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, 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.
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.