Puffers in Paris: The Association Game

Puffers in Love

Every vacation has its own “thing” that unintentionally becomes a memorable part of the whole experience. It can be a song, catchphrase, food, recurring pitfall…anything that just sticks with you.

For example, on my post-college Clark W. Griswold tour through Europe, friends nicknamed me “Jill of Many Things” because of the accumulation of souvenirs, bath towels, books etc. that dangled inefficiently from my backpack. My friend Tom, who couldn’t resist drooling over the cookies, tartlets and pastries found on every European corner, will always be “Dessert Man” to me. And I still get nostalgic for youthful misadventures when I hear Sting’s “Fields of Gold” because its ubiquitous play on Euro radio became the soundtrack to our lives that summer.

It’s no different with family trips, and there are many things we will always associate with our recent trip to Paris. For one, our daughter hummed the Pink Panther theme over and over and over. And over and over and over. Also, I’m pretty sure we’ll always think of Paris if “Puss in Boots” is mentioned because of the repetitive “Le Chat Potté” Metro ads that became the object of an almost daily “I Spy…” game. On that 1993 trip to Europe with friends, the Metro hard sell was focused on Bridget Fonda’s “The Assassin,” a Hollywood remake of a 1990 French movie called “La Femme Nikita.” If I was a Parisian movie buff, I would at least call that redundant, and may even go as far as cheeky.

We will also forever link Paris with the puffer jacket. I like puffer jackets as much as the next person, but when I say puffers were prevalent in Paris, it’s an understatement. As you’ll see in this silly little photo album, puffers abounded in all shapes and sizes, and my husband and I had fun pretending to be Bill Cunningham. Only these photos will never run in the New York Times, or have any kind of impact. Other than that, we felt very much like Bill Cunningham.

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