petite anglaise

June 2, 2006


Filed under: single life, Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:02 pm

Tadpole is sitting on my knee, stabbing at the keyboard, attempting to type her name. Her efforts are fairly impressive, when you take into account the fact that I am simultaneously tickling her ribs:


Master of shortcut key combinations of which I do not even suspect the existence (she toggled my keyboard into thinking it was English the other day and it took the longest time to figure out how to make it French again), she abruptly closes the word processor window. A backgrounded firefox window is unveiled, revealing a motley assortment of meetic members currently online.

Today we have:

  • Monsieur Clope au Bec, puffing on his gaulloise, face obscured by a cloud of smoke, the mere sight of which makes me wrinkle my nose in distaste.
  • Monsieur Pectoraux, who is probably too busy working out to have a love life, and looks like he is in need of a long shower. I am starting to feel relieved that scratch and sniff profiles have not yet seen the light of day.
  • Mr Infidèle, who has opted for a badly cropped photograph of himself with his current wife/girlfriend, her cheek pressed against his, her arm draped across his shoulder.

Tadpole is looking intently at the screen, although it’s hard to say what has grabbed her attention. I suspect it may be the attractive fluffy dolphin posing alongside Mr Shiny Shellsuit.

“Mummy, how do you say chenille in English?” Tadpole asks, a little randomly.

“It’s caterpillar, darling,” I reply, “like in the book about the very hungry caterpillar.”

Tadpole nods, then points at the screen. “Why that man have a very hungry caterpillar crawling on his chin?”

I giggle. It does indeed look very much like a furry caterpillar has lost its way.

“Maybe it’s his pet caterpillar?” I suggest. I point at a Rod Stewart look-alike with an impressive mullet, hugging a labrador: “look, that man is in the picture with his pet animal too…”

Surfing once Tadpole is safely tucked up in bed, I realise that the unsightly facial caterpillar phenomenon is more widespread than I had initially realised. They are everywhere I click. The worst are those which steal upon me unawares, when I select the profile of an attractive looking gentleman, then note with dismay that all the other photos he has included are overrun with lepidoptera larvae.

<ew>click to enlarge if you are feeling brave</ew>

As you may have gathered, meetic isn’t exactly working for me, thus far.


  1. If one must have a caterpiller on one’s face, it’s better below the mouth than perched above, though … don’t you think?

    On another note, Tadpole is an intelligent little pre-frog.

    Comment by ellie — June 2, 2006 @ 12:12 pm

  2. Beard obsessives are a giant cringe, no question. Beware of them in all their forms.

    Comment by fjl — June 2, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  3. I hasten to add that Tadpole’s real name is a little shorter, so easier to type.

    Comment by petite — June 2, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  4. And so say all of us…

    Comment by katie — June 2, 2006 @ 12:45 pm

  5. ellie – if you’re dissing the moustache I’m afraid we can’t be friends. I think beards are the anti-thesis of moustaches. It takes a certain kind of man to regularly maintain form and panache with his moustache, which in form is like the inverse of the little bush right above his Johnson.

    Be careful, though, trusting a toddler when it comes to taste in men. You’ll end up dating a purple-clad dinosaur (or something ridiculously squishy).

    Comment by nardac — June 2, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  6. His Johnson. Love it.

    I learnt a phrase yesterday (don’t ask how) “ticket de métro”, in relation to non facial ladyhair, and now I come to think of it, this phrase could be usefully applied to describe chin caterpillars.

    Comment by petite — June 2, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

  7. I know! Why do men make their faces look like a frou frou? I blame Craig David.

    Facial hair is not only itchy to kiss (unless it was my fathers tickly moustache), but (i believe) unhygienic. I’ve read The Twits, I know what i’m talking about.

    Comment by hmmm — June 2, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  8. I am with Nardac! I have a tache…
    It’s my Mediterranean Macho Syndrome…
    Have had for over thirthy years and it is not coming off, not now, not ever, not for nobody!

    Monsieur Clope au bec! Cool or what! Is he trying to impress the female smokers??

    Comment by Cream — June 2, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  9. Actually, I quite like facial hair – a goatee or similar is ok by me ;)

    Comment by Kasey — June 2, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  10. Uh, Petite, tickets de metro are purple nowadays?
    Did you like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? I hesitated on buying it in an English-language bookshop in Bern a while ago, but it was a *fortune*, so I’m waiting for the library to acquire it, and am currently binging on Tom Wolfe. It’s good cold-weather reading.

    Comment by Alethea — June 2, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

  11. When I was Tadpole’s age, in the 1970s, big bushy beards were all the rage, and my parents tell me that I used to run away screaming whenever a bearded friend or relative came to visit. The current trend is seemingly less alarming to small children, although decidedly more pretentious…

    Comment by old school friend — June 2, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

  12. Hmmm,I might have facial hair if my beard weren’t as coarse as sandpaper.

    At first, I thought your Monsieur Pectoraux might be gay until I read about his needing a shower (LOL)!

    Comment by Lost in France — June 2, 2006 @ 2:02 pm

  13. Aletha,

    j’ai cru voir une ange en passant sur ton blog

    Comment by Treveur — June 2, 2006 @ 2:21 pm

  14. Ughh..please say this is merely a Meetic phenomenon…?

    It’s funny that Tadpole would refer to them as caterpillars. They actually look like ’em.


    Comment by Noire Dire — June 2, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Hmmm… speaking as somebody who hates shaving with a vengeance, I can sort of understand why some people have beards. If you’re going to have a beard though, have a proper one – not some silly manicured creation.

    What I don’t understand is why fat people think having a goatee covers up their double chin(s)…

    Comment by Jonathan — June 2, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

  16. Men normally don’t get to play with makeup or jewelry or other things to fancy themself up, so I guess they choose caterpillars!

    Comment by jouf — June 2, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  17. I feel clarification of my taste is in order.

    I just wrote a long, defensive-sounding paragraph, which was better deleted because it was long-winded and boring.

    Generally, I don’t like beards. Generally, I don’t like moustaches. A goatee (sp) can be alright — just to mix things up a bit.

    In sum: facial hair can be good and it can be bad. It all hinges on the man and how he carries it.


    Comment by ellie — June 2, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

  18. I tried the online dating the once. The revelation I had was “Most of these people are single for a reason.”

    Still, there are plenty of nice normal people out there. WHy don’t you make the first move, which avoids you having to read emails from dozens of creepy older men who write to you?

    Comment by homeimprovementninja — June 2, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  19. Is there any sort of French version of shall we say, non MOR personals sites like the Spring Street Network that hosts personals at the Onion or Nerve? The probability of finding prospective beaus with inappropriate facial hair is much lower there than other match-makery sites…

    I’m living with the one I met and couldn’t be giddier. Seriously stupid-happy. And although he does have a beard now, it works for him…

    Comment by misshoax — June 2, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

  20. homeimprovementninja – I have, and I have met two people so far. One of whom wants nothing more than to handcuff me to a bed blindfolded and the other who is very sweet indeed.

    What to do? Depends on whether I’m feeling naughty or nice…

    Comment by petite — June 2, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  21. Hey! I’m not here to give free plugs out, but my friend used to be involved in a social network for Expats in DC called Euronet (then he started his own called International Club of DC). I think they have a Paris branch too. The website is I have no idea what the Paris section is like, but the DC events are usually attended by a lot of young (20s-30s) professionals, most of whom are single. Maybe it’s worth a look?

    By the way, we don’t have Meetic here. The big ones here are Match and Harmony. Are those popular there too?

    Comment by homeimprovementninja — June 2, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  22. Those things that are so insubstantial and wispy that they don’t even qualify to be called goatees, yeah?

    Man minges.

    Comment by CulturalSnow — June 2, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  23. Being an on-and-off chenilleur, I decided to get rid of my tiny caterpillar today. Tadpole sure knows what she likes…

    Comment by mojitopt — June 2, 2006 @ 6:28 pm

  24. Petite, PLEASE choose the sweet one! After all you’ve been through you deserve someone kind and dependable.

    Comment by old school friend — June 2, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  25. we called them “brazilian on your face” i’m not a big fan of the caterpillars… ewww

    Comment by karina — June 2, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

  26. I understand that, about 100 years ago, men with beards were taunted in the street by children shouting ‘beaver! beaver!’

    Face fungus went out of fashion pretty soon.

    Comment by Z — June 2, 2006 @ 10:28 pm

  27. So meetic… it’s an online dating service??

    Comment by Alda — June 2, 2006 @ 11:35 pm

  28. Get him to pay your meetic bill next month ;-)

    Noo00. .. before I’m flooded with Mr Availables.. I don’t do this.

    Comment by fjl — June 3, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  29. who says someone who is into a little light bondage can’t be ‘kind and dependable’?

    Comment by Nikki — June 3, 2006 @ 12:55 am

  30. Well said Johnathan.

    Either you go the whole hog or you just don’t go there.

    Not with artistic interpretations on the theame of …

    Who can really be bothered in the morning to say “weeeeeeel i’ll just miss these two centimétres here, skirt around that bit there and kinda snippty snip here, just so …”

    There’s better things to be doing with that extra twenty minutes in bed in the morning – if y’all know what i mean ;-)

    Personally, i have a quick whizz over with the tondeuse (i really like them there twenty minutes extra au lit in the morning)

    If i don’t shave it’s hard to see where the chest ends and the face begins … in the summer, with my hair left uncut i resemble the wild man o’ Borneo – or so i’ve been told :-(

    Talking about landing strips, girls, what’s the business with that one ?!

    Comment by Damiel — June 3, 2006 @ 2:00 am

  31. Heh! “Ticket de metro”… a brazilian!

    Comment by nardac — June 3, 2006 @ 2:05 am

  32. sorry to ruin the joke but I was giggling after finally getting your comment.

    Comment by nardac — June 3, 2006 @ 2:06 am

  33. The little caterpillars under the bottom lip are sometimes called “soul patches” in the U.S. My older son has one (he’s 23)…

    Here’s a website showing them (Google Images)–

    Comment by Janet Tryson — June 3, 2006 @ 2:52 am

  34. Petite: Umm, is there really a choice there?

    Comment by Noire Dire — June 3, 2006 @ 3:14 am

  35. Could someone furnish an explanation of why ‘ticket de métro’ has connotations – not one I’ve come across.
    Facial hair can be very good, for ‘lyonnais’ – depends how wiry though!
    BTW This is all a bit much with first coffee of the day!

    Comment by J — June 3, 2006 @ 10:04 am

  36. Petite watch out for weirdos as well as moustaches. There may be more than one tell tale sign. Some inepts freak out if you’ve got a child- having a child can really help you filter out the neer do wells when you’re dating, which is a good thing. This weekend I got called by someone whom I didn’t want a relationship with atall, he was just a professional contact, whom I’d never met in person, ..he began sending me e-mails saying he had called me on some weird impulse ( apparently the weirdness of his impulse being that I was a woman with a child? I don’t know. He was drunk at the time.) Typical inept public school jerk, but look out for creeps, all the same. There are quite alot around, sadly. Still you are brave to kiss all these frogs while looking for the one who isn’t. x

    Comment by fjl — June 3, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

  37. Chenille means caterpillar? I’ll never see my favourite jumper the same way again. And I like caterpillars.

    Comment by Mama Duck — June 3, 2006 @ 9:00 pm

  38. From a guy’s point of view, I understand why some men choose to decorate their face with facial hair. We think it looks “masculine”. The concept is quite similar to why men work so hard to maintain large pectoral (chest) muscles. But according to every woman I have surveyed so far, women actually prefer cleanly shaven face and a fit (no “man boobs”) chest. This puzzled me for a moment before I realized men and women actually think quite differently. Since then, I have stopped trying to gain pectoral muscle mass and began shaving with a razor every day.

    Comment by Sam — June 3, 2006 @ 11:05 pm

  39. A lot of these creepy twunts end up on these sites for the simple reason that they’re creepy twunts (and nothing else) utterly incpabale of meeting up with normal people in a healthy environment such as in tennis courts, in dance halls or while out hostelling in the mountains, i.e. in places where they’d be immediately dismissed as the creepy twunts that they truly are.
    that’s my tuppence-worth

    NB: rude words have been altered by petite anglaise so as not to offend her mum

    Comment by Trevor — June 4, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

  40. The caterpillar in the picture looks like a woolly boy to me.

    Comment by parkin pig — June 4, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  41. i’d go on but it’s obvious that nobody’s interested

    Comment by Trevor — June 4, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

  42. Where has it all gone, that very first glance when eyes first meet, when two hearts throb in tandem?

    Comment by Trevor — June 4, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  43. Trevor – seeing you are at a bit of a loose end, perhaps you could be put in charge of comments moderation?

    Comment by petite — June 4, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  44. Yuk. I hate any kind of facial hair with a passion.

    Like old school friend I was traumatised as a little girl in the 70s by my auntie’s big fat dark-haired bushy bearded husband. I was in my mum’s arms the first time I saw him and she remembers me clutching her in terror.

    There is only one person I can think of who can get away with facial hair and that’s Tom Selleck…

    Comment by kjr — June 4, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  45. Now that I’m over my little bitter phase, I’m much less anti-meetic! I’d be happy to help you sort out the weirdos and the caterpillars from the cute bankers, as soon as I’m back in town. for now, sit tight and don’t chat with anyone :)

    Comment by maitresse — June 5, 2006 @ 2:55 am

  46. They’re called “pussy ticklers” here… usually false advertising, or so I’ve heard anyway!

    Comment by miss tickle — June 5, 2006 @ 3:49 am

  47. The inverted snobbery in England is bizarre. Here’s Trevor, clearly a smart and educated sort of chap, taking his cue from the hoody-wearing street punks with acne and greasy hair going around snarling ‘fuckin’cunt’ this and ‘fuckin’ cunt’ that. Is it your life’s ambition to be a chav, Trev?

    Comment by Dan — June 5, 2006 @ 5:53 am

  48. J-> I think that the “ticket de metro” refers to the line on the back of the tickets in Paris…

    Trevor-there are still people who go in for first glances and tandem throbbing hearts.

    Comment by Alessandra — June 5, 2006 @ 7:45 am

  49. the drink Dan it’s the drink, and how I yearn to be a geezer with street-cred

    Comment by Trevor — June 5, 2006 @ 10:45 am

  50. Hahaha! To know that moustaches are really the shit for anyone truly cool in Paris, you have to go to a meeting of the Paris Moustache Club. Conceived by fetard sans comparison, Otto, this club is testament to the return of the moustache among the young avant garde in Paris.

    My anti-goatee incredibly stereo-typical comment: goatee-wearers, I have to say, are probably the ones that end up with gel in their hair, probably more than one baseball hat in the closet, and can be caught with Coldplay on their top 25 playlist. Why do you want to date that?

    As for Meetic, I hesitate to cut it up because I’ve never been on there, but obviously there are many mediocre uninteresting people on that site. I wonder why you keep picking weirdos?

    Comment by nardac — June 5, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  51. Meetic worked for others! For me at least. I stayed there for about a week (with no special wishes, just curiousity) and found the “improbable”… I’m in love for more a year now and many projets for the future and indeed cancelled my account at the time asap.

    So, this stuff work, I can assure you. So, my conseil: keep an open mind and perhaps, like the hazard in the offline life, you will meet your “improbable.”

    Comment by Jean François Porchez — June 5, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

  52. Petite…..are you sure about this? Once I did a similar thing, when a relationship ended. I met two people, and then I dropped it. They were very nice; strong professionals, capable men, but we weren’t suited. I realised I was showing myself that the world was my oyster and I wasn’t alone after all. It wasn’t, and I was alone- for a while. I think it’s a rebound thing.
    I didn’t hear from you as per the email about the film, I hope you aren’t upset with me, I am always getting into trouble on the web by accident with my blunt opinions..(!) but I will say I know how to be a good friend. Especially to other vulnerable Mums :-)

    Comment by fjl — June 5, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

  53. I’m sure I have many and varied motivations for dabbling in meetic, and most are probably not fair on the men concerned. I think I want to prove to myself (and possibly someone else in particular) that it would be all too easy for me meet someone perfectly nice.

    But I’m far from being sure that I want to. Single feels good right now.

    Comment by petite — June 5, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  54. That’s exactly what I mean. This was my motive, too.

    And make sure they love wibbly pig and their humour and heart is in the right place- very important ;-) (!)

    Comment by fjl — June 5, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

  55. A beard is the daily reminder of every man of the bum within… and the natural inclination of that bum within to want to come out and take over from the manic ‘shaving geek’ who needs approval and has to get things done.

    It’s a constant struggle…

    Comment by jon — June 5, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

  56. Wibbly pig? Are we related?

    Comment by Parkin Pig — June 6, 2006 @ 10:50 am

  57. LMAO…”the bum within”. That’s hilarious…love it.

    Comment by Noire Dire — June 7, 2006 @ 1:24 am

  58. Sur meetic on peut trouver tous genres de gars et j´ai toujours peur de tomber sur les mauvais !!! lol

    Comment by Marina — June 7, 2006 @ 9:49 am

  59. “I think I want to prove to myself (and possibly someone else in particular) that it would be all too easy for me meet someone perfectly nice.”

    Is the “someone else in particular” Jim in Rennes or the new boy who was on the scene a while back…?

    Comment by old school friend — June 7, 2006 @ 1:20 pm

  60. or even mr frog?

    Comment by Kirsty — June 7, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  61. The third guy from the left: his caterpillar isn’t that bad, actually, but the guy next to (right) him. Who told him he could leave his house like that? That’s like 9 kinds of wrong.

    Comment by Anias Nin — June 7, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

  62. Meetic sucks. I wish I had never bothered, now my inbox is inundated with “teases” and “flashes” from ugly old gits who haven’t got the gumption to write a message. Haven’t seen one decent bloke on it yet. The Belgians are even less attractive than the Brits. Still I live in hope.

    Comment by Daphne Wayne-Bough — June 11, 2006 @ 10:54 am

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