A friend of mine married a British man. I thought that they were happy until one day, after a couple of glasses of wine, she explained that she was struggling to understand what her husband thinks on a daily basis.
Apparently, after she had fallen from a horse and was injured, he told her:
-” Don’t be silly, you will survive. You are a tough bird”
Despite being a tough bird, she had to lay in bed for a month.
No other words of comfort were said. She was very upset. According to her, he genuinely cares about her, but in his own way. Needless to say, he never tells her that he loves her and, as she is French and still believes in romance, this is the source of great frustration.
How weird! On my way to visit her, I had the exact opposite experience. The British cab driver called me sweetie, honey and love in the space of a few minutes. In France, you have to be pretty close to someone to call her in such a way. Really close. I even began to panic and was of the verge of calling the police service.
Once arrived (sigh of relief), my friend’s husband explained to me that it was completely normal for a total stranger to call you Love, Darling or even pet names and that no harm was meant. Coming from the man who couldn’t hold my friend’s hand, I have to admit that I was surprised.
Is it all about pretending that you don’t care when you do and that you care when you don’t? How does it work exactly ? I haven’t figured it out yet.
I eventually got used to being called all sorts of names by persons I don’t know. I don’t like it but hey, what can you do?
A couple of months later, another cab driver asked me, when he dropped me at my hotel, whether I wanted him to keep me company. I thought that this was another British thing -some sort if hospitality rule, and replied a polite:
I was told that this was not normal.
After all, anything is possible.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London