petite anglaise

June 23, 2008

ring finger

Filed under: knot tying — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:51 am

When I was pregnant with Tadpole, I developed a heightened sense of awareness of other pregnant women. Suddenly they seemed to be everywhere I looked. I suspected that, in reality, they’d been there all along. My radar simply hadn’t been picking them up.

Sure enough, soon after Tadpole was born, my blinkers went back on and I was probably as guilty as the next métro passenger of failing to pull my nose out of my newspaper and stumble to my feet to give up my seat when an expectant mother joined the carriage.

Since my wedding day, I’ve developed a new obsession. Whether I’m sitting outside a café watching the world stroll by, doing my grocery shopping at Franprix or dropping off Tadpole at school, my eyes are irresistibly drawn to the fourth finger of everyone’s left hand, curious to see how many people around me are wearing a wedding ring.

‘Is it noticeable?’ I ask Meg as we drain the last dregs of our beers outside Aux Folies one evening. ‘I’m hyper aware of it right now… I think it’s because I’m not used to wearing a ring on that particular finger.’

At that moment the proprietor sidles up behind us. ‘Are you ladies leaving?’ he says, looking disappointed at the prospect. ‘Because if you’re staying, I was about to offer you a free round…’ Never one to turn down free drinks, we order the same again, smiling sweetly at our benefactor.

When I remark upon the fact that I’ve never had free drinks at this particular bar before, Meg grins widely and points at my décolleté. My favourite item of clothing so far this summer has been a short-sleeved, knee-length t-shirt dress with thin navy-blue and cream horizontal stripes. It has (what I think is called) a cowl neck, and this has relaxed somewhat with every successive wash, revealing a little more flesh each time I wear it. ‘You’ll notice,’ she adds, ‘that the barman has been lingering behind us every time he brings out someone’s drinks… I’d say he’s admiring the view.’

I hastily rearrange my dress, trapping a little material under my bra straps as insurance against a wardrobe malfunction. ‘Well, I don’t mind free drinks,’ I say, ‘but hopefully he’s noticed I’m wearing a ring and won’t attempt to chat me up…’

‘Honey, we live in France,’ Meg says drily. ‘Which means you’re still fair game, as far as French men are concerned. In this country, a wedding ring is like a red rag to a bull. Remember that French guy I dated who said his mother taught him it was his duty to sleep with as many married women as possible? She claimed they were those most in need of having their sex lives spicing up…’

Hiking my dress up a little further, I wonder if this is woefully inaccurate cultural stereotype, a scene from a Nancy Mitford novel or an accurate assessment of how French men regard marriage.

Now that I’m wearing a ring, I guess I’m about to find out firsthand.


  1. And you are watching only the LEFT hand?
    We wear ours on the right hand, as do many other people, at least in Germany (Don’t know why – something to do with Catholic/Protestant?)

    I can see some saucy blogging material coming your way :-)

    Comment by alcessa — June 23, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  2. Yup; being a German I have to confirm that around here, it’s mostly the right hand. Those rings on the left could mean “engaged”, “widowed”, or even “divorced”, depending on where you live.

    And your friend Meg gave good advice I suppose ;-)

    Comment by wjl (Wolfgang Lonien) — June 23, 2008 @ 11:39 am

  3. And in Holland it’s the right hand too, unless you’re a catholic (and they’re in the minority up here in the North of Holland) I have to admit that being single I’m always looking out for rings when I spot a nice guy, the other stuff is too complicated LOL

    Comment by Brigita — June 23, 2008 @ 11:47 am

  4. My husband (ooh, typing that is ODD) wears his on his right hand actually. For practical reasons, as he already had a ring he loved made to fit the other hand. And it’s a ring made up of lots of little rings, so a bit annoying to have resized.

    Or maybe he just wanted to keep his options open?

    Comment by petite — June 23, 2008 @ 11:53 am

  5. Great post, Petite.

    I was wondering whether you fancied going for a coffee one evening?

    Comment by JonnyB — June 23, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

  6. I’d hit on you and I’m not even French.

    Comment by BundyGil — June 23, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

  7. I also wear my weddingring on my right hand I can’t stand it on my left – don’t ask me why

    They do say you have to leave the ring on the hand your husband has put it on to during the wedding
    Other wise it’s bad luck (that’s what ‘they’ say)
    But it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right

    Comment by Nena — June 23, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  8. Was wondering what ODD an acronym of (genre LOL or MDR) and have realised now it is odd (a blonde moment!)

    Comment by timide — June 23, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  9. Hate to reinforce the stereotype but when I lived in Paris, my female French tutor (supplied by the company I worked for) determinedly set about seducing me. Not that I put up much resistance.

    Seduction sample:

    “What,” I asked early on in our acquaintance during a module devoted to the wardrobe, “is the French for underpants?”

    “Slip for men,” she replied. “Culotte for women. Not that I wear them in summer.”

    Too much information, no?

    When eventually, and inevitably, the bedsheets were rumpled, she announced unexpectedly that she was getting married in two weeks. Why, therefore, I asked, was she in bed with me.

    “Sex is sex,” she replied with a Gallic shrug. “Don’t worry, my marriage will make no difference to our relationship.”

    Comment by David O'Connor Thompson — June 23, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  10. Oh this is a post, which will attract a lot of comments me thinks, lets see what your international blog readers come up with. I will have a laugh reading the comments at least.

    Personally I would go with the “woefully inaccurate cultural stereotype”

    I have one ( a faithful husband that is) or perhaps he’s just been a really good actor for the past 10+ years. S I hope you’ve found one too Petite as they are not a dying breed, rest assured.

    Comment by Pauline — June 23, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

  11. This causes me to wonder if there’s anything to stop single people wearing rings, just to confuse everybody. Chortle.

    Comment by Diddums — June 23, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

  12. Je n’ai pas l’impression qu’une alliance au doigt change beaucoup l’attitude des hommes que l’on croise …
    Mais toucher avec les yeux, ce n’est pas pareil qu’essayer de toucher pour de vrai.

    Comment by marie-hélène — June 23, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

  13. Here in Chile, the ring goes in the left hand, as I think is the case in all Latin America.

    Comment by Maxatl — June 23, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

  14. Girl, please – did you LOOK at your wedding photos? It’s obvious he only has eyes for you….

    Comment by Sharon — June 23, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  15. Here in Italy a wedding ring almost makes you more desirable – a wide number of men in their thirties seem to see it as a sure sign that you’d be open to a no-strings-attached fling. Having said that, the majority of married men looking for a fling tend to leave their rings at home!

    Comment by Hazy — June 23, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

  16. Funny. I’m an anglican-raised atheist, and my wife’s muslim: we both wear ours on the left (and she, her engagement ring as well), So I’m not sure where religion comes into it. As far as I knew, it came from the old Roman belief that the vein/artery/nerve/whatever ran from the wedding finger, left hadn, directly to the heart.

    Comment by Outolokowski — June 23, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  17. oh, and many (belated) congratulations, Petite

    Comment by Outolokowski — June 23, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  18. I remember that happening to me too! I would look at my new husband’s hand and marvel at the new gold ring there. It didn’t seem real that I had put it there.

    Comment by Peggy — June 23, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

  19. Oh, it’s not just in Europe. My mother noticed the same phenomenon the second she got engaged (in 1973), and she was living in the States. Suddenly, she found herself surrounded by men enticed by the idea that anything she started with them would HAVE to be casual, since she was already engaged to someone else.

    Comment by queenie — June 23, 2008 @ 3:52 pm

  20. I gotta move to France. ;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — June 23, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

  21. Funnily enough, I thought Petite was referring to herself rather than her hubby… ;-)

    Félicitations, by the way. The dress was lovely.

    Comment by Tandy — June 23, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  22. After I first got married ( a little over a year ago) I too found myself constantly noticing rings on peoples fingers, in fact, I still do. Whenever I’m out in public I always make sure mine are showing :)

    Comment by Jessica — June 23, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  23. Congratulations….Tres amusant. Thanks

    Comment by George — June 23, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

  24. In the US, we wear the ring(s) on the left. I have heard that there is a vein the runs from the fourth finger of the left hand directly to the heart (with no deviations as the other veins in the hands encounter), thus symbolically and anatomically connecting the outward symbol of the commitment to the heart. No clue if it’s true, but sweet enough to consider.

    Comment by Leslie — June 23, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  25. David O’C T: pretty much the same thing happened to me. Just someone I met randomly though, not a tutor. Things went on fairly casually for three months or so, as they do, until one day she turned up with a ring on her finger.

    “Oh, I’m engaged!”

    She even invited me to the wedding. I didn’t accept.

    Oh, and just to add to the “woefully inaccurate cultural stereotype” gang, she was from Merseyside.

    Comment by Anon — June 23, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  26. Definitely a cultural stereotype. Accurate or not, that’s more difficult to say. For some men, for sure.

    Should you wish to find out if they exist, I would suggest your chances are better when you are spending time in a bar in the company of a lady friend, rather than, say, in Disneyland Paris with Tadpole + hubby.

    Comment by ontario frog — June 23, 2008 @ 6:11 pm

  27. When I lived in Paris, I told a French man who was ruthlessly hitting on me that I was sorry, but I was married (I wasn’t but whatever). His response?

    “Et alors?”

    Comment by Nutmeg In Paris — June 23, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

  28. I nearly commented on this cultural stereotype the other day when you said that Tadpole being raised in France, she would probably regard infidelity as something normal…. Well, I am French, and never understood why French people were generally regarded as “open” as far as infidelity was concerned. It exists, as surely it exists everywhere, but it definitely breaks as many hearts as in other countries and I definitely do not have anybody amongst my friends who would handle it with a shrug if they found out their partner was cheating on them. They would be as devastated as any. And if other people/friends found out, they would definitely judge the “cheater” very badly (but then again, judging your neighbour is French national sport, and that is not a stereotype!). Maybe the perception comes from the fact that French people didn’t really care when they found out that Mitterrand had an official mistress.

    Having lived in England for 6 years, I actually found that flirting with someone else, while in a relationship, was definitely much more socially acceptable, on the other side of the pond. I guess there is nothing wrong with that, but in terms of stereotype, I would say that a French girl would flirts with someone even though she is in a relationship is considered an “allumeuse” or worse, which is not a nice thing to be called. (although I think applied more to the student life than married era).

    Anyway, I’ll be interested to read other comments.

    Comment by Celine — June 23, 2008 @ 7:58 pm

  29. The bartender wasn’t really interested. You see, all men hate sex. We just pretend to like it so women won’t feel unloved. It’s our generous natures. Would I kid about something so important? :)

    Michael in D.C.

    Comment by Michael — June 23, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

  30. I just hope you won’t be playing with your ring (lol, ok settle down at the back!) in public.

    You could always flash your ring (ok, stop it, that’s enough) and see what response you get. ;-)

    And after reading the first paragraph, I thought you were going to tell us you were pregnant!

    Comment by Steve... — June 23, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

  31. Even married folk should be able to show skin and flirt!

    Comment by clarissa — June 23, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  32. to quote you, i think “this is woefully inaccurate cultural stereotype”, with all due respect to the lovely meg…

    Comment by Ayme — June 23, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

  33. I am so grateful that it will keep most men away. I’m not interested in cheating on my husband and not interested in having him cheat on me. One of the best reasons to live in America (U.K. too, I think).

    By the way, thank you Petite. I received a nice envelope in the post today. :)

    Comment by Jessica — June 23, 2008 @ 9:34 pm

  34. I am so interested to read the rest of the comments on this post. I am a French teacher here in the US, and went to college with many french friends who acted rather nonchalant about “cheating” on their significant others. After showing my students several french films, they all wanted to know if everyone in France cheats on each other. Obviously the answer is no, but it does seem to be more accepted there than here. Of course, one can’t draw every conclusion from what is seen in films, but I must say that there is a certain preoccupation with it, it seems…

    Comment by Erika — June 23, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

  35. Great writing – as usual!

    Comment by Iza — June 23, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  36. Definitely a YMMV (or YKMV) observation – we and most of our immediate French friends have stayed in monogamous couples and presumably faithful, to the best of my knowledge, for the last fourteen years or thereabouts. Only two examples of extracurricular activities come to mind, one of each gender and not with each other.

    HOWEVER – as was mentioned earlier, looking without touching is definitely permitted. I do have a hard time relating to those who are in immediate proximity to their engagement/wedding and still want to cheat on their beloved, though. Why get married, then?

    Comment by Alethea — June 23, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  37. Among Asians, many do not wear a ring at all after they get married.

    Comment by Rose — June 24, 2008 @ 1:42 am

  38. Meg is pretty good value, even if it is just American cynicism about the French. How are you getting on with being French, by the way? Has she realised yet?

    Comment by John Norris — June 24, 2008 @ 2:40 am

  39. If one wants to be quite specific, there is always the Irish claddagh ring: worn on the right hand, the crown inwards, it indicates that you are single; on the right hand with the crown turned outwards means that love is being considered; and worn on the left hand with the crown outwards is indication that you are very much ‘taken’. According to my Irish grandmother, at least.

    PS: my French ex-husband was horrified at the thought of cheating, much to my surprise at the time..

    Comment by Iris — June 24, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  40. Interesting, this subject.

    I think to a large extent the type of behaviour people are observing differs according to the circles they move in, as the varied responses here about French behaviour testify.

    My husband is big on fidelity (regardless of marital status), as am I. But some of our (bobo) friends have or have had open relationships (although I tend to think this is often pursued actively by one party and reluctantly accepted by the other).

    I definitely know several single girls who see married men as fair game.

    I think I was hoping that my ring could at least be used as a deterrent in annoying chat up situations, but maybe not!

    Comment by petite — June 24, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  41. American stereotypes are mostly based on a certain kind of literature and movies. What they do not realize is that these fims depict a behaviour that is mostly prevalent in some circles of Parisians. OOnly the metropolis and the relaxed morals of somme bobos allow for this kind of serial infidelity.
    An unfaithful person (especially a woman, sadly) can expect an open hostility from everyone in most French towns and cities. In a village, it would be even worse. Most working class and middle class French people are very traditional on this point of view. Many people don’t marry any more but provincial France’s perception of cheating is as much dispapproving as Middle America’s.

    Comment by jack — June 24, 2008 @ 9:06 am

  42. Even with my weddingring, men still see me as fair game (not that I attract that many men but you know what I mean :-) )

    And then they say something like – It doesn’t matter that you’re married, you don’t feel that under the sheets…

    ??? Not that I respond to that, the reason I married my husband is because I promised to stick with him If I still felt the urge to be with other men, I wouldn’t have married

    Maybe men find us more attractive if they think we’re hard to get? Or if they feel they can’t have us at all? Like the forbidden fruit?
    For the record – I’m not talking about all men

    Comment by Nena — June 24, 2008 @ 10:09 am

  43. Well if the ring doesn’t help, maybe you could bring your husband along next time? He looks very well suited to defend your honour.

    Comment by Marjolein — June 24, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  44. Stereotype! Of course, there are always the ones who will visit the prostitutes, who will cheat, etc. I did NOT get married to such scumbag! We are BOTH French, I am not expecting to be the “betrayed wife” and he is not planning on becoming a “married women hunter” or “serial cheater”. THANK GOD!!! ^^ I think some people just try to justify their bad behaviours but SHOUTING to the world everybody is doing it…FALSE! It might have been true for my great-grand-parents, but time did change. So much for the French grivoiserie. ^^

    Comment by Vanessa — June 24, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  45. I have always noticed (in London at least) how few people are married among those commuting into and out of the city for work.

    Perhaps people don’t wear wedding rings much any more? Or perhaps people don’t get married any more?

    Comment by Jonathan — June 24, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  46. Love this post…and all your wedding pics! I spent three years living in Paris and loved it. Your friend is right though – a wedding ring doesn’t count for much among French men. I won’t get into it but I’m speaking from experience. Love your blog – I’ll be back!

    Comment by Marie Louise — June 24, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  47. Hey petite,
    Do you know the websote
    Well, an ad for your book was there, found that funny.
    Have a good day!

    Comment by saraka — June 24, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  48. I had the confusing ring/hand situation when visiting a French boyfriend in Biarritz… I had a rather nice ring on my right hand, being English this is not the married hand.

    After a meal the waiter brought the credit card machine, offering it to me with the b/f’s card inside. When I said I didnt know the code waiters very shocked response: “But is not your (h)usband??”

    Thats when I realised the ring was on the wrong hand, also explained b/f’s amusement when I had arrived at the airport wearing it!

    (and overheard a Spaniard on the tube the other day explaining to the English girl he was chatting up that in Spain right hand = married, and left hand = gay… anyone else heard of that one?)

    Comment by jacqui — June 24, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  49. I, too, became much more interesting when I got married and began to wear my wedding ring. I don’t know what it’s all about. I don’t think that some innocent flirting is all that harmful :)

    Comment by Kathleen — June 24, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  50. oh, and GREAT post, Petite!

    Comment by Kathleen — June 24, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  51. Surely if someone is going to have an extra marital thingy, rings don’t count tuppence. Adults will be adults and sex drive, will …erm …. be driven? Brains are left at home, not rings!!!!

    Comment by Jester — June 24, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

  52. Hmmm, I wonder if that explains why, this morning when I had a doctor’s appointment and informed my doctor that I was getting married, the FIRST thing he did was go out of his way to have a look at my ring finger. (And he’s not French, he’s Irish!) I thought it a bit odd since men don’t usually care about something like an engagement ring.

    So I’m thinking maybe it’s not only Frenchman to whom a wedding ring is like catnip to a cat. When my sister was first married back in the U.S., she was working in a jewelry store and she said she was shocked at how many men, who were in the store buying gifts for some OTHER woman in their life, would start actively flirting with HER, the married salesgirl.

    I told her that as a young, attractive, married woman, there would probably always be some guy (single or married) out there thinking she’d be easy pickin’s for a no-strings attached fling. That’s just the way some men are.

    But not all men. Not yours. Or mine.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — June 24, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

  53. PS Although I’m not Jewish, it is my understanding that in the Jewish faith, the wedding ring goes on the right hand.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — June 24, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  54. @45 Maybe their marriages don’t last very long in a high pressure environment like London (says she who is unmarried and works with six divorced co-workers and another who has never married).

    Comment by Sakoro — June 24, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  55. Your husband loods like a Goofbag!

    Comment by Trevor — June 24, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

  56. I really was expecting you to say you were pregnant too. So any thoughts on that particular idea, a little Petite Petite for Tadpole perhaps?!!!

    Comment by scribble — June 24, 2008 @ 8:46 pm

  57. @45 my husband works in London, he’s totally committed to me – together for 29 years, married for 25 years, and has never worn a wedding ring because he doesn’t like wearing jewellery – no other reason.

    Comment by Jes — June 24, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

  58. Trevor, put your whisky glass down and step away from the keyboard!

    Comment by petite — June 24, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  59. Sorry that this isn’t directly related to your post, but I just finished “Petite Anglaise,” thinking while I was reading it that it was pure fiction. You can imagine how surprised I was, then, to find this blog when I googled you.
    I’m shocked, but it’s nice to be able to discover more of the story, because I was left hanging a little at end of the book.
    Anyway, loved the book. I can’t wait for more.

    Comment by Kristin — June 25, 2008 @ 1:25 am

  60. I, too, am getting used to wearing an engagement ring (on the fourth finger of the left hand and I’m American, for whoever’s keeping a tally). It’s been about two weeks now, and I find myself clenching my fist every once in a while to make sure the thing hasn’t slipped off. Dang thing’s going to give me a heart attack long before we actually get married, I’m afraid.

    Comment by Liesl — June 25, 2008 @ 4:09 am

  61. So right you are Petite. I hit the bottle again after a year of abstinence.

    Comment by Trevor — June 25, 2008 @ 8:12 am

  62. @Kristin – that’s actually a compliment! I wanted it to read like a novel and it sounds as though I pulled that off… You’ll need to start back in April 2006 if you want to read from where the book leaves off up to the present day. Hope you have some time ahead of you!

    Comment by petite — June 25, 2008 @ 8:54 am

  63. For Vanessa: you go girl!!! I feel the same way!

    Comment by Nena — June 25, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  64. Dressing sexy and being desirable to other men should not stop once you are married. It is up to you what you do with the advances they make.

    When someone here in Canada finds out I’m married, they don’t even want to talk to you anymore. It’s so sad. I don’t wear my ring because it is too small for my finger. But I always admit I’m married.

    Comment by Lucia — June 25, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

  65. Oh god… I found a huge mistake in the text I wrote the other day :-s

    I wrote: the reason I married my husband is because I promised to stick with him If I still felt the urge to be with other men, I wouldn’t have married

    I forget a dot.. I meant: I promised to stick with him. If I still…

    I hope no one misunderstood
    What a little dot can do…

    Comment by Nena — June 25, 2008 @ 7:04 pm

  66. Oh no, are you serious? I was happily putting my lack of chat-ups down to the sparkler on my left hand!

    Comment by Marianne — June 25, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  67. By the way, what is book 2 about? I was expecting to get the firing in book 1, but maybe that’s where the second one picks up?


    Comment by Jessica — June 26, 2008 @ 1:34 am

  68. hello. i am a 17 year old girl american girl. I speak a bit of french and am one quarter french in heritage. It has been my dream my whole life to go to france and this summer i am finally going with my mother and a close family friend. I am so excited, i feel like i am visiting my homeland or something. i was looking at french blogs and stumbled across yours, which i find very fascinating. can you give me any advice while in paris? any small cafes or diners that would not be on the map?

    Comment by Katie — June 26, 2008 @ 2:23 am

  69. Well Kate, obviously I think you should get a copy of my book and read it on the flight over… And you may find the Petite’s Paris link in the sidebar useful.

    Comment by petite — June 26, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  70. Have you read ‘Sacré Français’? The two cultures ARE different, though it would be unfair to label the French as less faithful.
    It took me a very long time to get used to being given the once over by virtually every man, but then learned that many French women would feel insulted by not being appraised by wandering eyes. So now I flirt with the best of them.
    However any Engishman whose eyes wander still gets short shrift. Conversely don’t mind Anglosaxon male friends touching my back (from shoulder to hip) but French males get a withering look (and a slap in one case) as that’s their way of finding out if you’re amenable to further physical contact.
    One episode that still makes us chuckle is when the Grouch’s mobile broke so had to phone the office to give him his shopping list
    Me : “Le Grouch est déjà partie?
    Grouch’s Boss : “Bah oui, il part toujours tôt lui”
    Me : ” Bizarre, il arrive toujours tard à la maison, il doit être avec son 5à7 Carrefour”
    Grouch’s Boss : “Ah non, je le vois, il est encore là, au machine de café, je l’appèle, zut, il m’a pas vu, il s’en va”. All with no hesitation or embarrassment whatsoever!

    Comment by J — June 26, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  71. Another great read …My wedding band is twisted red & yellow Welsh gold fixated firmly on my left topped off with a frision of sparkling diamonds lol on my right white gold n sparkly diamonds …..Who said diamonds were a girls best friends rofl they’re certainly mine :)

    Comment by Soozyuk — June 26, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  72. #61 Trevor, AA does work if you work the programme.

    Comment by Jen — June 26, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  73. thanks for your concern Jen.

    Comment by Trevor — June 26, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  74. hi petite… I did a little promotion for your book – come and see.

    Comment by bijou — June 26, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  75. There must be a lot of attractive bloggeurs out there because I too have a welsh gold wedding ring but no bloody bugger has chatted me up this side of the 90’s.

    Comment by Alice Band — June 26, 2008 @ 6:59 pm

  76. So delighted to have found your blog. I can’t wait to have time to go through all your older post. I am hoping to find a copy of your book in the US.


    Comment by sandra — June 27, 2008 @ 6:05 am

  77. LOL @ Alice Band like wise my friend thank goodness Im back on the top shelf ….:D

    Comment by Soozyuk — June 27, 2008 @ 6:12 am

  78. I don’t wear a wedding ring. I used to wear a wedding band, my engagement ring and my eternity ring all on the same finger, but took them off in a huff once and they just never went back on. I got chatted up once in the pub, but then I’ve probably only been to the pub once in the last…oooh…hundred years?!

    Comment by English Mum — June 27, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  79. @77 I’m Welsh and Proud too! Dydd Gwener Hapus!

    Comment by Alice Band — June 27, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  80. i got your galley copy in the mail yesterday… so far so good!

    Comment by kara — June 27, 2008 @ 11:23 am

  81. #73 Trevor, you are welcome. My husband joined AA and May 1 was ten years he was sober with the help of his Higher Power whom we choose to call Jesus. I will lift you up in my prayers although I don’t know you HE does.

    Comment by Jen — June 27, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  82. #53 – Bold Soul – right you are, but usually only Orthodox Jews follow that practice.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — June 27, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

  83. Petite, first read your fabulous novel while on honeymoon in Europe last month. Saw it for the first time today, here in Canada, and just wanted to congratulate you AND let you know that it was under the “new and hot non-fiction” section! Bravo!

    Comment by sandy b. — June 27, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

  84. Hey there – now that Petite Anglaise is out of the market, who will take up the slack in the seduction market? Or will she be blogging about seducer married people – check my site at to read about THAT

    Comment by Suzy Vegas — June 28, 2008 @ 1:11 am

  85. While your wedding pictures with the glowingly happy smiles touched me, this post means more to me.

    I’ve been living with and later married to my husband for 30 years. I too notice wedding rings even now.

    I’m so happy you found a wonderful partner and wish you both a long and loving partnership.

    Comment by Danna — June 28, 2008 @ 3:06 am

  86. I think it’s universal. Men want to go after what they know they can’t have (or least they think they can’t have). Hmmmmm . . .

    Comment by Carrie — June 28, 2008 @ 6:53 am

  87. 77 Have left a msg on your blog page lol
    shhhhh dont tell anyone but Im English born but have lived in Wales for 30 yrs so Im adopted Welsh lol

    Sorry Cathrine do forgive me its so nice to get to know other people from all walks of life have you considered a forum when your fan base could hang out n make friends :)

    Comment by Soozyuk — June 28, 2008 @ 8:56 am

  88. Your book just got a plug on “French Word-A-Day”:, the popular and delightful blog of Kristin Espinasse, whose own blog-based book, Words in a French Life was published in May 2007.

    Comment by Passante — June 28, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  89. Talking about the significance of rings on certain fingers reminds me of an incident when I was on holiday in southern France several years ago….
    I wore (and still do) four rings, on the first and ring fingers of both hands. Not sure why I started but I have done so for nearly 10 years. Anyway, I was in a supermarket (with my dad) queuing at the tills, and an old man in front noticed my rings, pointed and asked “Married?”. Bizarre as this was considering I was wearing four rings, not just one on the traditional finger, I was also about fourteen ! God only knows what he was thinking!

    Comment by Nicole — June 28, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  90. After your post i decided to poll all the french boys i know, including my own boyfriend who was most adament that the wedding ring is a challenge. I knew that this side of the channel is more chauvanistic but thats just ridiculus

    Comment by Iona — June 28, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  91. I have no business leaving you a comment, really, but I’ve just read and enjoyed your book so much that I felt the need to jump the pond to say hello.

    You have one more stranger singing your praises and adoring you from afar. Of course, I have nothing but best wishes for you. Keep on doing what you do.


    Comment by Jay — June 29, 2008 @ 2:48 am

  92. I’m going to buy myself a ring because reading these comments it seems you can have so much fun with a ring.

    Comment by Single Mother on the Verge — June 29, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  93. *smirks*


    Comment by petite — June 29, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  94. I think it depends on the person. Oddly enough I found more foreign men did not seem to care about “being the other man”. Perhaps they thought “when in Rome (or Paris)….”

    It looks like you have a good one there. I have been with a French guy for almost 4 years now. We have been through thick and thin together. I followed him to France and he followed me here.

    The not doubting that it is real will come with time and I think another of the individuals who left a left a comment was definately correct in saying it looks like your man only has eyes for you.

    Comment by Java — June 29, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

  95. Oh god, anything but Wagner… ;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — June 30, 2008 @ 5:17 am

  96. I find that unpleasant and insistent Italian lotharios will back off on seeing a ring on your left hand – tried and tested! And I normally wear rings on my right hand, so that obviously doesn’t have the same connotation for them. A subtle switch over to the left seems to cause even dodgy ‘frotteurs’ (is that right?) on buses to back off. It doesn’t totally prevent the mild enjoyable sort of flirting though, but then that is just the Italian way of communication, I don’t think they function any other way! And we wouldn’t want them to ;)

    Comment by Provincial Lady — June 30, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  97. I do the same thing!!!!! I just want to tell you that I got to book yesterday at Borders San Francisco, and I a half way through.. I like it so much!… My partner and I just got “married” last saturday… It was fantastic and since then I do the same… I look everyone’s lef finger to know either they have a ring or not…

    Comment by sfboy86 — June 30, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  98. see…and i don’t wear my wedding ring…just to throw people off. heh. :)

    Comment by ali — June 30, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

  99. Im still wondering missus when are we going to have a forum so we can all chat n get to know each other ????

    Yep this is yet another cant sleep meandering into the world of Petite….Hows married life so far :)

    Maybe if we decide to get remarried I can get a ring put thru his nose n lead him about on a chain lol …sorry just my wicked Cheshire humour emerging ….now theres a thought ….here boy :)

    Comment by Soozyuk — July 1, 2008 @ 3:08 am

  100. “…ninety-nine, a hundred.”

    Can we have another post now, please? :)

    Comment by happyforyou — July 1, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  101. I live in sw france and my partner has been trying to get a ring on my finger for ages. He is sick of other men ‘trying it on’ and truly believes it will deter them. If i tell him it is more likely to encourage them, he will probably never let me out of the house again. I think i will keep this little gem of info to myself!

    Comment by tarte tartan — July 1, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

  102. I’m curious, exactly why did you think you were being offered a free drink? In fact, why do you think you ever get offered a free drink??

    Comment by Me — July 1, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  103. Why did you delete the other post?

    Comment by letigre — July 2, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  104. what ever happened to the “seething” post. It was downright hilarious!

    Comment by Trevor — July 2, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  105. Petite took the post down because she is tres sensitive right now. Probably because the teacup has cracks already.. Or pregnant with bobbly hormone levels…or just a naughty little one who will have things her way, by golly or no way. Only say complimentary things to Petite or she’ll stop posting. Please, people. Maybe the ring post is the end of Petite Anglaise..or not. Maybe Petite understands that creating controversy can keep you in the news. This is important when selling a product. (book)

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 3, 2008 @ 10:03 pm

  106. Or a server glitch as “seething” has returned.

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 3, 2008 @ 10:08 pm

  107. Well, well. I don’t think this works for guys. However, I have read that in some places being (or dressing?) as a priest, or even better, a bishop is an irresistable provocation to some women.

    Ireland, e.g., has had a few gentlement of the cloth earn the title “Father” in more ways than one.

    I read in yesterday’s Irish Independent (online) that “most” Irishmen have experienced sexual harrassment at work — and not just “a bit of banter either.” Is it anyone wonder emigration stopped and immigration to the Emerald Isle is booming?!

    From earlier comments I see some are hankering for stories like this

    Comment by Eats Wombats — July 4, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  108. The post is still I have just read it again!!!

    Comment by anne — July 4, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

  109. Anne,
    See 106

    Comment by Sheila K. — July 4, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

  110. Just had a bizarre experience last night. I was asked if I was married. When I said I had a boyfriend the questioning turned to “Do you live together?” “Are you happy with him?” All these questions from a French man I had never met. When I asked him why he thought he could ask me all of those questions he said he thought he felt an “energy” and that “my soul had touched his.” I had forgotten about the “beau parleur” element in France, since I am with a French man who tends to tell it how it is (thank God).
    As long as you are “keeping it real” I think you will be all right.

    Comment by Java — July 6, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

  111. Irish men harrassed? I’ve only seen that once and that was at a crazy hen night….They would probably run a mile. I saw a girl pinching guys rears at a nightclub one time and they did just that….ran away… There is just more scandal generated in Ireland by priests fathering children…..we are such holy people you know ; ) (wicked grin)

    Comment by Java — July 6, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

  112. To chip in.
    I wouldn’t say it’s a cultural misconception, I’d say it’s a cultural misunderstanding. I explain:
    If you look at this report
    You’ll find out that French people have in average FEW sexual partners in their life time. Less than in the UK, the US or Japan. However they have more intercourses in average. It’s simple: less one night stands. People in regular relationships have more sex because they don’t need to seduce their partner from scratch, which in France entails quite some work (see for an Aussie take on that).
    The one night stand culture is something very American or British (in Japan it would be Soaplands :-) not French.
    The REGULAR mistress (a la Mitterrand) is something more common in France, especially in the bourgeoisie, and for a reason: in the UK or the US, men divorce their first wives much more than in France (it exists there too but to a lesser degree). This tends to make people believe that cheating is widespread in France because mistresses stay mistresses while in the US, or UK mistresses become 2nd wife, and there are more one night stands… And it also works for cheating wives too :-)

    Comment by Gemini — July 7, 2008 @ 4:09 am

  113. Thank you for the second link Gemini. I think there is some truth in it. Oddly enough in my current workplace the guys almost always open the doors for the girls (something which I had rarely experienced in Ireland before) and no it is not because I wear a short skirt.

    Comment by Java — July 7, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  114. wow!!!love your book its so amazing
    i might be young but i like reading
    books that grownups read i first when
    i bought the book i saw the picture
    after i started reading the introduction
    i said what??becuase it said her lover
    mr.frog and thedaughter tadpole but the
    ladys name sounded normal and it left me
    curios until i read the story…lol
    well this book is really good and i hope i can read many others from catherine sandersan=)

    Comment by paula — July 27, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

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