Nickole Brown

Cynthia Arrieu-King's Parisian Grandmother

Cynthia Arrieu-KingMy Parisian grandmother had four husbands, worked for the UN, walked along volcanoes in Hawaii, wore a mink stole, and studied Sufism. She once showed up to breakfast in a blonde wig, and another time, when a customs officer wanted to confiscate her bottles of wine, she said, oh no, bring us some glasses, and poured out all the wine for her fellow passengers waiting in line, saying to everyone, "No way he's getting my wine.". She smoked, drank, and ate whatever she wanted and lived to be 88. When someone sat in her usual seat at dinner in the retirement home, she stood behind that gentleman and said in a stern deadpan, "Monsieur, vous êtes à ma place" ("Sir, you're in my seat.").