Why do the Brits feel compelled to give me a history lecture when they notice that I am French? I don’t get it. It happened last Friday as well. I was taking part in a filming for Littlewoods with Laurence Llewelyn-Boyen, the flamboyant designer. You can watch it here (go to 54 mins, and press skip if you don’t want all the FB notifications), and you will see me in part 4 -the last one-. I thought that it would be a fun thing to do (for the records I didn’t get paid) and I had indeed more fun than I bargained for…Let me explain.
The exchange went as follows:
“Where are you from, Muriel?”
“Well, originally I am French but now I am British”
“My great grandfather died at Waterloo. When I once mentioned this to a French acquaintance, he asked me ‘which platform’?”
“Well, nobody is perfect, Laurence.”
This is typical. I have been given more than my fair share of history lectures on Waterloo, Trafalgar, the Dunkirk spirit, and so on, and so forth. Maybe I am reading too much into this. Maybe, after all, it was just a joke. I will never know.
Why do the Brits feel that they have to make such points? Is it something I did? Is it my accent? Is it their sense of humour? I don’t get it.
When I am meeting German friends, I never talk about the members of my family who died during WW1 & WW2. Why would I? I live in the present, and, I don’t want to reopen old wounds. And I am not the hero here. Those who fought are. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of them and I get emotional when I see their names in my village’s cemetery. They made the ultimate sacrifice. But does the fact that I am French-born mean that I am accountable for all French victories & defeats? Maybe we should start with Hastings, guys (yes, the French can win). Please, give me a break.
So here it is: I think that you should send the cavalry back by now. Time to live in the present.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London