Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Les Baskets

Ah, it's good to be home in Paris, land of les baskets. Unless your head is totally in the clouds, for a long time now you can see on the streets Parisians of all ages and arrondissements sporting les baskets. Is it just my bias, or is it true that only Parisians could make Converse all stars a fashion statement, wearing hi-tops or lo-tops with such panache. There are les baskets worn with les slim (usually skinny black pants), with jeans or even, as I spotted at the opera, a lady wearing them with a tony linen suit. Les baskets avec tout?

But it goes beyond fashion. Les baskets are so ubiquitous that the phrase has taken on new meaning. The word, of course, comes from basketball, le basket. Les baskets are the shoes. So the phrase "il est bien dans ses baskets" has come to be the equivalent of "il est bien dans sa peau," meaning "he feels good about himself."

But there's more. I spotted in Le Canard Enchainé on May 23 "Le PS est à côté de ses baskets, sans ligne ni tete." ("The Socialist Party is out of sorts, out of kilter, no line and no leader.")

Other uses:

"J'en ai plein les baskets" = "j'en ai marre" "J'en ai plein les baskets avec le boulot." (I've had it up to here, I'm fed up.)

"Lache-moi les baskets" = "laissez moi tranquille" (Give me a break.)

"Avoir le moral dans les baskets" means to be a little depressed. But not me. I'm fresh off the plane, back home in my little parquet-moulures-cheminées in the 7th arrondissement.

I am happy to be back, and bien dans mes baskets.

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