Big apologies for the terrible quality of this scanned invitation. Unfortunately, that's the best copy that's come from Paris. It means that upon receiving the medal a formal acceptance speech is required.
My big worry is how to give this speech in formal French. Worry?
Call me terrified.
How does one thank the Hotel de Ville - City Hall officials using their proper titles? How many ways can one say 'it's such a great honor' in French without using the same words over and over again?
How many ways can I say thank you to the friends who'll attend - to whom I owe so much?
The last thing I want to do is make them wince in pain at my prononciation. But that might happen. Probably some of the audience will want to correct me. It's easy to visualize them mouthing the correct word, narrowing their cheeks to elicit the proper prononciation. Already, this feels awkward and painful.
Excruciating as this sounds I need to make it short, concise, and include everyone with proper honorifics and get on with on it so we can go eat a lovely meal...
So obsessing, practicing, obsessing and feeling worse and worse that I'm attempting this in French I debated on just speaking in English.
But to honor the people and City who are bestowing this medal it only makes sense to bite the bullet, smile and slaughter the language with the best intentions...
Cara - Tuesday