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When I was born, it was clear to my father that I had to be happy. But happy according to his principles. That is, devoted to a man. As if I were a man's accessory. It wasn't until I took a closer look at my past that I realized this anomaly, which I wasn't the only one to suffer. And that others still endure. But that's the way it was.

It was out of the question for me to become a competition beast, a Nobel Prize winner or an astrophysicist, because my father wanted me to be chained to his vision of a faithful wife, "a purse woman" as it were. To put his plan into action, he enrolled me in the worst school in the neighborhood, where the teachers spoke worse than the students.

I lost faith in humanity surrounded by classmates who enjoyed throwing firecrackers in each other's faces, or stabbing each other in the canteen.

How could a sensitive, sensible, hyper-emotional student like me find herself surrounded by these demons who only expressed themselves through violence and humiliation? No matter how many times I came home every night crying because I'd been bullied by the students, misunderstood by the teachers, my father wouldn't budge one iota, hoping to make me bend.

Bend, why not. Never break. So I spent the whole of my schooling recluse in a corner of the courtyard, hoping that no one would come and talk to me.

Patricia Blanchet

We'd moved to a place where there wasn't a single library or media centre.
It was out of the question for me to educate myself except in front of Captain Flam or Albator. Candy and anything else too girly were out of the question. Since I was a lonely little thing, I had to toughen up and live up to his expectations.

So he put me in boxing. But not simple English boxing. That would have been too simple. But Tajik boxing.

It had the same rules, but instead of gloves on each hand, you held clubs. The blows were much more violent. And for the first time in his life, my father was right, for I proved to be extremely gifted in this discipline. This didn't change the course of my life, and I always remained apart, friendless and culturally orphaned.
Patricia Blanchet

Until one day I witnessed a miracle.

On my way home from sport, once again victorious over a kid two heads taller than me, I saw him. This beautiful truck strolling through the streets with a little music and the driver's voice announcing its arrival for the first time in our neighborhood. It was a mobile library, and when I realized it, I jumped on it, hoping to find some literature of my own age.
Patricia Blanchet

The poor man had been robbed by all the kids and was left with nothing but old people's thingummies. And as there were no old people in our neighborhood (they all died before the age of 50 due to the presence of too much uranium), all that was left was their reading material.

That's how I was introduced to the works of Marcel Proust at the age of 10.

It was an abrupt but salutary introduction, and I quickly revelled in the introspective, meticulous writing of this writer who enchanted my childhood, tinged with a persistant grey. That's why I wanted to pay tribute to Marcel by expressing my gratitude to him through the creation of a flamboyantly feminine bootie.

If Cédric Grolet is the King of Patisserie, then Patricia is the Queen of Grolles.

Because nothing fit this text better than this ballad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnUdoUfKpVQ
Patricia Blanchet

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