My Inner French Girl

Thank you for your name suggestions on the last My Inner French Girl post. It took me a while (in fact, four previous posts about this mystery Parisienne), but my girl has a name. And yes, I realize the fanfare surrounding this is a bit on the loony side given that she isn’t even real but rather a figment of my overly active, Francophile brain. But her name is very important. Are you ready? Oui?

Je vous présente…Linnea ou Mirette!

That’s right, I can’t pick. Now, before you thumb your nose at both suggestions, I picked them from two of my favorite books from childhood. My dad read these to me a million times and both names represent the adorable, strong, smart French girls from the stories, each who had a proclivity for art.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden / Mirette on the High Wire

Linnea, a precocious girl, takes us on a journey through Monet’s most famous works and on a tour of his life and garden in Giverny. There was even a movie, which we also had. Mirette lives with her mother in the boarding house they run, surrounded by performers and artists. She learns to tight rope from the famous Bellini. The artwork is heavily French Impressionist, just like Monet (my dad was an artist, after all, and would have been dissatisfied only reading typical children’s books with me). Both books take us back to the turn of the 20th century in Paris.  You could say my love of all things Parisian is genetic, but it was also nurtured with books like these. I love both names so much, either would do My Inner French Girl justice and be wonderfully fitting.

I’m going to let you weigh in and then make a decision.

1. Dress / 2. Necklace / 3. Blazer / 4. Lip Balm / 5. Perfume / 6. Illuminizer /
 7. Nail polish / 8. Scarf / 9. Clutch / 10. Booties

Linnea/Mirette works as an art assistant for a gallery in the 6th. I briefly considered having her work at Vogue Paris but I want to still like her, not envy her to the point of hatred. On her way to lunch one afternoon with her boss, Sylvie, she bumps (literally) into Matthieu coming out of a neighboring performance gallery. They give awkward, flushed hellos, and Sylvie’s eyebrows raise as she smirks at the exchange. My Inner French Girl’s cheeks turn the color of her blazer as Sylive extends a hand and says she has heard beaucoup about him. Matthieu explains he is playing with a friend who is a violinist that night, that they’ll be performing selected Antione Bohrer movements. She nods as if she understands. There’s a long pause, Matthieu stuffs his hands in his jacket pockets awkwardly before it dawns on him to invite her. She accepts, trying not to seem overly enthusiastic. Matthieu says goodbye, tells Sylvie it was nice to meet her, and leaves. As they continue on their way to lunch, Sylvie links arms with Linnea/Mirette and tries not to giggle.

My Inner French Girl realizes the concert starts too early for her to leave work to go home and change, so she’ll have to go in her work outfit. Sylvie finds her in the bathroom reapplying her makeup, gives an amused sigh, and pulls her a scarf out of her bag. She ties it around My Inner French Girl’s neck and wishes her good luck before leaving for the night. Linnea/Mirette makes her way down the block to the gallery, trying to stop worrying about how she looks. It doesn’t matter how she looks anyway, because as she walks into room and looks for a seat, the first person she spots is Matthieu, who’s changed into a dark, casual suit…and who is standing with his tall, impossibly thin, blonde girlfriend.

18 thoughts on “My Inner French Girl

  1. Oh Mirette, all the way! such a pretty name.

    Boo for poor Mirette, that Matthieu is a cad :-) Erin, you really should get writing a book, your literary skills are not being used to their full potential on your blog alone.

    I love those boots, what a steal of a price. You must buy them immediately

    I look forward to the next chapter xx

    1. Yay! 1 for Mirette (it’s my first choice, too). Don’t encourage me to go shopping! You’re the lady who didn’t even bring her credit card out with us last week. And besides, I already have a very similar pair of boots, so there. :)

      You’re so sweet! I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book for like, 10 years but have stopped and started a million different premises and none of them get me very far. Le sigh. Maybe one day! xo

  2. Poor Mirette. I hate it that Matthieu has a girlfriend. Either she’s awful and he’ll leave or or he is and is totally not worth the bother, oui?

    And I agree with Sam. Get cracking on the writing. Your readers eagerly await. I’m glad I don’t have to hate her too.

    1. I do peg Tall Blonde Girlfriend as a total bitch, so there’s that. Aren’t they always? Funny story: when I first met J I was convinced he had his own Tall Blonde Girlfriend/Fiance who was a total bitch. Apparently it’s a stereotype I internally perpetuate.

  3. All I can say is thank fark you didn’t name her Sandrine. It’s probably my least favourite French girl name ever- and everyone I ever met there seemed to be named it. Sohn-dreeeen, all through the nose.

    Mirette, all the way. Or you could combine the two- Linnette. Or Mirea. Wait…isn’t that a birth control?

    Maybe not then. Hm.

    1. Sohn-dreeeen was forever tainted thanks to this Friends scene:


      I snorted big time at Mirea. My Inner Birth Control French Girl. And I like Linnette! But it’s the name of a car repair shop around here. No go.

  4. Oh, how I wish this series was a choose-your-own-adventure type because I don’t want Matthieu to have a girlfriend. OR, the twist could be that Tall Blonde Girlfriend (TBG) is totally likeable. Perhaps, Mirette and her even become close friends, and TBG has a drop-dead gorgeous brother. Oh my goodness, I think you officially put my imagination into overdrive. Anyway, forgive me, this is your story. Oh, and I love the name Mirette.

    1. Well she can’t have everything can she? She already has the perfect apartment and the perfect wardrobe, I can’t very well give her the world (as much as I want to!). Mirette’s life can’t be a million times better than mine or I’ll stop writing about her altogether, haha. But I’m glad I’m making your imagination run wild! That’s half the fun!

      I think Mirette wins :) By a landslide.

    1. That jacket is so great! Yellow would make me look so pale and sickly, haha, so I stuck with red. Mirette wins!

  5. Another vote for Mirette! Oh, no Matthieu can’t have a girlfriend. I wonder how the story will continue…Have you ever watched La Boum (The Party?)? I was madly in love with a character named Matthieu ;)

    1. Ha! La Boum!! We watched that whenever we had a substitute in French class in high school. I must’ve seen it am million times, but can’t remember a single thing about it! I need to watch it again and keep an eye out for Matthieu! :)

  6. It’s nice to meet Mirette! And I’m secretly (or not so secretly) crossing my fingers that she gets the guy in the end. So – oddball fact about me – I give all of my devices French names. My iPod is named Maurice, my iPad is named Hortense and my laptop is Etienne. Weird right??? I’m thinking of names for my iPhone right now – maybe Guillaume?

    1. Bonjour Mirette! I think she’ll end up all right in the end :) I LOVE that you give your devices French names! I love the name Etienne, too. Guillaume is a good iPhone name. Augustin and Remy are good ones too, if your phone is a boy. I have no shortage of French girl names, either.

  7. Chloe. She’s clearly called Chloe.

    I really like those boots too and I’ve bought some almost identical ones but there were a lot more money than those! so comfy though, I haven’t taken them off since I bought them.

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