Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ooh la la!

French men have a certain style and class when it comes to hitting on women. A je ne sais quoi if you like. On two occasions when walking alone down a city street in France I have been startled to have an attractive young Frenchman say to me something that sounded like "...tres visant, madame." I know that that's not exactly what they said because I looked it up and that doesn't mean anything, but that is what it sounded like. Anyway, from what I could guess it meant something to the effect that they thought I was purdy. (If it really means "you smell funny" or "your fly's open" please just let me live with my delusion.)

Now, normally when an American man says something to this effect when passing in the street it usually comes out as slightly offensive or creepy. I wouldn't compare myself to Angelina Jolie or anything but I think it's fair to say I am a little more than averagely attractive, and I don't think I have ever had an American stranger give me a nice compliment like that, let alone two handsome strangers in the course of a few days. Maybe it was the use of madame that turned it into something incredibly charming and sweet or the fact that it was in French or that neither guy actually seemed pervy or creepy. Unfortunately, on both occasions when I was so addressed I was too startled and confused by the language to responed properly with at least a "Merci". But, to all single American men out there you might want to take a lesson from your French brethern and try giving polite compliments to strange women and it might get you somewhere. Although I have to say most of us will probably be too shocked to know how to respond.

Now don't get me started on Italian men and their "bella, bella" and the kissy noises. That's exactly not what I am talking about.


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