I've never been able to relate to other foreigners who say that they find the French distant, reserved, very polite. Most of the French I know, they're exuberant people of the south. Take, for example, Pierre's family. Christmas-eve dinner and Christmas-day lunch were, as expected, a riot, with everyone talking all at the same time and doing it throughout the meal, too.
I felt immediate remorse, but to my surprise everyone carried on as usual, only a tad calmer. Jeanette gave me a warm hug and kisses before the night was out. When I asked him later if it was all right, Pierre told me, "Honey, don't worry about it." Then he went on to reassure me, "You're just turning into one of us." I smiled, but in my head I was still screaming: Oh! My! God!