“Aimer et être aimé sera la grande affaire de toute notre vie.” -Rousseau
Paris. The city of romance. My first day in Paris started out just like a fairytale. A newly single, blonde American girl sits down at a sidewalk cafe. Within minutes, straight out of your favorite “that doesn’t happen in real-life” romantic comedy, there’s a glass of red wine on the table from the dark-haired French man inside. Before you know it he’s sitting beside her at the cozy, romantic table for two, as she listens to the deep tones of the romance language infused with broken English. That free glass turns into an entire bottle, then another, while gazing out at the Eiffel Tower. Sounds romantic doesn’t it?
The man who’d sent me a drink wasn’t exactly a Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds look-alike. Or even a “more my type” David Duchovny or Jon Hamm look alike.
My uninvited date
Now I don’t speak much French, but the language of creep is internationally understood. And there was nothing romantic about having absolutely no idea what the hell he was saying since he didn’t speak a word of English. Especially since he couldn’t understand the fact that I had no idea what the hell he was saying. He looked like he was involved in a serious conversation of head nods with my simple attempt at stringing together “Je suis désolé, je ne sais pas” and “Je parle anglais.” Each time I tried to excuse myself the glass was refilled, and I’m not one to say no to free red wine. So I ate dinner, drank wine, and feigned interest in deciphering francophone tongue (no, not the good kind/making out).
My simple but delicious early dinner
Once the bottle was empty I managed to escape with a respectable buzz. I’d planned on spending this perfect Parisian date night with myself, the Eiffel Tower, and some good music so I raced back to the lawn. I staked my ground to the tune of Eric Clapton and watched the light of the sky disappear behind the glow of the Eiffel Tower in a moment of pure drunken happiness.
I didn’t know the Eiffel Tower could get any more beautiful—until the lights turned on
It wasn’t long until I was cursing my afternoon alcohol binge. Drinking would be so much better if it didn’t have to seek revenge on your bladder. My heart wanted to stay on that lawn all night. But unfortunately my shotglass-sized bladder would only allow me to do so with wet pants. So I gathered my things and started making my way back to the apartment before realizing two things: 1- I would never make it all the way to the apartment with dry underwear, and 2- I had absolutely no idea where the apartment was. So I set out to relieve the more imminent problem at the nearest café. Everything was closed.
I made my way back to the place I had lunch and thankfully they were still inside closing up. Apparently the guy who’d been giving me free drinks was a friend of the bartender so there was a group of 5 men slamming some after hour cocktails. I banged on the door in panic and luckily they remembered me. The bartender opened the door and the creepy fellas offered me their drinks. I tried a combination of using the word “bain” and holding my crotch while crossing my legs to convey the urgency of my need to pee. It worked, and I went in the back to take the most amazing urination ever experienced by mankind.
When I came out the drunk men tried getting me to stay for a drink. I told them no and thanked them for letting me use the bathroom. But they insisted. When I tried to walk away they pulled me back and handed me a drink. I set it down and turned away once again. One guy got in my way and offered me another drink. They weren’t at all forceful, but rather cheerful and well, wasted. But I’m not a fan of large men trying to hold me somewhere against my will. The bartender sensed this, smacked two of the mens’ arms out of the way and escorted me out with a smile on his face. I waved goodbye, and navigated my way back to the apartment rather successfully.
L’Hôtel national des Invalides on my journey back to the apartment
I’m not gonna lie. There was a brief moment inside that bar where I was wishing that my dad was Liam Neeson. But that moment of concern passed quickly when I remembered that I had finally seen the Eiffel Tower.