This is my third time in Paris, and I have visited many other parts of France in the last few years. When I first travelled to France, in December 2006, I was universally referred to as Mademoiselle.
I loved the way it sounded. I felt chic, flirty, and like a woman, but a young woman.
Since I arrived this time, things have changed. Maybe it’s because I usually wear a suit to work. Maybe I’m just ageing at a depressing rate.
Now, people have started calling me Madame. Not everyone, but enough to make me start applying my Boots No.7 more generously morning and night.
Madame is supposed to be used for a woman who is married, for a woman who is older than you, or for a woman who has reached her late 20s/early 30s. It is a respecful term.
Older women still call me Mademoiselle. Men who approach me in the street call me Mademoiselle. But younger women, generally receptionists I talk to at work, alternate between the two titles.
What did I do to deserve this?! I appreciate the respect and everything, but have I lost my youthful glow? Is it time to exchange my shiny red stilettos for chunky and practical navy pumps? As I now have this title and am not married, should I resign myself to eternal spinsterhood?
I’m suddenly acutely aware that my biological clock is ticking.
(In case you’re wondering – I turned 24 today.)