The Rights of the Bloodline
Oh, our notaire was so cute, I wanted to ship him back to the US and send him on tour as a Quintessential French Person. In France, you don’t go to an attorney’s office for a house closing, you go to the notaire’s. He’s somewhere in between a lawyer and a paralegal and he handles all the property issues for his village. You just know he’s got all the dirt on everybody in town and could tell you a thing or two about your neighbors.
M. NOTAIRE: Eet eez quite simple. You, Madame, weel only inherit half of zee property upon zee death of le Monsieur. Zee other half weel be divided between your daughtaire and your youngest zohn, zee true sheeldren of le Monsieur.
M. NOTAIRE: Well, um, oui, Madame, alzough I am not sure what eez zees “sheet out of luck” zat you speak about, but, usually, zee sheeldren are kind enough to let zaire old maman leev een zee house unteel she dies.
Of course, this situation was untenable, but, happily for me and Domestic Son, enough foreigners with their “strange” ideas and blended families had come before us and had the exact same problems with ol’ Napoleon and his code, so that the French were forced to devise a system to deal with our issues.
So, when it’s all said and done, our family will have its’ own treaty whereby we all agree not to kill each other over the stupid chalet and divvy it up according to Mom and Dad’s wishes. Now, until I get all three of them over here to sign this document, which could take no small amount of time, Domestic Son and I have made our own secret pact that it is of the utmost importance to keep Mr. Big alive and breathing.
I will be in charge of regulating his diet, (no fois gras), and away from potential avalanches and power tools. Domestic Son will filter out all stress-producing news from the homefront and try to keep the money requests to a minimum. A healthy Mr. Big means no maman in the attic and no duels at dawn. I really think this whole experience has brought us much closer together as a family. What with the treaty and all.