We are not sorry to ask for an email that should have been sent to us weeks ago, or to expect to receive the item we paid for, or to be bumped into on the subway. Yes, we should take the shampoo commercial’s advice and weed out the word when it’s superfluous. But it’s just as important to articulate exactly what we mean in its place.Child was doubtless quoting John Wayne who said that too, fifty-five years earlier in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Nevertheless Julia Child is a great source for inspiration, although the linked article might give you an incomplete idea of just why she was so charming.
Julia Child, a consummate charmer, said it best: “Never apologize.”
She had arrived in France in November 1948 not speaking the language or knowing how to cook. ''I had never even heard of a shallot,'' she said. ''I was there as Paul's extra baggage.'' Ten years older than Julia, he ran the visual presentation department at the United States Information Service. By the time they left for other postings six years later, Julia was fluent in French, ran a cooking school and was co-authoring a comprehensive cookbook that would later make her famous.The truth is that she had been carefully taught long before France. What she doesn't explain in this rather modest interview is that by 1948 she had been working as an American spy for six years. She joined the OSS under Wild Bill Donovan during the war and served across Asia. She met Paul doing this work, which was at an extremely high level. She wasn't her husband's baggage -- the US Information Agency was our core propaganda outfit during the Cold War -- but it was sure helpful if she could appear that way.
She learned many things in Paris, she said, one of the most important of which was how to shop like a Parisian. ''It was life-changing,'' she said, ''because shopping in France taught me about human relations.''...
With a smile, she added: ''I quickly learned how to communicate. If I wasn't willing to spend time to get to know the sellers and what they were selling, then I wouldn't go home with the freshest head of lettuce or best bit of steak in my basket. They really made me work for my supper. But what a supper -- yum! And it was such fun.''