In 1996, when I was a foreign exchange student in Paris, I lived with a fantastic family. When my parents came from the States to visit me, the five of us shared an epic meal, during which I got my feet wet as a translator. It started out pretty tame, but after the first three courses and the third bottle of wine, Monsieur began to gush, thanking my dad personally for the United States’ involvement in World War II. You may ask, where can you go from there? Well, my dad, the history buff, responded by thanking Monsieur in turn for the French involvement in the Revolution. This brings me to my non-predictable party idea for the Fourth of July.
In honor of Lafayette, who aided Washington in training his troops and securing our independence, I recommend a Francophile Fourth! Let’s dust off those Edith Piaf CDs toute suite! Why eat hotdogs when you could eat mushroom fromage crêpes! Tell your friends they can still wear red-white-n-blue—as long as it’s something chic. Crank up the accordion music and wear heels, this is no barbeque, mon ami, we are talking about a soirée!
Let’s crack open that bottle of Bordeaux you’ve been saving in the basement and light some candles to set a romantic tone. And if anyone accuses you of being an ex-pat, loudly exclaim, “J’accuse!” before educating them about Lafayette. The hostess should definitely wear a beret and find someone who’s willing to be a mime for the night. Talk about original—a mime at a Fourth of July party! And this year, when you watch the fireworks, instead of saying, “Ooh!” say “Oh là là!” A French Fourth, what a revolutionary idea! Vive la France! Just to say merci to Lafayette, pourqoi pas?
Photo courtesy of Walter Jew