My Lovely Daughter
There is a defining moment in every mother's life. It happened to me this week, when I was wandering in Paris with my teenage daughter, making the most of a short break. She was getting a lot of attention, and it made me feel even more invisible. This is yet more evidence that I have passed my sell-by date. Life is tough. I wanted to shout at passers-by that she is only 13 and, basically, just a kid, but it didn't seem to bother them. What a bunch of perverts! She was offered a seat on a busy train, and politely declined. The young man insisted. Men were holding doors for her, and smiling stupidly at every possible opportunity. To be fair, it didn't seem to bother her and it looked like she didn't even notice their pathetic efforts. It must have driven them crazy. Good girl!
I thought that they would be discouraged when they would see her mouth full of lovely blue braces stuck on her teeth (by the way, they are costing a fortune) but, again, they didn't seem to care.
Don't get me wrong, she is beautiful and I am a proud mum but, come on, French men need to be restrained !
I also had a couple of guys asking me out, just like that, on the street. I had completely forgotten that French men were so warm-blooded. In fact, I am not sure that I remember how to deal with such attitudes. I had completely forgotten about them. The thing is, I don't believe in stereotypes and I hate to generalise. That said, I had to admit that I was surprised (and not necessarily in a good way) by all the attention we had.
What is going on? It simply didn't feel right. Are French men more sexist than their British counterparts? I really wonder. How come I didn't really notice when I was living in Paris? Maybe we have become more British than we thought.
So, where does this leave us? Well, I don't know. That's not entirely true. The last couple of days in Paris made me realise that we don't belong there any more. What a difference a few years make!