On the plane from Beijing to Newark, I got my tiny dose of France and French for the week in the form of the film "Coco Before Chanel," a French film released in 2009 that I somehow missed.
It made for the most pleasant two of the thirteen and a half hours of the flight. (I watched another movie later in the flight, but by then I had lost too many brain cells to altitude boredom and, for the sake of my educated adult respectability, I shall not repeat the name of the insipid rom-com fluff that at least helped keep me - for another two hours - from looking up every few minutes at that nasty bright blue monitor on the bulkhead telling me how high we were flying, how inhumanly cold it was beyond the confines of our large flying metal tube and how many more hours we'd (hopefully) continue to do the same. Can you tell that I'm not a big lover of flying?)
So, thank you for in-flight entertainment, Continental Airlines.
More than midway through the film, the wealthy man who has taken Coco into his home remarks off-handedly, upon seeing her shorn of her formerly waist-length raven hair, "A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life." From her look in response, we in the audience know that she knows this to be true, too, but how will that change take shape? Perhaps she knows, perhaps not. Either way, it was a moment that made me smile, as a fellow recently "shorn" woman with changes taking shape in her life.
That quote from the film reminded me that Coco Chanel was responsible for some pretty good quips during her life. Here are a few I particularly like:
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."
"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. "
"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone."
"Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future."
"To achieve great things, we must first dream."
Ah, to dream, to be classy, to be fabulous (whatever that means!), to be different, to stop beating on walls, to deserve to be elegant, and to decide to be someone. Such pressure! Great quotes, but maybe a bit unattainable? Perhaps I'll just try to live by this much-easier-to-achieve quote by Coco Chanel:
"A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed."
That I can handle.