MY MOTHER WAS obsessed with all things French, the art and language in particular. I wouldn’t call her a Francophile, necessarily, but the word probably isn’t too far off.
When I was in middle school — rather late in the game to be introduced to a foreign language, in my opinion — and it came time for me to pick a second tongue, one that I’d study through college, I wanted to take Spanish. It seemed the most practical, given that I was growing up in Los Angeles and was spoken all around me.
Preteen boys aren’t typically known for their pragmatism, so I was proud of my choice. But my mother vetoed it and insisted I take French, which my sister, Shana, would also learn (and excel at beyond me). Continue reading