Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

As some of you might know, I am not a morning person at all and, should you make a joke before my morning coffee, you are doing so at your own risk. Beware. Today was no exception, and I was slightly grumpy because there was nothing left to eat in the house. I therefore urgently needed to go out to buy some food. Reluctantly, I went outside and walked towards the supermarket. In London, I have seen it all: men shopping in their PJs, women buying some eggs in their bathrobes. That said, what I saw this morning was so unbelievable that I am still in shock: this girl was probably in her twenties, with brown, shoulder-length curly hair and a lovely face. She was carrying a book, and the title of the book was, like, in my face. It read “Make Every Man Want You”
Make every man want you? 

I couldn’t believe it. If I ever was to read such a book, I would never admit to it. Not even on my deathbed. Torture me all you want, I won’t give in. But there she was, in full view of the whole street, with such a book stuck to her chest. To me, it felt worse than going out stark naked. It was as if she was not scared of showing her own insecurities to the whole world. And she felt completely OK with it. I almost thought I was dreaming, and to make sure I wasn’t, I kept looking at her until she eventually disappeared in the Tube station.
Walking back home with my plastic bags, I spotted an older lady outside of Starbucks. She was also reading a book, and I noticed that she seemed almost proud to flash its cover. To my surprise, it was ’50 shades of Grey’. Someone has it in for me this morning, I caught myself thinking. Why would you boast about reading 50 Shades? A friend of mine insisted that I should read it but I have to admit that I got bored after a few pages and gave up. Mummy porn is not my thing. And I would not advertise the fact that I am reading it. Maybe I have become an old fart, after all.
Caffeine was starting to kick in when I came back home, and suddenly I saw things in a different light. Maybe that’s what I love about London: no need to hide. You can go out half naked or wrapped in your own insecurities, nobody will bat an eyelid, you won’t feel judged. This is something that I can’t do in France: I would be told to cover up, or not to read such books. I always felt this pressure to be perfect on my shoulders. Well, not here. And it is liberating.
Obviously, as I am still very French and hence judgemental (less than before, but still a bit), I couldn’t help thinking that the lovely girl didn’t need such a book, and that the older lady should live in the real world.
As for me, I simply don’t want to make every man want me. Keeping one happy is enough, and I have given up trying trying to please everybody anyway. Oh, and as much as I like reading, I enjoy living in the present a lot more. What about you?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • I am such a loser. Men just don’t want me!

  • I was worried when I read the title of this blogpost via Twitter. Why the fcuk would any female want all men to want her?! That doesn’t sound like Muriel to me…now I’ve read it I join in your despair at the book…but breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn’t a recommendation from you! 😉

    • I must confess that I googles the book and read extracts. Sounds like fun. No, really.

  • Those are such wise words about London, and how easy it is to be yourself here, with your insecurities on show as well as the things you might actually want to show your fellow citizens. And there’s no accounting for reading taste, right?!

    • You are right of course, Flora! That said, I prefer to keep my tastes just to myself sometimes. But that’s just me!

  • It’s funny because it seems like she is slightly insecure – which has led to her picking up a book like that – but self-assured enough to read this book in public. Interesting!

    • I know. It is indeed funny. Maybe that’s what London does for us?

  • If I were a man, I won’t ever want any one holding/reading a book on how to make every man want her. Wow.

  • Well, you can’t ‘make’ someone want you… they either do or they don’t…

    • Indeed. And why would you want the whole world to want you? with age, I tend to prefer quality over quantity…

  • I’m already fretting about going to see 50 Shades in the movie, but I’m such a fan of Sam Taylor (wood Johnson) that I’m prepared to do the walk of shame… swedes are also incredible judgemental 🙂

    • Mayeb it has something to so with continental Europe: we love judging, right?

  • I love it when people read real books so I can see what they are reading! But it’s like weight loss books – you read them when you were younger but after a certain age you know theories. I think youth is wasted on the young bc i would always say when I when I when I etc but now I definitely am much more in the moment. Like you I think keeping one man around is enough I couldn’t be bothered to have an affair!

    • Agreed. I am much more in the moment now, and it feels great. And I don’t care if i have a few pounds to lose and if not all men want me.

  • I’ve never read either of those titles, but have to admit that I’m just a little curious about the Shades of Gray because there is so much hype about it. I think it’s great that people are so comfortable in London to go about their business as if no one is watching.

    • It wouldn’t be the same in the US then? As for 50 shades, I didn’t get into it. Not my thing.