The linguist Steve Kaufmann says that you have to be in love to learn a language well. Maybe that's why I've never learned Spanish, despite living in California where the language is omnipresent. I'm 'just not that into you', Mister Spanish Language. But French, oh that's a different story, a love story.
Sometimes it feels I'm in love with an entity who is out of my reach, like falling for a movie star. But I have the obsession that makes you think about it all the time, trying to tease out its secrets, boring other people with some new facet you've noticed, and wanting to be with it night and day. I want to inhale it, chew it, absorb it through my skin, soak it in, bathe my eyes and ears with it and live on it.
The airplane ride over to Paris was like foreplay. It began with hearing boarding announcements in French, then the flight attendants instructions in French and then fellow passengers chatting in French.
But being in love doesn't make you any smarter. I can memorize like a demon, but the accent is so-o-o hard for me. I think I have to develop a more physical relationship with Mr. French and wrap my lips around him more deeply. I have to work my orbicularis orus, depressor labii oris and levator labii muscles into a frenzy or just watch Mickelino's how to pout and make French sounds video over and over again.