Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flirting in France

Is flirting,either face to face or using a social network like facebook or sending SMS's by your mobile, being unfaithful? Eva Longoria seems to think so and is divorcing her French husband of 7 years , basketball player Tony Parker, for flirting by SMS with a girl that he had never had any relations with.

In France , where flirting is a national past-time and it's considered rude not to flirt, this is sending shockwaves throughout the country. Flirting is as natural to French men and women as breathing and is, most of the time, tongue in cheek, harmless complimentary chit chat that adds a little skip to your step. Now, I don't know how saucy or x-rated Tony Parkers text messages were, causing Eva to pull the plug, but I'd wager there are quite a few french men deleting messages on their phones and facebook accounts as I type!

In the small village where I live, my baker calls me " la grande belle", my Catalan butcher ( female) calls me " la bella nena" my students in English class ( all over 70) have all proposed to me and flirt outrageously with me non stop.
Nearly every transaction involves a bit of flirtatious french flattery and indeed flirting properly is a skill in France which should be perfected if you expect to get good service / the best table in a restaurant or a discount on a purchase. Flirting in France does not mean you want to jump into her/his knickers, flirting is just fun, lightening up your day.
My fair blue eyed sister is a master of flirting ( she takes after our Mother!) and I can only stand back in admiration as she has the French male eating out of her proferred hand!
Recently, we were organising a tour for a group of 20 people. On telephoning the bus company ,we were told that the bus we had booked weeks in advance was unavailable. Full stop. No amount of wheedling would sway them. "That's it", my sister Suz announced, "this calls for action." She changed from jeans and tee shirt into a smart skirt, killer heels and sprayed herself with some coco chanel. Half an hour later, she returned from the bus depot, triumphant : José, our bus man, not only had found a bus, but, had given it to Suz for half price AND he wanted to come on the tour!!! He regularly emails her now with flirtatious emails.
A bit of harmless and healthy fun? Perhaps. But Eva aint buying it!

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