I'm supposed to be writing a sermon and just to help myself concentrate I'm watching Wednesday's French Inauguration on C-SPAN. Some very interesting things to note. First, it appears as though Sarkozy has upwards of 5 children. Couldn't get an exact count so I'm going to have to google it. And, then, Sarkozy walked Chirac all the way to his car, something Mitterand did not allow Chirac to do-a real, showing to the door of your car moment, you're the guest now as it were. But the real interesting bit (for me) is the total absence of women in the whole procedings. Sarkozy's wife stood off to the side with her children during his inauguration and speech, he didn't mention her at all in his remarks, and now he is doing his formal bits (ride down the Champs Elysees, lighting of the eternal flame etc) alone.
Of course, this would be totally unacceptable in the US. You can't leave your wife out of anything here, whether you like it or not. I presume that had Royal won she would have left her husband at home.
This absence of women is surprising to me now, having been in the US for almost 10 years (is it really that long?), but I don't think I would have noticed before. I remember being really genuinly surprised by the Clinton/Lewinsky scandle. I coudldn't understand why anyone would care. Just goes to show you how Americanised I've become.