Across the road from my Parisian home lies a famous French patisserie. It provides wonderful spectator entertainment throughout the day, from our first floor windows.
I estimate 90% of its customers are women, mainly early middle-aged.
The few male customers bound in with gusto and duly emerge clutching their white cartoned prizes. They’re mostly large, black clad, heavily armed special police who loiter about day and night, ostensibly guarding the official Prime Minister’s residence further up the road but they seem to spend most of their time playing games on their cell-phones.
The women pedestrians behave differently. As they approach the patisserie they slow down, pause, then in most cases continue very slowly walking past the shop entrance. But only for about 5 metres. Then about 60% of them stop. They stand still, often for 2 or 3 minutes, plainly wrestling with their conscience, before head down in shame, they succumb, turn and trudge back to the shop. When they duly emerge, white carton in hand, they look happy, as is the case with all sinning, as they continue their journey up the street. Leave the remorse for another day.
That said, like virtually all Parisian women in that up-market 7th Arrondissement location I’m damned if I know why they’re so bothered about this cake-eating as they’re all elegantly slim.
Nevertheless, this difference in male and female behaviour perfectly illustrates why we exist. Men are happy to “sin” without any forethought of the consequences while women hesitate, but mostly ultimately succumb. This sums up human existence, failing which we would cease to exist.