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How do you say "I'm over this" in French?

Power to the people

Good morning, let’s make it a good Monday! Starting here: I was today-years-old when I found out that the dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush is called a “nurdle.” That has pretty much nothing to do with today’s newsletter but it felt important for me to share, you know?

Monday’s melody: Would love to have an Endless Summer Vacation myself, but for now I will settle with listening to Miley Cyrus’s incredible new album of the same name, specifically this track.


France Pension Protests: A Literal Dumpster Fire

French President Emmanuel Macron has set his sights set on raising the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64 with a new pension reform bill. And about two-thirds of France is ticked off—sparking widespread protests, strikes, and a global conversation about retirement expectations.

Wondering how we got here?

France's life expectancy is increasing. Thanks to factors like universal health care, lower obesity rates, and healthier working habits (👀), it's currently about 83 years. It tops the U.S.'s 79-year life expectancy, which makes us think they might be onto something...

But in France, where all workers receive a pension upon retirement, longer lives mean more pension payments from the government. Today, France's pension program costs the country almost 14% of economic output, and President Macron said reform is necessary to keep the system from crumbling in the next few years.

  • FYI: France has one of the lowest retirement ages in the industrialized world.

  • But: Many see the change as unfair, given that France’s pension system is funded in part by taxpayer dollars.

How are French workers responding?

More than 2.1 million people have taken to the streets in protest since Macron suggested raising the retirement age, and major union strikes are impacting everyday life.

  • Sanitation workers: Tons (literally “tons” as in the actual weight) of trash has piled up on the streets.

  • Refinery workers: The blocking of fuel deliveries → fuel shortages.

  • Transportation workers: Walk-outs of air traffic controllers and railroad workers have caused major travel disruptions.

Protests have gotten increasingly more intense since they began in January, with protestors damaging storefronts, setting uncollected trash piles on fire, and clashing with authorities.

What’s to come for France and other countries?

As of now, French civilians continue to strike and demand the government withdraw the pension reform bill. France’s Constitutional Council will have the final say after reviewing the law in the coming weeks. Perhaps Miss France could help keep the peace?

But even she couldn’t stop the momentum of the bigger picture conversation that’s happening here—the prospect of retirement (the kind of retirement with pickleball as exercise, mojitos on a Tuesday, and no brow furrowing over making your money last) looks different for us than it did for our parents. And as these French protests show, we’re not loving that.

It makes me wonder…will other countries follow Macron’s lead? FYI, Italy, Denmark, and Greece have raised their retirement ages to 67, while England and Australia bumped theirs up to 66. U.S. lawmakers have floated raising the official retirement age here to 70 from 67. And to that I say…

Things to Slack your work besties

…while you stalk their calendars to schedule a mandatory lunch dessert meeting.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a second to try tapping, a quick therapy technique that uses energy points to turn off your brain’s alarm system and calm your nerves.

And in year three of the pandemic *checks notes* people started putting ice cream in their Fruit Roll-Ups? I need honesty—have you tried this viral collab? Reply to this email if you have indeed tasted the combo we apparently failed to think of back when Mom was buying us the tongue tattoo Fruit Roll-Ups against her better judgment.

Did you, too, swear you’d be a Marnie forever until one day you woke up and realized you’ve been Hannah this whole time? Streaming of HBO’s Girls doubled between November and January of this year, leaving a lot of room for self-reflection since its 2012 release.

Thanks for reading. I’ll have more answers to your questions when I’m back on Friday!



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