te rassure j’en ai un souvenir qui me fait chaud au cœur… Ma maman est décédée il y a maintenant deux ans, une longue maladie, bref… Ses dernières semaines quand on voyait que les choses n’allait pas bien du tout, je l’ai téléphoné un jour et tout d’un coup (presque sans faire exprès) je lui ai dit « Je t’aime ». Jamais un je t’aime n’avait été aussi sincère de ma part, je crois que c’était la première fois que je le lui disais (comme tu dis on a beau ne pas se le dire, ça ne veut pas dire qu’on le ressent pas), elle est restée un moment en silence (surprise je crois) et elle m’a dit « merci ma chérie ».

    Il y a des « je t’aime » qu’on garde bien dans son cœur, comme pour toi le « je t’aime » de Scott ;)

  • Nicole November, 7 2012, 1:17 / Reply

    Ok, American here. I would be very suprised and a little uncomfortable to see “I love you” at the end of an email from a friend. I would say it to my family and to my husband but never to a friend. Some circles use a much more exagerated affectionate tone of conversation than others. Me, I really don’t like it, because it usually seems fake to me, and none of my friends speak that way.

    That said, it is very interesting to hear your observations, and I do think that we are less reserved in general in showing affection to friends (or sometime even strangers) that Europeans are.

  • Viktoria November, 7 2012, 1:17 / Reply

    The last time someone told me “I love your shoes” I just said, “Oh thats so sweet of you”. She had great shoes on too, but I thought it would be fake to compliment her back on that note…

    Also, I realized, that people say “love ya” a lot these days. It doesn’t mean anything, other then they are cool with you, but they are ok with the fact if you don’t call them for 2 years from now on.

    I like plain “I like…” I admire…” ” Its looks great…” And spare “I love you” for the loved ones.

  • Astrid November, 7 2012, 1:26 / Reply

    Illustration géniale, comme d’habitude! Tes articles sont trop marrants :)

  • emma November, 7 2012, 2:15 / Reply

    Tellement vrai!!! J’aime beaucoup te lire Garance.
    Merci pour toutes ces vérités dites si naturellement.
    Je me suis reconnue évidement, en bonne française qui voyage!!
    Mon père est sourd d’oreille également ;-)
    Best
    Emma
    modemylife.com

  • Savannah November, 7 2012, 2:20 / Reply

    This is a conversation i had last week with my French boyfriend (been in the US 1.5 years) and our French friend (been in the US 10yrs). Apparently my huge American love-fest is a lot and totally off-putting since everything is Amazing and I love all of my friends at the end of every phone call and that restaurant over there has The Best mexican food. But c’est la vie…in another year he will probably love everything as much as I do. or not.

    xo

  • suzy November, 7 2012, 2:49 / Reply

    that’s so funny that the french don’t say i love you like that! im asian and it’s the same thing in asia – it’s a very strong expression that is not often said (traditionally – of course now with american influence it’s starting to be different =) ). I totally didn’t expect the french to do that as well! but i guess the underlying reasons are not really the same =)

  • Victoire November, 7 2012, 3:42 / Reply

    Dans le même genre il y cette présentation de la Miss Météo de Canal + ;)

  • Sophie Moureto November, 7 2012, 4:00 / Reply

    ahahahahah je me marre tellement!!! SUPER cet article! c’est tellement ca!
    à Londres c’est la même! quand les gens m’appelé “Babe ” je pensais qu’ils m’adorait!!!!!!!! enfait j’etait juste madame tout le monde ahaha!

    c’est la même à paris: cette fille est sympa
    NY: She is the nicest person in the world!!!!!!

    En gros ils exagèrent toujours un peu!

    gros bisous garance!

  • T November, 7 2012, 5:24 / Reply

    I know exactly what you mean! I am British so ‘I love you’ isn’t something we say without some serious thought, traditionally. However younger generations are more globalised in terms of culture and throw the words about whenever they mean ‘I remotely like’ something. I now live in Madrid and the Spanish are far more relaxed about declaring their love, not quite as cool as the French or cold as us Brits. ;)

  • Amy November, 7 2012, 5:35 / Reply

    Dear Garance,

    The ‘pretty cool but don’t lose your shit over it’ made me genuinely lol!

    It’s kind of funny how the stereotypes of a country generally hold true but there is some individual difference. I am English, known for the ‘stiff upper lip’ but have always been very affectionate, but my family are so not, and I think most English people are similarly reserved. But it is always lovely when you find someone who has an affinity with your normal level of affection and make you feel more normal. Usually if I really like someone after I fist meet them I will shyly kind of indicate a hug movement and then there is a slightly awkward giggly hug…

    My Mum thinks there is a generational thing going on as well, she reckons that in her day you only ever showed affection to the closest people to you on special occasions. Her and Daddy have now come round to my gushing affection more though, which is quite sweet. Daddy did only say ‘I love you’ to me when I was 19 after my first heartbreak and that did mean a lot, but I still prefer it now he can say it more often.

    Funnily enough, I find that people are surprised if I kiss them on the cheek, even if we just had a massive hug. Each to their own I suppose!

    I do love how most little kids still jump on you if they decide like you, whatever their background. Ahhh…

    Oh and me and my boyfriend came up with ‘like you millions’ for that in-betweeny stage…

    So,(as I have never met you) like you millions Garance!
    xxx

  • Desiree November, 7 2012, 6:34 / Reply

    When i started doing sets at Polyvore i was amaze about how easily american girls say “i love…” They loved the shoes, the jewelry, the pics. And then they started to ended their messages saying “i love you”, and i was like ? they don’t know me, how can they love me? Till i understand it was just an expression, like you say j’adore, and I say “me encanta”. Here in Chile, my country, “te amo” is pretty deep too. It’s just for lovers, ‘cos even in our families we just say “te quiero”. When you’re madly in love, then you are allowed to say “te amo”. So i was curious about what americans says when they really really love someone or something… i guess, after what you told about Scott, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. xx

  • Corinne November, 7 2012, 9:11 / Reply

    I wish we had different words for different types of Love. There are so many! Our language is lacking….

  • Tenzin November, 7 2012, 10:16 / Reply

    I know exactly what you mean Garance! I came to the states 4 years ago and I still think some people use superlatives like there’s no tomorrow. Also when they say it , they have a smile on their lips but their eyes are blank..It just makes them look stupid!

  • Paulina Herrera November, 7 2012, 11:01 / Reply

    Il faut que s’appelle “pas mal” :)

  • Parisvox November, 8 2012, 4:06 / Reply

    I am currently living in Paris married to a french man, but have lived in the UK, Asia, and am frequently in NY to visit my sis (who married an american). I have to say, I ‘love’ the gushiness of americans in contrast to Parisians/french. They come across as warmer and more relaxed (even if it may be superficial). Somehow whenever I arrive in the States, or in the UK (to a lesser extent), I feel relaxed.. the tension seems to ease..everyone seems friendly and open. Sometimes it’s great to have a break from Paris! ;-)

  • Manila girl November, 8 2012, 4:27 / Reply

    I LOVE this post! (Looooooove, like from someone halfway across the globe who daily reads your blogposts, has never met you, but “feels” I know you enough to get giggly and warm about you and Scott’s first kiss haha).
    Thank you for keeping it real, for retaining your voice, and making this blog always a fun read.

  • Sarah November, 8 2012, 6:01 / Reply

    Well, seeing as I am American, I want to tell you that I just LOVE your articles comparing NY and Paris ;) I’m an American girl studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence right now, so naturally I’m making these same comparisons all the time! They are all so true!

  • Elizabeth November, 8 2012, 7:27 / Reply

    It’s generational and cultural. We live in the UK, my parents in their late 70s are South African of English origin, they do not gush about anything but use language precisely. Listening to the over-exaggerated way may people speak, even young people here it seems as though they are using very limited adjectives: love, fabulous,literally, etc for a wide range of gradations which is a shame and a waste of a rich available vocabulary, almost as though they are overacting for reality TV all the time.
    I know that my father loves me not because he says so but from the way he treats me though recently during a phone call, I was in the middle of a sentence when he said “ooh, tractors” and put the phone down, so I know that I am not as interesting as vintage tractors on the TV (but I still know he loves me)

  • Vanessa Lekpa November, 8 2012, 8:35 / Reply

    Très joli post. Je ne suis pas de culture anglo-saxonne et pourtant je dis “je t’aime ” très souvent, ça m’échappe facilement. Maintenant je fais attention car ce n’est pas communément accepté en France et que l’on passe vite pour une cul-cul-écervelée
    C’est quand j’ai dis “salut, je t’aime.” pour conclure ma conversation téléphonique avec une fille (que je connaissais à peine mais avec un haut potentiel de bonne copine) que je me suis vu merder en direct avec celle sale habitude. J’ai raccroché et quand je l’ai vu j’ai du lui expliquer le pourquoi du comment de ce “je t’aime”.Je ne sais pas d’où cela me vient mais c’est un peu comme si je disais “c’est cool je suis bien avec toi dans cet instant”.
    Bon, je n’ai pas le potentiel d’hystérie qui est censé aller avec le “je t’aime” excessif de fin de phrase; j’ai de la pudeur… enfin je crois ; mais du coup ça rend encore plus ambiguë mes “je t’aime” abusif.
    Bien sûr les “je t’aime” à mon amoureux ne sont pas les mêmes et ne veulent pas du tout dire la même chose, ils sont chargés de vrais sentiments d’amour, d’intimité et d’exclusivité.
    Du coup, ton post, me donne envie de me surveiller encore plus niveau langage.

  • simonde November, 8 2012, 9:14 / Reply

    You know, the rest of New York is not like the fashion world of New York. The rest of New York is a lot like Paris…:-)

  • marta November, 8 2012, 1:29 / Reply

    I’m italian, in Italy is like in France! I’m with my boyfriend for 3 years and I haven’t said “I love you” but that does not mean we do not love. It’s sooooo difficult !!

  • A November, 8 2012, 1:59 / Reply

    Americans are just very dramatic? All that accent and their gestures… Probably why it functions so well in sitcoms and politics?
    I always find it very strange to hear/see Americans in real life, it quite surreal actually.

  • Maria Ramirez November, 8 2012, 2:05 / Reply

    its pretty interesting because that happens also in spanish (at least in Colombia). “I love you” represents like the greatest feeling ever.

  • Lexie November, 8 2012, 3:25 / Reply

    I LOOOOOOOOVEEEE this post!!! You’ve made my day!

  • Tracy November, 8 2012, 7:22 / Reply

    This is a great post. I am hesitant to say I “loveeeeee” it even though, as someone living in the US for many years now, I really want to! Lol. Interesting commentary on the limits of the language; in Spanish, I am more likely to say “Me encanta” about something I really like or enjoy, and I would NEVER say I “amo” anything other than someone incredibly special, like a husband. I have yet to tell my American boyfriend of 2 years I love him, although he has told me he loves me and is IN love (oh yes he diddddd) with me many times, but he knows I do adore him very much, hehe. I suppose the day I say I love you, too, he will be ready with a ring to propose or he may just faint from schock!! I, too, wonder about the “xx” at the end of emails and such. Sometimes it’s “xoxo” and sometimes it’s “xx” …I usually try to close my correspondence with something like, “all the best”. I do enjoy being told my outfit or hairstyle is amaaazzzingggggg. When an American girl tells me my top is nice I am secretly thinking she really hates it. How funny!

  • Marie-Christine Barma November, 8 2012, 10:06 / Reply

    Je suis Canadienne et ici c’est le même chose!
    J’ai plusieurs amie Française et la première fois qu’elles m’ont entendu dire je t’aime à une copine elles m’ont toute regardé avec de grands yeux. Après m’avoir toutes questionné discrètement sur mon orientation j’ai fini par me tanner de leur expliquer qu’ici on s’aime! Mais pour répondre à ta question quand tu fréquente quelqu’un en général (Scott semble l’exception) on ne dit pas je t’aime avant quelque mois et quand on le fait crois moi c’est un big deal!

    Marie

    PS J’AIME ton blogue!

  • Miami November, 8 2012, 10:33 / Reply

    Garance ~

    Wonderful comments, and wonderful story by you, too; but I cannot say that my experience of Parisians has been the same as what has been described. O, la, la, the memories …

  • Kaloka November, 9 2012, 7:27 / Reply

    This post isn’t bad. You’re so funny Garnce. I love you.

    Haha! Or Lol….?

    http://thekaloka.com

  • Bea November, 9 2012, 7:27 / Reply

    JE AIME ta manière de écrire! tu me fais sourir toujours! Je prefère lire ton blog avant que lire des autres en espagnol (ma langue maternelle) BRAVO :) BIZ!

  • Vintage hype November, 9 2012, 9:44 / Reply

    Je “lot of love”, et “love from france” les personnes avec qui je parle anglais (anglais ou pas d’ailleurs), MAIS je ne pourrais pas finir un email français par un “beaucoup d’amour” ou un “je t’aime” . C’est tellement bizarre en français, ça ne sonne pas pareil.

  • Ana November, 9 2012, 8:25 / Reply

    I actively like getting overexcited, in a good way, about things.

    It kinda seeps into other areas of life :) .

  • Laura November, 10 2012, 12:51 / Reply

    I find this really interesting. Especially the hugging vs. kissing thing bc I think for a lot of Americans cheek kissing is a lot more intimate than a hug! Also, while hugging is more popular nowadays, I remember a time when it wasn’t and most Americans only hugged family members. It seems like hugging has gone mainstream though and I hug everybody that I genuinely like and would consider a friend (which is maybe I dunno, 10-20 people?). I know an English girl though and the first time I met her she cheek kissed me goodbye and I was so surprised I turned bright red! So sometimes all that European kissing seems a bit much. Haha.

  • Karine November, 10 2012, 12:34 / Reply

    Je viens d’envoyer cet article par mail à mon père. Histoire de lui dire que je l’aime sans le lui dire…

  • Rebecca November, 10 2012, 6:46 / Reply

    Pertinent et amusant (comme d’hab!!)
    Je veux vraiment une réponse à la question : comment dire le premier “je t’aime” en anglais ? Nan mais sérieux ? Moi aussi j’ai déjà été dans la situation où tu parles avec un “copain et plus si affinités” et il balance un “Lov U” à la fin de la conversation… Et si un jour il doit vraiment me dire qu’il m’Aime après des semaines/mois de relation comment je vais savoir la différence ? C’est terrible ce truc. Trouve la solution. Pleaazzeeeee ! ;)

  • Théa Unknown November, 11 2012, 7:05 / Reply

    Le “je t’aime” en France est vraiment réservé au couple amoureux, même à ses parents c’est dur de le dire… Mais moi j’essaye de le dire le plus souvent possible, à mon homme, ma mère, …
    Battons-nous pour le “Je t’aime” bien frenchy!

    Théa Unknown
    http://theaisunknown.blogspot.fr/

  • ainhoa November, 12 2012, 7:30 / Reply

    :)))))…. ma première copine à Paris fût une new yorkaise, on allait ensemble à l’alliance française, pendant le cours un jour elle a demandé pourquoi il y avait de chômage en France ?…ah la la…que les choses ont changé depuis ;-)…elle disait que la vie à Paris était très calme en comparaison à NY, en fin, ceci m’a fait peur…je prenais à Paris trois métros pour aller travailler, plus le cours de français…c’était assez chargé !!, elle disait que les parisiens étaient un peu méchants, mais elle adorait Paris, elle était gaie, sympathique, j’aimais son accent américain quand elle parlais français :), un jour en sortant de l’alliance française elle me dit, viens ! on va rentrer au Lutecia, aux toilettes, je lui dit quoi ? tu es sérieuse ? et je lui ai suivie :)))….ah la la la…quelle fille, rue Saint Dominique était son quartier…

  • Marissa November, 12 2012, 2:13 / Reply

    I think the secret for keeping “I love you” special in America is not using “I” unless you seriously LOVE someone. Examples: I say “love you!” when hanging up the phone with friends, saying goodbye, on texts, facebook messages, emails etc. I say “I love you” only to my parents, a boyfriend who I am IN LOVE with, and to my friends when they have done something genuinely thoughtful for me or they are going through a rough time of their life and need some extra compassion and support. As far as when to say “I love you” to your boyfriend the first time…I always make positive sure never to let the word “love” slip whatsoever until I know I am in love with them. Then, once I know I have fallen, I drop the full “I love you.” Once the ice has been broken I think it’s imperative to keep those THREE words special. Every time you hang up with your boyfriend on the phone, he leaves for work in the morning, etc I think it’s best to say just “love you.” When you go on date night, after you’ve had a particularly “fun” time in the bedroom, when you get each other presents, when you get a job promotion, etc THEN it is appropriate to say “I love you.” I believe that this is the only way to preserve the specialness of those three little words.

  • Michouz November, 13 2012, 5:04 / Reply

    Française ayant séjourné à Londres, vivant à Montréal et surkiffant New York, je dois dire que ton post est pertinent. La culture anglosaxonne est tellement dans le démonstratif, show off permanent de l’enthousiasme qu’on est en droit de se poser la question!
    Montréal est très imprégnée de la culture américaine, du coup c’ets doublement bizarre d’entendre la vendeuse s’enthousiasmé en français quand on rentre dans un magasin.
    Je dois dire qu’il faut juste un juste milieu des choses. En france, ça devient parfois du cynisme.
    Moi j’ai fini par dire j’adooooore et Oh my gaaaaaaaaaad à tout bout de champ. A dire/écrire Love you!!!! à la fin des mails de gens que j’aime vraiment, genre ma soeur, ma best friend et faire ma française avec mon comptable et mon boss!! Best regards.

  • lil November, 13 2012, 5:17 / Reply

    Je me suis fait cette même réflexion des dizaines de fois. Je suis contente que l’ayez mise en forme.
    Deux cultures si différentes. Mais le mot “je t’aime” est quand même très fort, et pour le rester et ne pas perdre son sens, il ne faut pas en user à tout bout de champ. Sinon, comme vous dites, comment dire “je t’aime”, dans son vrai sens premier du “je t’aime”? Il y a une nuance entre j’aime et je t’aime que l’anglais ne traduit peut-être pas. Voir Roland Barthes, Fragment du discours amoureux, sur l’analyse de l’expression “Je t’aime”. Scott est vraiment génial. Dites-lui qu’on l’aime nous aussi (ahahah!)

  • Emeling November, 13 2012, 9:29 / Reply

    Aww that was so sweet of Scott. ?

  • Silva November, 13 2012, 11:24 / Reply

    Let me start off by saying that I absolutely appreciate this post.

    Now on the subject of the over usage of the word love. My ex-boyfriend used to tell him me he loved me every single day. The phrase became more common than “hello” and “goodbye” for us. Obviously, the love really wasn’t there, thus “ex-boyfriend”. Now I am in the most wonderful relationship with the most wonderful man, I know, I know, so humble.

    This wonderful man was my friend for a while before we decided to take our friendship to the next level. He has taught me that the phrase “I love you” is something very intimate and special. So, we decided very early on in our relationship that showing the love was more important than saying the words. We have been together for almost a year and yes, we do say “I love you” to each other. However, it is not used habitually and this makes me appreciate the phrase much more when I hear it.

  • Mimmi November, 14 2012, 7:53 / Reply

    It’s EXACTLY the same in Sweden (other countries in Scandinavia perhaps too, I’m not sure). We say I love you only to the love of our life, not to someone we’ve been dating for a while. And to family members and our oldest, most close friends of course, but just like you said not casually throwing it in everyday conversations! It’s just a very dramatic word. We say it to our lovers and if it’s a very serious situation, if a friend is going through something deep… This also makes our poetry and love songs so much more profound and effective (if done right) than English lyrics.
    All my friends here in the US say it to each other every day. Which is nice in a way – tell your loved ones that you care before it’s too late. But to be honest, it doesn’t seem like people genuinely mean it over here. It’s like “OK, love you, bye” after every phone call! On my very first day in NY my coworker said “Oh my goood I loove you!” every time I did something good. Like say, getting her a coffee after a Starbucks run.

  • Emily November, 15 2012, 2:27 / Reply

    Too funny! My European friends always roll their eyes and say “You’re so American” when I say something was “awesome” or “amazing”. (Their response: “Yeah it was ok”)
    Usually I would agree with you about saying ‘I love you’ in France v the US, but in my case it was the opposite. When my boyfriend (who’s French) wanted to ask me out, he asked an American friend for advice. She told him “Whatever you do don’t say ‘I love you!’ It’s too early for an American girl!” He ignored her and it worked on me lol. Like you and Scott but with opposite nationalities!

  • kris November, 16 2012, 10:54 / Reply

    remember…actions speak louder than words….i love many things and many people….but how i show them determines the magnitude……we need a little more love in the world….spread the word….I LOVE YOU ALL xoxo

  • sanja November, 18 2012, 11:26 / Reply

    Garance, you should write a book I would love to read it! :)

  • CRIS November, 18 2012, 5:31 / Reply

    ahahaha Garance I’m italian and this thing “i love you” I’ve never understood, I’ve always had curiosity about it (because in Italy we have two different ways to say it,”ti voglio bene” with friends and “ti amo” with boyfriend :) )
    So you can’t imagine how you make me laugh with this post :D

    much love from italy,
    Cristina

  • Laura November, 23 2012, 11:36 / Reply

    People often don’t realize the strength of this verb. Like honestly, I love my friends but not like that, you know. And I don’t really feel like telling them this 5 times a day (which seems to be normal in America, but maybe it’s just a stereotype)
    I do think Europe is loosing its ‘typical kind of behavior’ a bit. We’re becoming sooo American. I didn’t ‘hug’ my friends (I still don’t), but nowadays, I see little girls hugging each other like all the time. EVEN IF THEY HAVE JUST MET.
    I just don’t get it.

  • Marine December, 11 2012, 8:36 / Reply

    Vous parlez de la “Parisienne” mais on pourrait peut être dire la “Française”. En province aussi, on est chics ;)

  • Alex December, 23 2012, 10:35 / Reply

    Its funny to me that “I love you” is so rare in France when, at least in my experience, PDA ran rampant! I always assumed they went hand-in-hand.

  • veronique marot May, 17 2013, 4:37 / Reply

    So true! Je me souviens quand mon boyfriend à LA avait dit a ma mère “I love you”, Elle ne savait pas quoi dire non plus! LOL!

  • ele September, 24 2013, 12:01 / Reply

    i loooooved this post!!!! hahahahaha :) this is a very interesting point you got there!!!!

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    Musee d’Orsay This is an outstanding art museum. Not to be hurried through but so much to see there can be sensory overload. We thought we were done until we reached the top floor where the private collections were and wished we had started there first.
    http://www.globogirls.com/place/42-Paris
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