After the best part of eight years in London, I pride myself in the fact that I have some British friends. Don’t smile, it is not that easy, it took me a long time, and I just have a few!
London is an international city with plenty of different nationalities and initially my friends were everything but British. I don’t really know why. The only reason that I can think of is that, as we have no family here, we tend to befriend people in the same situation.
Anyway, along the road I managed to gain a few British friends. The funny thing is that I found them a bit distant initially. Every time I was trying to get to know them better it felt as if they were shutting down. Not nice.
I remember asking a good friend of mine whether she has found a new boyfriend only to be told quite coldly that she wasn’t discussing these things. I was slightly taken aback and later found out that she was going out with a work colleague. We eventually discussed the relationship, some 5 years after its start (it became difficult to hide when they had a baby together).
But who said that the Brits never open up? You never know when, you never know why, but, from time to time, they tell you slightly more than you expect. It happened with a friend of mine, who, after a glass of wine, explained to me that she had bought new undies -bright red ones- and that “it might finally spice up her nights with her husband, as they haven’t done anything for 2 weeks”. Right. A bit too much, even according to French standards.
The Brits also have a convoluted way to talk about what matters to them. I remember a work colleague who had just had a baby. He told me once that he and his wife had not had any time at night to read a book…”let alone do anything else”.
That’s it, I thought, I am now an agony aunt ( Please leave your issues in the comments and I will answer…just kidding). I just muttered “give it some time” and hoped that the matter would be closed. It was. Phew!
Is it because I am French? Is it because they finally trust me? I will never know. As a result, I can’t completely chill out with my British friends because I never know what is “too much” for them and they don’t seem to assess what is “too much” for me. Any advice for me?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London