CFDS Episode 004: When your girlfriend marries a felon

Pic for Episode 004 When girlfriend marries felon

How not to get married in France, and what food to feed to uniformed officers who show up on your doorstep.

What you will learn (apart from don’t marry a felon…)

  • how NOT to get married in France
  • the best food you can serve in case any policemen turn up on your doorstep

At the end of this episode I’ll share with you the best food I think can come in handy to offer policemen because it contains a super stress-busting food.

On with the story

This story is about one of my girlfriends, whom I’ll call Masha.

Masha was really smart. And in Masha’s defence, I’ve got to say straight away that she didn’t actually know that her husband, whom I’ll call Paul, was a felon when she married him.

I think Masha was smarter than me, because I married my French hypnotist much later in a messy, grey sort of way (which I talk about in episode 3). Masha however knew that she wanted to do an exchange. She was American, and she wanted to be able to live and work in France. So she decided she’d marry a Frenchman who wanted to be able to live and work in the US, and it would be a win-win. Right? They’d stay in France for a while and then both go their separate ways.

How we found each other

Now I don’t remember how she found Paul. I think she started asking around rather than place an ad or something. Remember there was no internet so you couldn’t hop onto a forum like ‘marry me dot net’ or whatever. You had to find someone with more traditional methods. She might have put up a poster? No, I don’t think so. That would have been scary.

Oh but first I have to tell you how I found her. That was really weird.

Masha and I were actually friends in high school back in the States. We didn’t really see each other just the two of us, but we hung out with the same group of people.

One day in Paris, so after university which was like 5 years later, I’m standing in this gym waiting for my aerobics class to begin. Suddenly this girl comes up to me and she asks me in French if I’m Barbara. As soon as I saw her eyes I knew it was Masha and I was like ‘No way! How are you!’ and it was amazing!

Can you imagine, bumping into a high school friend in an aerobics class in another country? I mean, it was too weird.

So Masha gets married

I was so happy to have found Masha. It can be kind of tough when you’re away from family and anything that’s familiar in a new country with a new language and all of that. So we had a lot of fun together, it was really great. And of course we had had some of the same experiences when we arrived. We even both wound up with French husbands. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I was teaching English at the time I think (surprise, surprise). I hadn’t heard from Masha in a little while, but one day I get a phone call from her. She was like “Hey, I got married” and I was like “What?”

Masha said “Yeah, I needed my papers, he wanted US papers, so yeah, it’s all done and I’ve got my French resident card now”. Well to get a French resident card was all I’d ever wanted. I used to have nightmares about the French police banging down my door and saying “where are your papers?”. And I hadn’t gotten married yet because I was hoping to do things another way, but Masha didn’t wait. She treated the whole thing like a business transaction, and she got what she wanted.

Some live with models, some live with weirdos

Masha also had this really cool job. She was working with models and photographers, working on fashion shoots and going to glamorous parties and stuff like that.

I was working in various office jobs and living with my French hypnotist who was still being pursued by Scientologists (but that’s another story). So I could really feel the contrast in our daily lives.

I admired Masha when she told me about her whole arrangement. I mean, she made the whole thing sound so easy, and I thought it was very brave, in a crazy kind of way.

So things for Masha worked out really well. Paul left France – he went to the US (I won’t say where in case he recognizes this story and is tempted to come after me, ha!). And once he was in the US, Masha didn’t really hear anything from him which was fine with her. She said the whole thing was very amicable and that Paul was a nice guy – a good-looking guy too, I mean I never saw him but I took Masha’s word for it. Considering she was working with models, he must have been seriously hot.

Knock knock, guess who?

Everything was fine for Masha. She was working and doing her thing, loving her life in Paris…until one day the doorbell rings.

Masha goes to the door, and there are two policemen standing there. She’s thinking ‘what’s going on?’ Right? Because she knew she hadn’t done anything wrong.

The policemen asked her, ‘Where’s Paul? We need to speak with him’. Masha told them the truth – that he left France ages ago and that she didn’t really speak to him anymore.

It was at that point that they told her that Paul had stolen the equivalent of what would now be…like…two hundred thousand dollars.

Now it’s important for you to know that the law in France says that you’re liable for your spouse’s debts (it did at that time, anyway). So if Masha couldn’t turn Paul over to the police, she’d be responsible for all that money!

An address can be crucial

Fortunately for Masha, she knew exactly where Paul was and she gave the police his address. Paul was found, extradited and put into prison.

Best of all for Masha, no-one contested her divorce. Whew! Right? I mean, all I got was a crazy Scientologist, at least I didn’t get a felon.

So Masha lived happily ever after – at least until I showed up on her doorstep with my bags one day, but that’s another story.

On to the food!

Right, so on to the food portion of our story.

Imagine yourself in that situation. You’ve got policemen at your door who are looking for your felon husband who owes them a LOT of money which YOU would have to pay back if they couldn’t find him.

What food could you have served to those policemen that would have brought down everyone’s stress levels – especially yours?

The answer is: raw chocolate!

If you’ve listened to previous episodes, you knew I’d get to the chocolate eventually, right? It didn’t take me long. You’ve got to have chocolate with crazy stories.

What’s so great about raw chocolate?

Raw chocolate, or cacao as it’s also called, is great for several things:

  • Raw cacao is an incredible stress-buster
  • It also contains magnesium, which can actually help not only nourish but also relax your muscles
  • And it can help with healthy levels of hormones (never a bad thing, right?)
  • Plus it gives us a shot of dopamine

Dopamine, by the way, is like an instant pleasure hit. And I don’t know about you, but if I saw two policemen at my door asking about my felon husband whom I hadn’t known was a felon, I’d much rather be relaxed and give myself a little boost, shall we say, rather than be all stressed out.

How do you use raw chocolate?

So, how do you eat raw chocolate?

Well don’t go out and buy some random candy bar. That’s NOT the same thing because the sugar and the dairy cancel out any benefit you get from the chocolate.

For best results you want to get yourself some unroasted, raw chocolate powder. You can get that on Amazon and a lot of grocery stores have it now too.

Then you just tip a spoonful or two into nut milk for example, whizz it up with a couple of dates and presto, a quick chocolate shake!

And my personal favorite

Now personally my favorite is raw chocolate brownies. And I don’t think those policemen would have been able to resist my brownies, whether they were on duty or not. Plus it’s the same word in French, you just say ‘brownie’. So no vocabulary problems either.

If you’d like the recipe for my oh-so-good raw chocolate brownies, you’ll find it in my 5-Minute Chocolate Heaven ebook. You’ll be able to cover yourself in chocolate if you want to!

Have YOU got a story to share?

And if you do cover yourself in chocolate, I want to hear about it! If you’ve got a crazy, true story to share, with or without chocolate (and you’d like to know what food could have saved the day in your situation), I’d love to hear from you!

Got a question, or a comment?

Got a question, or a comment? Pop a note below in the comments, that would be awesome. You can also subscribe to the podcast to listen ‘on the go’ in iTunes.

I hope you have an amazing day. Thank you so much for being here with me to share in my Clean Food, Dirty Stories. Bye for now!


Link to Chocolate Heaven and other recipe ebooks:

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