petite anglaise

June 16, 2005

beginnings

Filed under: mills & boon — bipolarinparis @ 5:45 pm

It all began with words. Words in comments boxes. One day, I rather randomly replied to his comment with an email (because yes, I can see your addresses, even if they do not display on the site). The first of many, in what became rather lengthy email exchanges. For my eyes only.

Innocuous, friendly emails, given the fact that I was clearly in a relationship, with the father of my child no less, and the gentleman in question did not presume too much. But they were tantalising missives all the same, hinting as they did at colourful experiences and disreputable secrets.

I revelled in his articulacy. Actually, if I’m honest, I was rather jealous of it. Sometimes I had to look up words in the dictionary, blushing at my own ignorance. Often, his words danced around in my head for days on end, and more than once, they inspired me to write a post about something from my past that had resurfaced as a result.

I knew that one day we would meet. And that meeting him would be important. I felt as though, just by exchanging these emails, I had already been unfaithful to Mr Frog on some, albeit cerebral, level.

And yet all he had done was volunteer a little information about his life, in return for having been able to read what was there on the internet for everyone to see about my own.

All perfectly innocent.

97 Comments

  1. Once you fall in love with the words, you’re hooked…

    Comment by Iain — June 16, 2005 @ 5:56 pm

  2. *swoon*
    …Pardon me while I remove my heart from my throat.

    Comment by sammy — June 16, 2005 @ 6:56 pm

  3. Not bloomin’ Gary Savage was it?!?

    Comment by JonnyB — June 16, 2005 @ 7:01 pm

  4. My god, Petite you cheated on Mr Frog? I’ve enjoyed your blog but right now my esteem of you has dipped to an all time low. Please know that if he could entice you, knowing you are in a relationship, he is perfectly capable of turning his charms on someone else while he is with you. At this moment I certainly feel very sorry for Tadpole and Mr Frog.

    Comment by flower — June 16, 2005 @ 7:15 pm

  5. Wow.

    Comment by Madley — June 16, 2005 @ 7:29 pm

  6. No-one *enticed* me away from Mr Frog. I decided all on my own, after having doubts for several years, that there were many things wrong with our relationship. And had discussed it with him countless times.

    As it happened, it was a very powerful connection with someone else that ultimately forced my hand.

    Unfaithful? Yes. But I told him less than 24 hours later that this time it was really over.

    I am not ashamed of that.

    Comment by petite — June 16, 2005 @ 7:59 pm

  7. Oh poor Mr Frog and poor poor Tadpole, I do think you are just a tad self centered.

    I hope you and Mr Frog can stay good friends for the sake of Tadpole. Somehow my daughter has managed that trick with her ex.

    Comment by Keith — June 16, 2005 @ 8:00 pm

  8. I nearly fell off my chair laughing … not at Petite’s post – which as always is written beautifully – but after having followed the link through on Jonny B’s comment. What elegant expression, what finesse and panache! This Gary fellow clearly MUST be the mystery man.

    Comment by Nikki — June 16, 2005 @ 8:04 pm

  9. I had a laugh, not at Petite’s post – which as always is written beautifully – but after having read a comment – at this moment I certainly feel very sorry for Flower.

    Comment by schuey — June 16, 2005 @ 8:28 pm

  10. Oh poor Petite, I hope you don’t get too much stick over this.

    Remember that anyone who gives you grief is probably a recent ‘dumpee’ still angry at their ex, or one of the idealistic teenagers who seem to lurk in cyberspace waiting to pounce on anyone who displays a hint of fallibility.

    What did they want you to do, stay unhappy for the next 40 years? F*** the begrudgers!

    Comment by Hannah — June 16, 2005 @ 8:53 pm

  11. Being one of those dreadful “lurkers” who has just recently forayed into the world of blogs, a few of the above comments forced me out of the shadows for a few swift seconds.

    Sadly, I think that many of us forget that while we think we have gotten to “know” the people who write the blogs that we read, that in all truth, we do not. And even if we did know Petite personally, who are we to judge? Her life is just that, her life.

    She chooses to share a small portion of her life in her blogs as she is a talented writer who needs a creative outlet, and in that we have all benefited. I applaud her talent, her honesty, and her patience. I also respect her right to live, and love, as she pleases.

    Disclaimer: This rather long comment is not a personal attack of anyone, or even a comment on infidelity, just one woman’s humble opinion.

    ::slinks back into the shadows::

    Comment by Cat — June 16, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  12. You took the words right out of my mouth, Cat. Well said.

    Comment by Leslie — June 16, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

  13. I do feel sorry for Gary Savage, poor bloke.

    Comment by delaïdo — June 16, 2005 @ 9:27 pm

  14. I think what makes me a little bit uncomfortable is not that you’ve met a chap but that you’re writing about how you met here where Mr Frog’s friends might see it. Although as one of the above commenters has said, we don’t don’t really know anything about you or Mr Frog and for all I know none of his friends speak English or he’s told them all the details anyway or he’s not blog shy.

    Comment by Satsuma — June 16, 2005 @ 9:37 pm

  15. What Cat said.

    Comment by Bluegrass Mama — June 16, 2005 @ 9:38 pm

  16. I have been cheated on and it wasn’t that so much as the fact that he didn’t just tell me “it’s over”. Life is too short to not be happy. It’s only fair to Mr. Frog to go on and be happy himself, and to Tadpole to have happy parents. What you do is your business.

    On another note, how wonderful new relationships are! And now I’m going to read some more of Gary’s blog!

    Comment by Kathy — June 16, 2005 @ 9:54 pm

  17. Well said Cat. All of us have opinions and past experiences that affect how we view the world and our lives today. That doesn’t however, validate judgements we make of other people.

    When reading the post, my thoughts went back to someone I started a relationship with in a similar manner…great memories and more life experiences to live through.

    Comment by Nicnu — June 16, 2005 @ 9:56 pm

  18. Oh dear. Looks like you’re getting a little heat over this one. Never mind them, you write the story you need to write. Heaven forbid you actually tell the truth in your own personal weblog…

    Anyway, you know what they say about glass houses. ;)

    Comment by ViVi — June 16, 2005 @ 10:00 pm

  19. I love your love of words…….you have quite a way with them!

    Comment by fella — June 16, 2005 @ 10:04 pm

  20. What a beautiful entry, Petite! I would’ve never believed that things like that actually happened in real life. Personal happiness really is the key here…

    As for Flower & his/her “supporters”, I think the fact that this blog is entitled “Diary of an English *Thirtysomething* in Paris” really says it all. Being, as noted above, thirtysomething, Petite is, I truly believe, fully capable of making personal decisions that should not be judged.

    Comment by Alex — June 16, 2005 @ 10:12 pm

  21. As others have said before, we get a glimpse. It doesn’t give us the right to judge. What you choose to do and what you choose to share is up to you – if we don’t like it, we don’t have to read it. Simple as that.

    I fell in love with my boy, tout simplement because of words too. We knew it was “the right thing” after just a week or two – we talked for three months before he flew out to Australia to see me. And now we are living happily ever after ;)

    Comment by Katia — June 16, 2005 @ 10:26 pm

  22. Ah, what a romantic story– I imagine you must be glowing!

    Wooed by words… how appropos for a blogger, yes?

    Comment by A. — June 16, 2005 @ 10:27 pm

  23. When you are someone for whom words are your life’s blood, finding that kindred spirit via the written word is a powerful thing. Being a single lady who has used the ‘net for years as a way to meet interesting (hopefully) men, what they “say” on-line can make or break my initial interest level – not to mention the ability to hold my attention. I simply love someone who can articulately carry his end of the conversation. Inability to spell counts against, too. Petite, you and Katia and some of the others give me hope that it IS possible to find that connection out there. Good for you!

    Comment by Lisa — June 16, 2005 @ 10:46 pm

  24. Wow Katia! Now *that* is the sort of thing I want to hear right now….

    Comment by petite — June 16, 2005 @ 11:21 pm

  25. Aw petite, I really am so happy for you and your new frogprince.

    Comment by sammy — June 16, 2005 @ 11:27 pm

  26. He’s a lucky and very eloquent fellow. I’ve been wooing someone for nearly two years. She’s the love of my life. I send her e-mails, carefully crafted to amuse and delight her. But I obviously don’t have his skill.
    Good luck

    Comment by Lovelorn Swain — June 17, 2005 @ 12:16 am

  27. Is it me? was I good?

    Comment by andre — June 17, 2005 @ 1:12 am

  28. Interesting. An increasing number of comments wondering whether you acted with integrity, Petite, reflecting doubts that I voiced a while ago.
    To those defenders of Petite’s actions who tell others “not to judge”. Stop using double-speak. You are actually telling us not to criticize. What do you think you are doing by supporting Petite? That’s judging as well. Respect the same freedom for us.
    Of course, if we all really stopped judging, Petite might as well switch off the comments box.
    Oh, and Shuey, who accused me of anonymous posting last time, please note Petite’s reference to the email address which she, but not others, can see. In future, don’t jump to conclusions just b/c you don’t understand the mechanics of a comments box.

    Comment by dan — June 17, 2005 @ 1:40 am

  29. Petite,
    You go.
    Life is much too short to stay unhappy. By the sound of things, you may have been unhappy for a while. I applaud you for keeping the well-being of your daughter the main concern, but you also have to keep yourself happy.

    Fall in love. Get swept up. Enjoy it. Just keep us posted, your loyal following!

    Comment by Amanda Swartz Miller — June 17, 2005 @ 2:08 am

  30. yikes! oh well, you knew you took a big step when you told us :) … Judging is a harsh word. I think by putting this step out there, Petite, you knew you would receive good, bad, hurtful, helpful, etc comments – as a fellow thirtysomething I know we’ve been through enough in our lives not to be dumb enough to expect sweetness and light from everyone!

    I have my opinions on what you have told us, but ultimately I come down to what Cat said “I applaud her talent, her honesty, and her patience. I also respect her right to live, and love, as she pleases.” … I reserve the right to live my life the way I choose and, regardless of my opinions, good or bad, you have that right too and we should all respect that. I also know (or have gathered, I think, from your posts) that regardless of the state of your relationship with Mr Frog, you do not hate him and would not go out of your way to hurt him … even if it’s just because of the memories of the good times … and for Tadpole’s sake. I think that’s possibly as good as it gets for a little while at least …. all that said, I hope your new relationship becomes all you wish it will be.

    :)

    Comment by Miss Lisa — June 17, 2005 @ 2:25 am

  31. Yikes. Gorgeous. Live your life, Petite.

    Comment by Sarah — June 17, 2005 @ 4:14 am

  32. I’m very happy for you Petite. Again I think I know how you feel. And I can relate to the “Wooed by words” situation.
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and thanks for sharing.
    xx

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — June 17, 2005 @ 4:15 am

  33. The first comment is right. The words can hook you. And I have a similar story to Katia’s, except mine just ended because of distance.

    You only live once, be happy!

    Comment by juliana — June 17, 2005 @ 4:37 am

  34. I agree with Cat. Well said, Cat! I also wonder why human nature is such that people need to judge/criticize/leave negative comments in comment boxes in the first place. I’d like to think it’s motivated out of concern for a person or a situation – but when I stumble on to negative comments, I always think of that maxim “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    There’s just something about the anonymity of the net that not only makes us think we know each other better than we do, but also that it’s acceptable for us to say things to one another that we wouldn’t normally say in the “real world”. I think the best of both worlds would be bringing some of our real world manners on to the net with us. Or something.

    Comment by Ninox — June 17, 2005 @ 6:04 am

  35. Words are great and falling in love is wonderful, but only money pays the rent.

    Cheers!

    Comment by Asian Leprechaun — June 17, 2005 @ 7:37 am

  36. Integrity comes from within. Just because Petite has placed her thoughts out there for us to read and ponder does not mean we are qualified to pass judgement. Blogs are there for comments, not to trial and sentence with only a fraction of the facts. I am always surprised that people think they know enough to get angry or upset by these things…

    Comment by Anne — June 17, 2005 @ 9:23 am

  37. Always -you post with cliffhangers – which are fantastic, if it were not for the fact that this is Friday, and I will only be able to access the net again on monday when I get back into work. I am dying to hear more – oh and by the way, ignore those idiots who attempt to judge you – you’ve been truthful with everyone, and done the right thing.

    Comment by Valkyrie — June 17, 2005 @ 9:41 am

  38. Well, having posted a slightly jocular comment above, I ought to say something sensible. But Cat’s said it already, and so has Miss Lisa.

    I’m sure Petite’s big enough and old enough to realise that not every reaction to what she wrote would be cosy-lovey-dovey. I also hate the phrase ‘don’t judge me’ when people mean ‘don’t criticise me’ – – but we know nothing – nothing – in order to venture any form of opinion, neither negative nor positive.

    So – er – well, what Cat said. And Miss Lisa (he ends, lamely). Hope everything works out well for you all.

    Comment by JonnyB — June 17, 2005 @ 9:43 am

  39. Everyone deserves happiness – and I hope Petite, the “comment box guy”, Tadpole and Mr Frog all find their own happiness in whatever form it comes in. Life is too short……..well, thats what they say anyway – and I choose to believe them……..

    :)

    Comment by Kasey — June 17, 2005 @ 10:05 am

  40. Sometimes these things happen not because of the immediate event but what was in place before hand.

    I was hoping it would be JonnyB though ;-)

    Comment by Greavsie — June 17, 2005 @ 10:14 am

  41. petite anglaise – lost in Norfolk just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though, does it?

    And what about the LTLP?

    Comment by petite — June 17, 2005 @ 10:20 am

  42. I’m sorry. It wouldn’t work. There is little enough going on here as it is, without having to split it between two bloggers. We would have to move somewhere where more happens, like Essex. Or Belgium.

    Comment by JonnyB — June 17, 2005 @ 10:27 am

  43. Bonne chance, Petite! Je suis très heureuse pour vous deux.

    Comment by ludivine — June 17, 2005 @ 10:38 am

  44. Hi,
    Just my two pen’orth, but I wanted to say that it seems really clear to me now that the relationships that work the best or that are the most enriching are the spontaneous ones, the ones where you just *know* that it’s right…you feel it in your waters as my granma used to say!
    I met my hubbie in the S Union bar at uni – he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French, we moved in together two weeks later, after 3 months we decided to have our first child and we got married 2 months before she was born. We’ve 3 children and have been together 7 years now despite parents’ expectations to the contrary! (He’s 10 years older than me).
    When it’s right it’s right; there’s no point hanging around. But we’ve had to work hard, mind!
    Best of luck to all four of you.

    Comment by Lucy-Jane in Rennes — June 17, 2005 @ 10:55 am

  45. LTLP?

    Comment by mary — June 17, 2005 @ 10:56 am

  46. Jim from Rennes conspicuous by absence. Though maybe it is Gary Savage…each to his own. Good luck.

    Comment by annie — June 17, 2005 @ 11:03 am

  47. and just visited gary savage!!
    articulacy!!?
    oh merde! im judging like flower!! lol

    Comment by mary — June 17, 2005 @ 11:05 am

  48. just re read flower
    if i comment on her comment will she feel judged?
    anyway life is to short
    just do it!!!

    Comment by mary — June 17, 2005 @ 11:14 am

  49. mary – pay JonnyB a visit and the identity of the LTLP will become clear.

    He is one of my favouritest bloggerers (grammar), guaranteed to make me laugh out loud at my screen and occasionally spray hot drinks all over my keyboard and telephone.

    Comment by petite — June 17, 2005 @ 11:15 am

  50. Actually, Gary and I are very happy.

    Comment by Jim in Rennes — June 17, 2005 @ 11:20 am

  51. To quote my new favouritest blogger (thanks for the tip Jonny B) when I smell a rat it’s usually a big rat…Keep us posted. Suspense killing me.

    Comment by annie — June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 pm

  52. Who is “fella” ? Is he your new fella, writing under a new alias ?

    Comment by Mancunian lass — June 17, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

  53. I’m slinking out of the darkness to say… WOOT! Have fun petite!

    Comment by Looren — June 17, 2005 @ 12:20 pm

  54. well let’s change your mind now! Je te passe le relais pour le questionnaire-ciné qui circule. It’s over there. Moi j’aurai pu écrire “la petite française” à Brighton, mais à l’époque je connaissais pas les blogs (est-ce que çà existait en 2000-2002?).

    Comment by miam — June 17, 2005 @ 12:23 pm

  55. My favourite poet is John Donne who said.

    “More than kisses, letters mingle souls, for thus, friends absent meet”.

    I think that about sums it up really…

    Except for the times when the correspondence chemistry totally evaporates in real time… Some people definitely just sound better in print…

    Comment by deeleea — June 17, 2005 @ 1:11 pm

  56. One of your most tantalising posts yet!

    Will you be bringing Mr Comments Box to our fab picnic? Or better yet, have him lurk in the shadows anonymously, observing us…!

    Comment by Antipo Déesse — June 17, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

  57. *blush*

    Comment by JonnyB — June 17, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

  58. The negative comments must be from people with little experience of being trapped in an unsatisfactory relationship where, consciously or not, you are looking for a way out and usually the solution is another partner.
    Can we assume the new man’s gloriously ostentatious vocabulary sends you scurrying to consult an ENGLISH dictionary? If so, is he another expat whose exile has brought about a heightened appreciation of his native language???

    Comment by Parkin Pig — June 17, 2005 @ 2:05 pm

  59. What we do know is that Petite writes like an angel and moves many people with her words. That doesn’t change. It’s what keeps me coming back here, and I suspect many others too. This post was no exception.

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — June 17, 2005 @ 2:06 pm

  60. Petite – I think the LTLP thing with JonnyB is just a huge smokescreen really.

    I’m onto him. He talks Post Offices, Rabbits and Moles but I think he lives in a grubby bedsit in Purfleet. ;-)

    Comment by Greavsie — June 17, 2005 @ 2:07 pm

  61. *removing my halo and giving it a quick polish*

    Antipo – sadly, no, Mr CB will not be in Paris that weekend. Mr Frog hasn’t yet moved across the road and am therefore doing lots of eggshell treading in the meantime.

    Parkin Pig – you can assume whatever you like, but I’ll tell you when I’m good and ready!

    Greavsie – “Wahaay!”

    Comment by petite — June 17, 2005 @ 2:31 pm

  62. I honestly think I figured it out, because in his blog, he gently hinted about being with someone new last weekend. The same weekend petite said she was away and had such a great time. I will keep my mouth shut! :)

    Comment by juliana — June 17, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

  63. All sounds a bit familiar.
    Quite far and away the most civilised place to meet a suitor these days, I think.

    I wish you half my happiness, which should be enough in itself to make you explode, when combined with your quite palpable own.

    Comment by anna — June 17, 2005 @ 2:42 pm

  64. what’s innocent anyway?-other than being a subconscious definition-
    what is that forcing us to defend for nothing?
    dont worry
    be happy dear..

    (in my opinion; it is the best thing in life to be abandoned -for any reason- if you are a man around 40 + already managed problem of having child in life + owning a regular money bringing work.. chance to start over a new life!!)

    Comment by banbu — June 17, 2005 @ 3:32 pm

  65. Hello, I’ve been lurking for a bit and cannot help but comment in response to the condemnation…

    Concerning the naysayers, it seems unsurprising given past observations on other blogs; without the actual human exchange, people don’t always realize that they’re reading the lives of people. As is subconciously they regarded a blog like some TV show, ‘tune in next week for who Petite’s new guy is!’ And a lot of the negative commenting seems more like someone being vocal towards a TV screen during the O.C. than people honestly weighing all sides of the story and than being careful to use words wich will help instead of hurt.

    Incidentally, I quite respect your honesty with Mr. Frog, feeling that any relationship, friendship or otherwise, is ultimately doomed without anything less than utter candor. And I think that your continuing friendship with Mr. F. is evidence that you did the right thing (and that Tadpole has a beautiful example in her mother and father).

    And thanks for being so honest (albeit cryptic) with us here in cyberspace. Your blog is a real pleasure and I’m finding it quite informative, considering I’ll be lost in France myself come January of next year…

    Comment by Amanda — June 17, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

  66. Well, I too was wooed by words…
    One long night playing word games until 4 in the morning, then we were inseparable.
    11 years later we’re still together, still in love, and expecting a child.

    Some things are meant to be, others are not.

    Some people blog because they want to be judged, others because they seek validation. Some blog because they want to share their experiences, in the hope of understanding or entertainment.
    No one can ever know what really goes on within a relationship unless you are the 2 people involved, and one should never make judgements when not fully aprised of the facts.

    I’m glad you still blog Petite, because after what you’ve just been through, it could have been much easier to give up- new relationships are exhausting, as are the breakdowns of old ones. How you live your life is your choice – change is hard, and can create much upheaval, but we cannot spend the rest of our lives regretting what ifs…
    Happiness is something people find either in themselves or in others, and only if we’re honest with ourselves about where we find it will we be happy.

    On a less sombre note, I had been hoping it was King Negrito- cos he’s small, dark, and handsome, and would show a lady a real good time in Paris- he goes to all the beautiful places, with beautiful people, and you deserve fun in your life. Also, Tadpole could not fail to adore him, because he’s so cute!

    Comment by Joy — June 17, 2005 @ 4:59 pm

  67. It is fascinating to me that people feel that they have a right to express their disdain and disapproval to a perfect stranger on their blog as if their critism somehow matters in the grande scheme of the blogger’s life. When I, before I took off comments on my site, got such holier-than-thou commentators, I often wondered if they felt the same freedom with the people in their real lives.

    I still think of Thumper from Bambi – “if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.” ESPECIALLY if you are not personally acquainted with the person.

    I admire you for your beautiful words and a lovely post and of course that you are putting it out there.

    Comment by Rebecca — June 17, 2005 @ 7:36 pm

  68. Love comes in ways that you least expect it. My husband is 14 years older than me. When we first met, he spoke very little English, and I could barely get pass my “Vouley vous coucher avec moi ce soir” from the song I learned at a club. We were 12000 km apart, and our “dates” were via telephone and e-mails. We endured a lot of negative comments along the way. Looking back, the critism and negative comments means nothing to us today as we hug each other to sleep each night and live our dreams.

    Comment by yin — June 17, 2005 @ 9:05 pm

  69. Alas, not, Mancunian Lass…..merely an ardent admirer of Petite’s wizadry with words, and spellbound by the magic of her moods!! Perhaps there should be more ‘Petites’to satsify the demand for cyberspace trysts?

    Comment by fella — June 17, 2005 @ 9:22 pm

  70. Oh, sheesh, people. Ms. Petite, who I had always been a big fan of, is choosing to write these “parts” of her life in a very public forum. So, just as we do with celebrities, we will come here and read those parts and make judgements. It’s human nature. I don’t agree with “flower” in that she chose to be anonymous or unlinkable – I endorse saying things only that you will attach your name to – but she hardly said anything that scathing. She expressed her opinion – and are comments boxes ONLY for adoring fans and “nice” words?

    Blogging is a public forum. You have to take the good with the bad and it’s rather silly for everyone to jump on someone for expressing an opinion different from everyone else, as I’m sure you’re all about to do to me now. Of course, we all KNOW we don’t know “the whole story” or that we only hear parts and that we don’t really KNOW Petite as a person. But we’re still going to have reactions to what we read.

    No, I don’t know Petite personally, either. But I have my reaction to what she’s told us in the past couple of days, and I will refrain from commenting on that because it’s unnecessary. Unfortunately, I will no longer be a regular reader because I’ve read something that goes against my own feelings and I’m certainly not expecting to find out the WHOLE story or ask Petite out for coffee so that I can make a proper judgement… I live a couple countries over from her and I just don’t feel like making the trip right now. (that’s a joke, people.) No matter what pieces you share on your blog, you will always have things that people react to – maybe you’re a vegan, or a die hard meat-eater, or you’ve had an abortion or an affair or support George Bush or whatever. People will comment and based on that little bit of information, they will make judgements or decide if they like what they hear.

    Now if you decide to start jumping on me for that, go ahead. My comment box has never been for pro-Nikki comments only. It goes with the territory.

    Comment by Nikki — June 17, 2005 @ 9:33 pm

  71. Nikki, you took the words right out of my mouth. (Except that I am still an avid reader and will continue to lap up every installment). If you publish your writing you have to take the rough with the smooth. And I’m sure Petite Anglaise realises this perfectly and is quite capable of handling any criticism.

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — June 17, 2005 @ 9:51 pm

  72. I don’t *enjoy* criticism. Does anyone? But I know that by choosing to write about these things I am laying myself open to it and that of course not everyone will agree with the decisions I make about how to live my life, or see things from my point of view.

    So, say whatever you please. I’ll live my life the way I choose regardless of whether you support me or choose not to come back. And I’ll write about it. You can be sure of that.

    Comment by petite — June 17, 2005 @ 10:09 pm

  73. Cheating is bad. We know that. Even if it’s for love, it’s bad. But everybody’s bad sometimes. So whatever. I don’t really care to be judgemental on Petite. All my friends are bad but I love them just the way they are, for better, for worse.

    Being bad just means you live with the guilt mixed with the pleasure. If that’s your cup of tea, and you choose to eventually wipe the muck off of it by falling in love, then wunderbar. But I live with my muck, and I know what it costs, in my life and in my heart. I wish you all the most wonderful kinds of happiness with your beau… and I wish you didn’t have to call him CB… just the Man

    Comment by nardac — June 17, 2005 @ 10:59 pm

  74. Petite, some people do enjoy criticism. I do. All you have to do is forget ego and focus on your place in the world. Then criticism is like more information of what and where you are. It’s useful and help you build a better “you”. Ungrounded criticism is still criticism even if it won’t help. But who knows what is grounded and what’s not?

    As for “words”, I don’t wanna burst everyone bubbles but let me ask this simple question : if not for words, what would people fall for ? Wealth? Physical appearance? Alrightie. Now, over the internet, what would make you swoon? words. That’s all it is. So it’s bullshit, pardon my words, to say that words are what seduced you. Because there isn’t many other possibilities. Words are just carriers for ideas and messages. Well chosen words carry the same ideas. They’re just better put. So what are we supposed to rely on? words? ideas?
    My wife and I have met each other over a messageboard. Technically speaking, words were the main vessel between us but what made us want to meet was more than words : points of view, humor or hopes

    Also : “life’s too short” is a very fallacious argument. If you study the case of inmates, bank robbers or rapists, you realize that they all have in common the idea that life’s short and that anything that could be tried to achieve a goal should be. They all have the same “no time to wait, let’s play, lose or win, let’s play” reasoning. Should we agree with them?
    You can totally compare it with another fallacious sentence : “you’ve only got one life : don’t ruin it”

    I understand Petite’s situation. Still, nobody can relate to her VERY situation and all judgments are biased. On the other hand, as said above, blogging about it made it public and thus allowed people to bear judgments about it. SO, somehow, maybe, you shouldn’t have talked about this, Petite, despite the excitment and the need to share.

    My wishes go to your newly found life.

    Comment by shellorz — June 18, 2005 @ 4:20 am

  75. Another delurker here.. I’ve been cheated on, have never been in a relationship that I had felt compelled to leave, and no, I do not have any compulsion whatsoever to criticize Petite. In fact, I admire her grace and tact for handling criticism from strangers, and still allowing comments while she continues to write intimately about her life.

    Oh Petite, I’m currently being wooed by someone who comments on my blog too. First by words, and now in person. Alas, it is not as straightforward as yours (as it appears to be!!) and I’m trying to sort out my feelings. Unfortunately, I don’t have your fortitude to write about it on my blog – a) I don’t fancy acquaintances (blog meetups are a bad idea!!) knowing so much about my life (I rather keep my blog readers anonymous thanks!) and b) he reads my blog, nuff said.

    I’ve enjoyed your writing over the past months and whether you choose to reveal intimate things in your life, or not, I’d still be coming back.

    Comment by c.p. — June 18, 2005 @ 5:08 am

  76. oh, we all judge. so what if they/we do? we have to be true to ourselves. (and even that can be hard to do at times). i think that’s what you are doing petite. do it fearless. you took a brave decision because you felt that it was right. it’s beautiful what happend to u, and i also think that it took courage. because we live in a judgmental world. nobody promised that it will be easy when we came into life. sharing this in a blog is a personal decision. yes, petite opened up for judgment doing that, but she didn’t do it expecting us to judge and have any influence on her decision. she only s-h-a-r-e-d. because she felt like it.

    good luck petite.

    Comment by leda — June 18, 2005 @ 6:25 am

  77. the same thing happened to me, and now I am happily married with the man of words. good luck. it’s hard for a long time, but everything happens for a reason…

    Comment by trine — June 18, 2005 @ 9:25 am

  78. Well said Joy

    Comment by Keith — June 18, 2005 @ 9:28 am

  79. Sure blogging is a public forum – and sure, it’s unrealistic to think that there aren’t people out there on the net that will judge and critique you. However, it’s a big jump from making a judgement in your head to publicly expressing that judgement without being asked for it. One is being human and the other is being rude.

    More to the point, no matter what we say here, we’re all still hiding behind the anonymity the computer gives us – even when we leave our name, email address, whatever. It’s just not the same thing as saying something to a person’s face. For one thing, there isn’t the risk of having our teeth knocked in by the person we’ve just decided to “tell all” to. I’m sure dentists everywhere are very sad about that, really. Just think of the income they’re missing out on with all these flame wars around.

    Comment by Ninox — June 18, 2005 @ 9:49 am

  80. I felt compelled to add one thing, as it had been on my mind all last night after I posted my last comment. I want to clarify that my remarks were directed at the commentors, and not Petite. I did not say that Petite couldn’t handle criticism – it hardly seems to ruffle her, as it shouldn’t. It’s the commentors who jump in to defend and slam anyone who says anything different that I was talking about. While those who “criticize” her don’t know her to judge fairly, do those who jump in to defend – do you know her well enough to know you should be defending? I’m just saying.

    But what really bothered me was the comment where someone said, about the “naysayers” – “without the actual human exchange, people don’t always realize that they’re reading the lives of people. As is subconciously they regarded a blog like some TV show, ‘tune in next week for who Petite’s new guy is!’ And a lot of the negative commenting seems more like someone being vocal towards a TV screen during the O.C. than people honestly weighing all sides of the story and than being careful to use words wich will help instead of hurt.”

    Now, from my observations, most of the people who come here are not “naysaywers.” And Petite herself said that the number of visits to her site jumped after all this recent stuff came out. It’s not the naysayers who are treating this as a tv show, is it? Isn’t it the “fans” who seem to be forgetting this is a real person, and not a weekly drama for them to live vicariously through this woman? From what I saw, it was the “fans” who are begging to find out “who Petite’s new guy is”? I saw lots of comments guessing and asking for her to parade him out at the next meet up, yeah?

    It’s a commentary on the wonderful world of blogging, is all. Pots & kettles, naysayers and fans – they’re all black.

    Comment by Nikki — June 18, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

  81. Wow, this is one humdinger of a comments box!

    And of course I can’t resist adding my two-pen’th even though it’s all been said…

    Obviously it’s all very sad. Clearly petite, you have thought about it a lot and done your best to do right by everyone.

    Sometimes relationships end. And it’s not good for children to be brought up by parents who are clearly not happy together, and only are because of the child. It’s very negative for those you love to be unhappy, and doubly so when their unhappiness is being sustained for your “benefit” – all that creates is guilt on the child’s part and resentment for the parents.

    Good on you for being sensitive and sensible.

    Comment by Clare — June 18, 2005 @ 5:13 pm

  82. P.S. I’m a sucker for romance, and boy is this story romantic.

    Out of interest, how many other blogger-couples are there out there who met in their comments boxes? Anna, Petite… anyone else?

    Comment by Clare — June 18, 2005 @ 5:14 pm

  83. CLare– To add to your list, Krissa (of petithiboux.com) and Stuart (of autoblography.co.uk) met because of their blogs and are now happily married.

    Comment by janna — June 18, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

  84. No Clare, it hasn’t all been said yet.

    Petite, why didn’t you do it the french way – keep the two men? Your true colors (anglo-saxon)shining through?

    Comment by Kristina — June 18, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

  85. And also, why are all the judgmental people in this comment box americans?

    Comment by Kristina — June 18, 2005 @ 7:05 pm

  86. Petite, well done for following your heart. I too was in a relationship that I knew was not right for me. Towards the end, and by chance, I met and fell for another guy. I split with my then boyfriend amicably until he found out I was with someone else. Happily for me, 5 and a bit years down the line my new beau and I are engaged and all is well.

    I hated to have to break my ex’s heart, but carrying on for the sake of it is lying to both of you. Obviously you have tadpole and Mr Frog is your husband, and its thus more complicated. But your feelings are the same, and as Kathy said, way up in the comments, life is far too short to be unhappy.
    Good luck
    xx

    Comment by wickychoo — June 18, 2005 @ 7:21 pm

  87. Best of luck to you and your new man, Petite.

    F*** the naysayers! Some people get pleasure by being self-appointed consciences. They seek to legitimize their code of ethics or morality by attacking a perceived lack of the same in others. I say again, f*** them.

    Please, let me know if this is too subtle. ;)

    Comment by Bob — June 18, 2005 @ 8:53 pm

  88. To people who would criticize petite for having been the one to leave an unsatisfactory relationship, that’s a bit of double standard. If they were unhappy, it’s likely one or the other was eventually going to develop feelings elsewhere and/or leave; you can’t keep the human heart in a cage forever. And it wouldn’t have made Tadpole any happier having bitter, unhappy parents (spoken as a girl raised by parents who were together more out of convenience/circumstance than respect or love).

    Petite just happened to be the luckier one who found love first. Best wishes with all of it, petite! :)

    Comment by jin-ah — June 18, 2005 @ 11:18 pm

  89. God, Clare, I can think of at least four other very happy couples I know personally, not counting Stuart and Krissa.

    It’s really a little odd.

    Sorry, getting off-topic.

    Go infidelity!
    Boo to infidelity!
    Other such arguments!

    I continue to adore your writing, Petite.

    Comment by anna — June 18, 2005 @ 11:19 pm

  90. I’m so glad that I turned up relatively late to this thread, after 89 previous comments, because if I’d said my piece much earlier I might have been overly critical of the people raising their handbags to their chests in disgust, tutting under their breath and looking shocked and disgusted. As it is, others have replied to the nay-sayers much more eloquently than I’m currently able to during our nocturnal tropical heatwave . . . so all I’ll say, Petite, is what anyone can wish for: happiness, and that it all works out.

    Comment by Vaughan — June 19, 2005 @ 2:08 am

  91. I just think it’s shocking that you could even contemplate moving into a new phase of your life without so much as consulting us first.

    I know my rights.

    Comment by Tim — June 19, 2005 @ 11:59 am

  92. Respect to Tim!!!

    Comment by JonnyB — June 19, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  93. Many respondents seem concerned about the wisdom of Petite’s selection of suitor from her inbox. Understandably so.
    At 30 something plus, +?, Petite’s biological clock is ticking…… And ‘WE’ could not be expected to go through all this nerve-wracking trauma again!…….. all those sympathetic tears, time taken off tasks at work, near misses as we rush to & from work to catch the latest posting ……..in any case, the way the ‘entente cordiale’ is heading at present, Chirac way well decide to deport all ‘Les petites anglaise’ before long? Is there a solution? Perhaps Petite should allow us to exercise our democratic voice through another referendum …… respondents could vote for the in-box mailer whose prose is sufficiently eloquent to win Petite’s hand? To make it more fun, we could arrange the ‘Butte to Arc de Triomphe Handicap Steeplechase’ for the main contenders? How about this for the line up on present form:
    Gary Savage 1:5 our clear favourite (but could be trampled on in the rush?)
    Jim from Rennes 5:1 could manage a good sprint finish if not boxed in on the rails?
    Andre 8:1 benefits from true French breeding – blood samples consistently demonstrate a 50% vin rouge mix
    John Donne 50:1 Outsider, Well past his prime, but still capable of surprising us with his turn of phrase
    Mancunian Lass Evens, After all Petite hasn’t declared her hand & mum has her suspicions!
    Dead Heat – Tadpole gets to be umpire if its a photo-finish.
    Any more runners to declare their hand before Starter’s Orders??

    Comment by Fella — June 19, 2005 @ 10:04 pm

  94. Mmmmm. There is something Romantic (capital R. see: Goethe)about a certain kind of epistolary relationship–throwing yourself out of your comfort zone in to the unknown. Much harder to do when you’re out running day-to-day errands: work, grocery, pay bills, buy gifts, plan dinner, have impetuous knee-weakening flirtation, pick up children at day care. Right.

    As for the rest, the buddha said our lives would have ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows. Thank you for sharing yours.

    Comment by Anne — June 20, 2005 @ 8:12 am

  95. I met my other half via an errant Hotmail. I live in Canada she was in University in Lyon at the time. We wrote for 7 mos, I abandoned my then relationship at the time, we wrote 4-5 times a day. I met her in the UK then in France she moved here after many 6 mos visits.
    She goes back to France for Christmas every year I go back with her every second year. I speak “Pigin” French to her Family they grin and bear me because they love and respect her so much.
    There is an 18 year age Gap between us No Kids alot of Love and Living is what we have between us. That is what Life is all about………

    Comment by The Bon — June 20, 2005 @ 7:25 pm

  96. “I can think of at least four other very happy couples I know personally”

    I think we’re onto something. Clearly blogging is the new Railway Carriage. Can we sell the concept? The ideal way to meet a new partner?

    Comment by Clare — June 21, 2005 @ 12:50 pm

  97. catherine’s…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

    Trackback by catherine's — November 11, 2007 @ 12:04 am


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