Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

Despite my British passport, everybody thinks that I am French. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. People assume lots of things about me. Such things may come from what they have read or been told. Who knows? I don’t try to understand it any more. In particular, one of the usual prejudgments is that, as I am French, I don’t shower a lot and don’t clean my house very well.

As a result, I have had mums coming to my house to ‘inspect’ it before they would allow their kids to have a first play date with my children –you never know, they might catch something (it is called a French bug, very contagious indeed –be careful ladies). One mum in particular even opened the cupboard under the kitchen sink and looked in amazement at my cleaning products. With kids, I try to disinfect as often as possible, and she was so impressed that she didn’t hear me come back from upstairs. She was still crouching when she asked me whether I was really French. What a bloody cheek!

Yes, my house is clean and I like to do a bit of spring cleaning in March/April. Honestly. That said, such misconceptions make me want to pick my nose, eat my bogies in public and forget what a vacuum cleaner is.  The sneaky mum then went on explaining that she had just come back from a week-end in Paris and couldn’t believe how dirty it was, with rubbish and dog poo everywhere. That’s why she was so intrigued by my lovely cleaning products.
I didn’t know what to say. I shut up. You can’t fight this, can you? And there is no point anyway. I can’t win. You have to choose your battles, right?

As I was angry, I went to the gym for a workout, and bumped into another mum at the sport centre. She was sitting at the café next door when I got out, after my shower. She said ‘You took a long shower, didn’t you?’. I didn’t know that my shower had to be timed but there you go, it looks like I am under close surveillance. I must be careful. I couldn’t help it, I had to answer back. I then said:
“ Did I really? That’s funny, because I don’t really mind body odours. I think that they are very sexy. Don’t you?”
She was stunned. I walked by.

I shouldn’t have said that.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London