Well I was bored of being boring. And boring, yesterday was not.
In the name of my new project of taking on challenges, the guy I’d met through a dating site and I agreed to meet at La Fontaine de Saint Michel. I thought I was getting travelsick on the bus on the way there, but it was just nerves.
I arrived at the once romantic, now hugely touristy and suitably anonymous fountain, and I tried to look casual resting against the railings. A scruffy looking man with a lecherous grin approached.
“What’s your name?” he said, annoyingly able to detect I wasn’t French.
“It’s a secret,” I said, suddenly panicking that I had walked into a trap. I had manic visions of me being chucked into the back of a passing van, never to be seen again. But then a handsome man walked past and smiled at me, and I remembered that my boots had a decent heel on them, and I knew how to hit the sweet spot. Adrenaline does nothing for logic.
My homeless friend got the message and left me to wait. 5 minutes more, and I was suddenly convinced my date had seen me and done a runner. How utterly mortifying.
But he hadn’t. Because then he arrived and introduced himself.
He looked nothing like he did with sunglasses on. Not as big, not as cool, but he wasn’t unattractive, and to be honest, I was just so relieved he hadn’t stood me up I wasn’t really thinking about whether I was interested or not at that point.
We found a café, where he ordered a beer, and I had a cup of tea. I didn’t think about it at the time, but the fact that I felt like ordering a cup of tea probably tells you where the date was going…
He was smart, and funny, and we got on very well. But it was not a first-blind-date-and-we’re-smitten scenario (hello Mum and Dad!) and now I have to confront the awkward task of telling him we’re just friends.
But I did it! I went on a date with someone I met online, and I didn’t get kidnapped or murdered or spend the entire time wishing I was somewhere else. I think I might try it again, sometime.
Then, I went to work, got bought far too many drinks and ended up going out with the people who’d bought them for me at 6 in the morning. I want to tell you about the French idiots who were being such idiots that my boss kicked them out, they smashed one of the computers, and the bouncer ended up beating one of them up. I want to tell you about the oddball collection of local (male) bartenders who treat me like a little mascot and find it hilarious that I’ve never got arrested or smoked a cigarette. (Apparently I’m far too “sweet” to be a bartender.) I want to tell you about Vassilis, the Greek restaurant heir who walked me to my bus stop at 7am and poured his heart out about how hard it was to make the transition from high school heart-throb in Greece to Parisian nobody.
But I think I shall have to save it for another story.
Thank you to people who’ve sent in challenges already – keep them coming at parisianproblems.tumblr.com. This is going to be fun.