The French do do.
Be chic, be coy, be funny. Know food, know faux, and by all means, know wine.
And considering Gigi was my favorite movie growing up [my mother, in her infinite wisdom, almost always reserved it for my days spent at home, sick from school, under an afghan with a cup of chicken broth—the soundtrack to which I’d later frequently pop into my car CD player in college, on the way to Hampden-Sydney, and belt out the lyrics to the title song*—no wonder no one dated me], it should be no surprise, based on what I could ascertain from the following scene, that the allure of wine grew to be, for me, a celebration of beauty and exquisite moments—in my mind, if not my day to day.
I mean, I was a varsity hockey player, not a courtesan in training. But one should always know how to taste, drink, and enjoy good wine.
Whether for social graces or just plain fun, though, I won’t concede.
Ladies, it’s never too late to see Gigi.
Butler Charles pours both Gigi and Aunt a glass of red wine.
“You hold the glass like this.” [FYI: Gigi has already downed this glass before learning how to hold it.]
“Erm, Charles? Some more wine,” and with a newly full glass and half-rapt attention, Gigi refocuses.
“Now, watch me. Try it. No! Don’t gulp it! Sip it! A little at a time!…Eh, fill mademoiselle’s glass again, Charles.”
[This’ll be Gigi’s third glass, in under 15 seconds.]
“That’s bettahhhhh… You have to fully enjoy the aroma. On your first sip, hold it on the roof of your mouth for a moment. Breathe through your nose. Then, you will feel the flavor.”
Gigi inhales, sips, then sags with pleasure.
“Did you feel the perfume?”
“Well, try it again.”
You can’t fault me for mentally coining womanhood in the image of a magically misunderstood, turn of the century French girl with pillowy lips and wicked wit. No judgment on your moms, but if you didn’t carry this storyline around in your subconscious growing up, I can only offer my greatest condolences.
“Wait for the first class jewels, Gigi. Hold on to your ideals.”
On a less forgiving note, if you’re a female and you haven’t once longed for a gorgeous Louis Jourdan-ish man to sing your name something like 13 times in a row with a touch of psychosis and a bravado powerful enough to rip the undies off the Queen, well, we simply cannot break bread together.
Charles refills Gigi’s glass, again.
“A bad year would be sharp,” Aunt says, nose in her glass. “A good year, which this is, of course, will waft.”
Gigi explodes in giggles. One can’t imagine why.
“Oh, marvelous!” she exclaims, completely hammered.
…her empty glass, begging to be refilled.
“That will be all, Charles.”
And, in a line that speaks to my soul (9-year old, and otherwise): “Marriage is not forbidden to us; but instead of getting married at once, it sometimes happens, we get married at last.”