I used to love quid pro quos. When reading a Moliere’s comedy, I always found quid pro quos hilarious. That said, are quid pro quos that funny when they happen to you? Well, I am not so sure. Let me explain: a few days ago, I went to this party to catch up with friends and ex-colleagues. I went on my own because my husband was travelling for his job, and I suspect that some of my acquaintances believe that he is a product of my imagination. To be fair, my shyness probably compounds this perception: believe it or not, I happen to be quite reserved. Anyway, here I was, trying as best as I could to mingle, and also trying to get to know some new faces.
I ended up next to this guy, who was quite tall, with pale skin and freckles. In short, as much as I dislike cliches, I have to say that he looked very British. I introduced myself “Hi, I’m Muriel.” , and initiated some small talks about the usual topics: the weather, the end of the summer hols…
After a couple of minutes I must admit that I was expecting him to answer back with more that one word and maybe, just maybe, find some other topics of conversations. Well, he did, but, it wasn’t what I expected at all.
I couldn’t believe it: why would he say that? Then it dawned on me: the guy thought that I was hitting on him. Except that I wasn’t. I promise.
I wondered what had prompted such a reaction. Had I said something inappropriate ? Was I standing too close to him? Was it my dress (knee-length, covering shoulders & base of neck)? The answer to all questions was no. Absolutely not. The only reason he thought I was making a pass at him was my French accent, I realised. I honestly couldn’t think of anything else. To be fair to him, all British newspapers are full of stories of the French vaudeville involving the French president and his ex-girlfriend (no less that three full pages in the Sunday Times yesterday. I counted).
I was about to tell him that he should relax a bit, and that I wasn’t going to rape him there and then. I am married too, actually. But I decided against it. Why would I dignify his arrogant comment with an answer that would set the record straight? No, instead, I thought that it was time to have a little bit of fun. I decided that I was going to tell him what he so obviously wanted to hear. Come on, his attitude was out of whack. I had to take a stand.
“Really,”I said “Good for you. She must be a very happy lady” and I smiled mischievously, as if his revelation wasn’t going to deter me from trying to seduce him. After all, I wasn’t French for nothing, right?
I promise, I saw a red wave starting down his cheeks and quickly moving towards his eyes. I had made him blush. How funny!
I am starting to like this, I thought.
I gave him a short break and started talking about a couple of innocuous subjects such as parks in London and Oyster cards.
Then I attacked again.
“So how do you find married life? How is it going with your wife?”
The red wave returned. Actually, this time it wasn’t red. It was crimson.
I could make him blush on demand! I thought. That was clearly a new skill to add onto my CV: able to make a British guy blush in a matter of minutes. Wow!
It was time to finish him. I went for the kill.
” You know, I said, I might be French but I am quite conservative : I have been living with the same man for more than 18 years. It is hard to explain why things are going well between us. It is something that you have to live, right?”
Then, I made my excuses and left. I had had enough for one evening.
So, where did this come from? Why did he say something like this? I really wonder.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London