On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.
I’ve always had a thing for French men. If we were to get into the psychology of it, we could probably attribute it to my heritage and my father. They do say you usually marry a man like your father; however, not so much in my case. My father may be a bit dramatic and crazy (in a lovable way), but unlike the fellas for whom I’ve known intimately, my dad isn’t an asshole, or at least not since he married my mom and grew up.
Since living in NYC the men who have come in and out of my life have mostly been foreigners despite my opposition to accents — except the French accent of course. If you think I run off to Paris because I like to come over here to eat the food, roam the streets and butcher the language with my American accent, you’re wrong. I do it because of these French men. Actually, no; but they are an extra incentive.
As I stated in my post from this past weekend, French men approach me in a way that they do not in the States. While they say they “love my accent,” I also think it has to do with the fact that I’m usually alone, and alone for some, equates to approachable or maybe just vulnerable. And considering my permanent scowl, I find it strange that anyone even talks to me at all. I look like an angry li’l thing.
So when the fella I kept seeing at my local “bodega” asked me out for drinks, I agreed. We met at a place on one of the side streets off rue d’Auteuil; literally less than a five minute walk from the apartment where I’m staying. The last time I was in France and took a French man up on a date it resulted in an essay that had my parents blushing (I’ve told them to quit reading everything) and my friends referring to me as Ms. Miller (as in Henry Miller) for months. But this time I took the adult route. I am an adult! If I keep saying it, it will happen.
Serge (not his name, but I’m listening to Serge Gainsbourg at the moment) and I drank red wine and ordered one of those fantastic meat and cheese plates, the kind where I barely touch the meat because the former vegetarian in me just can’t, so I move it around a bit instead of trying to explain my issues with texture. We actually spent the majority of the time talking about New York; not because I wanted to, but because he kept bringing the topic back there. He had been only once, and had fallen in love with Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. To New Yorkers this is sort of a red flag, but since he’s French, I was willing to ignore it. However, the obsession with New York wouldn’t cease.
I love New York just as much as the next New Yorker. In fact, before I left I was having lunch with a follow writer for The Gloss and we were commenting on how we’d yet to meet someone who loves their city the way we, as New Yorkers, love our city. It’s not only an obsession, but a do or die type of love; think Romeo and Juliet but without all the family drama. But when Serge just wouldn’t shut-up about it, I started to get really annoyed. I wanted to say: “Dude! You’ve been there once!” And I’m not one to use “dude,” unless I’m being sarcastic; but there would be no sarcasm in that delivery had I said it.
As someone who can easily name about ten people who, at one time or another, married someone either for a Green Card or to allow someone from another country to get one, that’s where my mind went: he wants a Green Card! Of course I can’t confirm this, it just seemed like a reasonable assumption considering the conversation.
I just wanted to make-out with this darling on a “pont” somewhere in Paris, and he was asking what it would be like if he came to stay with me; and not just stay with me as in a week or two, but “stay,” as in an indefinite amount of time. I may be in a delicate place emotionally, but I’m not about to run off and marry the first French fella who comes my way. I’m not saying that he wanted that, but that seemed to be the direction. I have shit to do in my life right now, like to keep on running and figuring out how I’m going to fund an adventure to Fiji or someplace equally exotic and warm.
While the date did end with an intense make-out session outside my apartment, I’m proud to announce that I did not invite him upstairs — although my afterthought was, “You’re an idiot, Chatel, for not inviting him up.” But on a positive note, I will be seeing him again this weekend. Yes, that’s right, a second date. Either maturity went and fondled some sense into my brain, or I banged my head when I got off the plane at Charles de Gaulle airport and this is the result. While I’d like to believe it’s the former, knowing me, it’s probably the latter. Either way, we have a part two for next week.