When in France Sunbathe Topless
So, the children are finally gone. They left with Madame this morning. She is driving them to Brittany to stay with relatives for two weeks. Thus my summer holiday begins. The master of the house slept in while I took my daily hike in the woods behind the house and swam laps in the villa pool. Monsieur commented over lunch that I am becoming quite the French woman. I have conquered French traffic, I have become a lover of fine wine, and you will be happy to know that I finally tried the stinky cheese. It was what I expected, very, very strong. No wonder the French eat stinky cheese with wine, it dulls your senses and makes you jolly no matter what you consume, but I digress.
While Monsieur was taking his daily after lunch nap (something as French as sunbathing topless). I decided to take another dip in the pool. Yes, I know, tough job, but someone has to do it. :) After a few laps I decided to even out my farmer’s tan, so I slathered on some suntan oil, plugged in my iPod and grabbed a glass of vin rose. Ten minutes later my boss was off and so was my bikini top. Now let me say this. The villa is secured on all sides by seven feet tall hedges, so there was no danger of peeping toms. In fact I found it rather comfortable being free to do whatever, whenever I wanted without fear of neighbors peaking through their curtains.
iPod blaring Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and the sun gently warming my skin lulled me into a light nap. Next thing I know there is a strange man standing over me asking in French where the owners of the house were. I don't know how long this gentleman stood over me, but he was kind enough to cover me up before waking me. I can hear my mother giving me a good old-fashioned "I told you so" and "what would your grandmother think" but I wasn’t that embarrassed and neither was the plumber. After he fixed the sink he bid me "bonsoir" and I resumed my topless sunbathing.
If you don’t know me well enough, I am a very private person. I don’t change my clothes in front of girlfriends, share dressing rooms, or feel comfortable in revealing clothing. I have sisters that would have whipped off their tops their first day in France, but I blush if someone sees too deep down my shirt. I can only imagine what my mother is thinking as she reads this, but going topless while sunning oneself is one's god given right in France. Just the other day when I took the kids to the beach most women were basking in the sun without tops in full sight of people of all ages. In France little girls swim in only bikini bottoms until they are 6, then I guess they resume this dress in their adult years as they see fit. So in actuality for me to have sunbathed topless in the total privacy of the villa's sun deck makes me a bit of a prude against French standards. French women of all sizes are proud of every inch of their bodies, no matter the shape. A bit of that is beginning to rub off on me because feeling comfortable in my own skin to sunbathe topless gives me a sense of pride. I didn’t have to wait until I was a size 4 again to feel at ease in my own skin. So, no I am not pervert, but rather becoming more and more a French woman every day. However, next time I will be sure to lock the main gate before whipping off my top. ;)