AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
AN American woman in Paris is like a duck in water; it is her natural element. It takes about two seconds for the city by the Seine to hypnotize her. She loves it in her youth, she revisits it in maturity, she is homesick for it in her old age.
American women, who are as expert in shopping as Oriental rug-dealers, and whose audacity in entering expensive shops makes men breathless, are often called extravagant. But it should be remembered that they can make a few dollars last out a whole afternoon of visits to various shops; and that, unlike men, they never buy anything of which they do not approve. Any mediocre clerk can persuade a man that shoes fit him when he knows they do not; he buys in haste and repents at leisure.
If men were not so uncomfortable in shops, it would pay them to see the expression on the face of a Parisian salesman when he begins to show goods to some American woman whom he recognizes as a foe worthy of his steel. He is an expert seller and she is an expert buyer; it is a duel worth watching; and the amount eventually paid by the American husband or father should be regarded as the price he has paid for a ringside seat.
No man can feel toward Paris as a woman does; for Paris is itself a woman. Many men love it, but only women understand it. Paris is the most beautiful city I have ever seen; but I never feel at home there, though I have spent many months within its fair domain. I never fully analysed