Culture Magazine

Le Divorce at the Butcher Shop

By Sedulia @Sedulia

I stopped at the butcher shop on the way home to get something I wouldn't have to cook-- tonight it was lasagna. The woman at the boucherie is always very pleasant, but reserved. She is not one to confide in you, and even though I chatted away in my usual fashion, she just smiled and answered with one or two words. The only time I see her showing real animation, come to think of it, is when she is giving Frenchwomen advice about food. That makes sense-- I'm not much of a cook and have taken advantage of Paris's wonderful cuisine mainly to take out and eat out, much to the despair of the rest of my family (not that most of them are any better).

I asked her about the week's plats préparés, which are so good you normally have to order them in advance. The ruddy, smiling butcher came out in his bloody apron to give me the paper with the week's menus, and pressed it firmly into my hand, much to my surprise. Suddenly I noticed that he was standing much too close and was drunk, slurring his words. I could smell the alcohol on his breath.

"My wife and I aren't married any more, but we still work together," he said, tilting his head. "C'est grandiose, n'est-ce pas?"

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