Saturday, 7 April 2012

Blunt And Naive At 40


According to my friends, it is something to do with my astrological sign. I am not too sure. It might be a cultural gap. Something to do with my very French education. So, here it is: I  am very blunt and I like to call a spade a spade ( by the way the French translation would be to call a cat a cat). This means that, from time to time, I upset someone. And usually I end up regretting it. What is wrong with me?

To make matters even worse, another problem is that I tend to believe what I am told. I am probably the only one. Everybody else seems to know where to stand and what to believe. Except me. I often feel like I am the only one who doesn't know the rule of the game. Again, what did I miss?

No later than yesterday, I met an acquaintance who jokingly told me that she could speak French. Me being me, I believed her (why wouldn't I?) and started speaking French. She didn't understand a single word I was saying and blushed. She managed to say "Comment allez-vous?" (how are you?) with such a thick British accent that I had to make her repeat the question at least three times. I panicked. I was about to say "oh, you are a bit rusted, aren't you?" but managed to refrain myself (Phew!). I ended up complimenting her about her French skills, but my heart wasn't really in it. She must have picked up on it. Silly old me.


Why do I believe that people are interested in talking to me at the end of a school's day when all they want is a donation for their charity? And why did I say to the teacher that kids should know all their timetables by 7 years when the school only does the two timetable?

I should know better. I really find it hard to embellish the reality the way some of my friends manage to do. A special medal goes to the absent Mum who left her kids to be raised by the nanny and explained to me that her son was very bright but not very good at passing tests, why is why he failed all his exams. Such an art is something that I can't master...Over time, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. That's as far as I can go. And I act: I have taught all the timetables to my little one. But that's not how you are supposed to behave over here. I am afraid I will never get it.

Don't get me wrong: I am an optimist. I like to see the silver lining of a difficult situation. But I will still call it a difficult situation. It is just who I am. And I am too old to change anyway.

17 comments:

  1. It's good to be yourself - no fun being a cynic! Happy Easter!

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  2. Flora Tonking8 April 2012 00:52

    I think your blunt-ness is actually an asset; it's quite refreshing to meet people who say what they mean rather than doing the very British thing of veiled criticisms and backhanded compliments. That only gets one agonising over what someone really meant...which is way more upsetting! Don't you worry, Muriel, I think we could all learn a lot from your straight-talking.

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  3. At least we know that when you say something, you mean it and not something else! There is far too much 'beating about the bush' in this world for my liking! I think I am a bit naive too. I am too open, say too much sometimes and then regret it. And I am 46!!!! Mon Dieu!

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  4. Are you saying that it doesn't get any better ? Sigh. I will never get it.
    NB: you look a very young 46. What is your secret?

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  5. Thank you Flora...I so wish you were right...You wouldn't believe the problem I had at work because I was so direct...
    That said, I will not change now, and being blunt will always be part of who I am. Maybe, after all, growing older is not all bad: you can finally be happy as you are?

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  6. You are not too old to change but why change when you like who you are? Being honest takes an especially real person, you know...and that you are. We all need to have more of that, not less. People know who you are, you arent some slippery mess that shifts with the circumstances...yayy! Love you, Muriel!

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  7. We are very, VERY alike Muriel! I never realized just how much until now. Sometimes I still grieve over why I am such a 'mouthpiece,' but really, this is the way we are made.

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  8. I remember parents complaining here in France that they couldn't help their kids to do maths homework because the method had changed. Apparently this was intentional. I was gobsmacked when I found that out. How mean and controlling.

    I often shut up, Muriel. A lot of what comes out of people's mouths is rubbish so it's just safer to say nothing. Not talking about my friends, natch.

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  9. Well, I'm very British and pretty blunt too. And I can get pretty upset when people don't say what they mean and mean what they say! I'd rather they didn't say anything at all than have it prove to be a lie, or leave me waiting for something to happen that never does. But there's a terrible competitiveness about school mums, and I suspect that's what's at the bottom of some of this!!

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  10. Hey Muriel. Is it an age or a confidence thing? I just know that the older I get the more I speak my mind or say things as they are - and my gosh am I starting to upset people?! I actually made someone cry a few weeks back - and I was only saying it how it was and I wasn't being mean - I was trying to help! Hmmm

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  11. It is tough isn't it? The older I get, the more I want to go straight to the point. Well, it is not the way you are supposed to act over here apparently...Silly me!

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  12. You are very British and very blunt...Deborah, you are the exception! It is the school mums, but not only them. It is everywhere: when you apply for a job, when you go to the doctor. I never know where to stand!

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  13. It looks like we found the same solution to a similar problem. Just like you, I shut up. Sometimes, I make my excuses and go. No point and wasting my time and staying really. As for the maths method, I wouldn't worry. They will, eventually, have to achieve the same result!

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  14. It is a hard one isn't it? I try to shut up now. But sometimes I can't help it. I have to say what's on my mind. As you say, this is the way we are made...

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  15. Hi Brynne! Thanks for for the kind words. I am definitively not a slippery mess, as you say. But this means that I haven't chosen an easy path...

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  16. I suppose I'm a bit of a combination. I always say what I mean and mean what I say, but I'm often told I have a special gift for tact. I will always tell you what I really think, but I won't crush you!

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  17. You could teach me a thing or two...The problem is that tact is something relative. Being tactful means different things in London and in paris. I will never get it!

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