gets a new look !
Chantal Letellier is a “wonderful woman.” She’s a lawyer. She always wins her cases. In her professional life she’s a heavyweight, but in her private life she’s a pushover. She’s divorced – and didn’t even litigate – and is saddled with two teenage kids who are very well brought up in a bad kind of way. When it comes to love, think “desert” – she’s got no time. But flesh is weak and one night she lets loose with a client. Undoes a few buttons and then a few buttons more.
He falls madly in love with her and settles in. To get rid of him, she undertakes major renovations with the intention of making the house unlivable.
“Have I got this right?” her ex-husband mocks. “To get rid of the bozo you’ve taken in six more!” To top it all, she employs a young Colombian architect, an immigrant worker whose illegal status she’s just rectified. Eternally grateful, and taking advantage of the situation to spruce up his press-book, the architect gives her house an entire makeover she didn’t request!
He employs a local crew not exactly specialized: “They’re all versatile!” Except that an “especialist of fractal geometry” doesn’t necessarily a good electrician make, and a prêt-à-porter fashion designer isn’t really qualified to be a plumber!
The ceiling falls on their heads. “Es just ze beginning,” says the architect. Chantal is sentenced to six months of major chaos: water damage, fires, etc. The workers do what they can. Six months during which ties are woven. Her daughter Pulchérie is first in her class at Spanish after dancing the salsa with a young apprentice who’s never used a trowel in his life. But he’s really cute! Her son Martin has private math classes at home and Chantal also learns how to live. She realizes that between theory and practice, there’s an abyss, that protesting for illegal immigrants’ rights is a whole different kettle of fish than having the immigrant live in, that men are always men and that privacy cannot not be bartered.
At the beginning she butters the bread, but very quickly she’s got things roasting.
It’s the story of an exchange.
March 14, 2006
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