However open your average male – especially French male - may be to constructive criticism (not very), it’s a given that he’ll be less than amenable if you suggest the following;
He’s a bad lover;
Pah! – fuelled by little more than a cheeky cabernet sauvignon and some snails, nous sommes commes les lapins. And is Paris not the most romantic city in the world, was Charles Aznavour not the world’s favourite crooner (ok, il y a un long temps but ‘la mer’ is a vrai classique) and has not Jonny ‘alliday the best capped teeth in Europe and is (even at his age) a machine d’amour.
En plus, wasn’t the last nude Stade Francais rugby team calendar the finest example of sporting biftek. And is not French itself the language of love? - even you English speakers steal the vocabulary of the bedroom from us – where would you be without our ‘lingerie’ et ‘boudoir’? (warmer & more tastefully decorated probably. And by the way, preservatives are meant to be for making jam).
He’s a bad driver;
Mon Dieu – the French driving test is the most comprehensive in Europe (and the most expensive) – how can you suggest we are anything other than the most talented conducteurs in the world. Look at our beloved F1 drivers, Alain Prost (permed barnet, quick) and René Arnoux (really small, quicker still and famously ‘done’ by les flics whilst blasting around the peripherique at 200kph). (The tiny flaw in this argument being that Alain’s and René’s countrymen are not similarly talented. And driving up the chuff of the car in front is fine on the track, but rather less so on the N21 on the way to work - not least since you’ll never be fired for being late (nor indeed for anything else) –and when you arrive there, lunchtime won’t be far off anyway).
He can’t train his dog;
Mais non! – les Anglais and their spoilt, chubby, hounds – and what exactly do you do with all the sticks they bring back anyway? Nos chiens sont free spirits! – born to track, to immerse themselves in the sights and smells of the woods – to flush game, to live! (Right, and to tup any unsuspecting (& undoubtably unneutered) fifi who crosses their path then generally bugger off in any direction they wish till dinner time).
So don’t .