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