Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

It’s Memorial Day!


Thanks to a practice which really annoys me, I am now going to be able to remember which holiday marks the beginning of the summer season and which one ends it. The key came in the form of a movie I will never see called LABOR DAY. Here’s the US poster:


And here’s the French one:



Can you guess what, under normal circumstances, would bother me about this? It’s changing an English title into another English title. I mean, I get it: no one in Europe knows what Labor Day is but this practice is generally dumb and confusing.

Even before I heard and read the positively dreadful reviews for this movie (notice complete absence of reviewer quotes!), I wouldn’t have seen it for one big reason: it’s based on a book by Joyce Maynard and I don’t like her at all. I was studying writing when her book At Home in the World came out and one of my professors was exactly the kind of hippy-dippy person to eat it up and she made us read it too. I found the whole thing to be in poor taste and indicative of a person who was still not mature enough (then aged 45) to own up to any decisions she’d ever made. Other opinions are available but that’s the nice version of mine. The mean version is quite nasty and includes lots of foul words used to describe women of whom of I have a very low opinion.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

6 thoughts on “It’s Memorial Day!

  1. I also noticed this strange habit of changing an English title for another one in France…a practice I truly can’t understand. Why not simply put a French title…(Suzanne)

  2. I *loathe* that Memorial Day and Labor Day “mark” the beginning and end of summer, because not only is it incorrect, but now it means that people who are really into pumpkin spice lattes start blathering about them even earlier than they should, and people complain about how hot it is in September and they can’t bring out their boots yet. UGH.

    In other words, that French poster is also incorrect. Hmph.

    • How is it incorrect? They used to be the basic dates for when school would be out and also marked the opening and closing of pools (at least where I grew up). Plus, Hollywood used to start the blockbuster season to coincide with the MD (though now it’s wall-to-wall corporate cinema all year).

      • Technically speaking summer doesn’t begin until June 21st and ends September 22nd (and thankfully, our town recognizes this as our beach permit is good until the end of September rather than running out on Labor day or similar). I know culturally speaking Memorial Day/Labor Day are the benchmarks, but I don’t like that it pushes up the seasons as I would prefer to push them out for as long as possible, you know?

      • After I replied to you, I thought you might mean the summer solstice, but there would have been riots where I grew up if kids had to stay in school until then AND we couldn’t go swimming. And though you are 100% correct and I would normally agree with you, to me, the scholastic calendar dictated most of my life (give or take a few years) in the US, so I always fall back on that. To wit: I still think of Mon-Thurs as “school nights” even though I haven’t been in any kind of school in a really, really, really long time.

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