|In Full Bloom|
It had all started so well. I was taking the bus and it was packed, as usual. Then, this young guy -I am not very good at guessing ages; I would say that he was in his twenties- gave up his seat for me.
I was stunned.
Why would he feel the need to do this?
Honestly, do I look THAT old? I started to worry. Should I dye my hair? Have some Botox injections? Do I look pregnant? My tummy seems flat enough.
Am I now entitled to a priority seat given my old age? Should I make an application to have one on all services?
I must admit that panic was creeping in. I didn’t say anything and got off shortly afterwards at my bus stop.
Talking about this to various friends, I was told that I got it completely wrong. British guys, apparently, are chivalrous. I should have felt important and respected, not old. Some even said that I should have explored what else I could get him to do. The thought didn’t cross my mind. Silly old me!
The thing is, we French love older women. We have Catherine Deneuve and Claire Chazal, and everybody envies them. Actresses around 40 are not considered old. Quite the opposite. they are the epitome of class and glamour. Look no further than Marion Cotillard and Audrey Tautou if you don’t believe me. We French women don’t get old. We become more mature, but, just like good wine, we improve with age, right?
So what is wrong with me? Have I lived in London for too long? Did I stop being French? Am I starting to age disgracefully? I believe that it is high time to reconnect with my French side. I don’t want to become old. I want to become more mature. From now on, I will be more careful.
And next time a young guy offers me his seat, I will invite him for a coffee. Lesson learned.