*BUZZ* “Maybe I can see you tonight?”
Mr LA was coming back from Ireland a night early… Of course I wanted to see him tonight, and what better way to practise his English than to be surrounded by a load of anglophones eating uncooked burgers down on Rue De Bretagne?!
An SOS drink with Gemma was needed to prep for meeting the friends… Because if it’s a casual thing, you don’t meet the friends, right? I found Gemma down in the eleventh district sipping tea in a trendy bar, she’d been stood up for the second time by a French Youtube rapper. Thirty minutes later Gemma was going to be wrapping her hands around my neck. “Just play it cool, and yeah, he wouldn’t be meeting all your friends if he wasn’t interested!”
I got Gemma to come along and we were the first ones there, Mr. LA walked in soon after and it was awkward dot com from that moment on. Everybody chin wagged and chatted away and Mr. LA looked as though he’s just arrived in West Hollywood with no 3G and a destination to go with no hope in hell of getting there. To ease his baffled face, I went in to British mother mode. You know that annoying tick where you ask somebody if they’re ok five hundred times in the span of twenty five minutes.
So now you look really awkward and I’m thinking of questions to say and I can’t think of anything so here we go. “Are you ok?” “Yes, yes, it’s just a little noisy.”…. “Are you ok?” …. “Yep” ….. “I’ve just spilt wine all over you, are you ok?” Oh no! Why is it that when you’re trying not to knock over wine glasses, the iconic clumsy hand slow motions toward the sky scraping glass and tips it in to the crotch of the man you’re trying to impress? Then to make things worse everyone looks at you with the eyes of, god… he must be so embarrassed… Including the Yorkshire terrier of your friend Lindsey. *Whines and tilts head*
“Are you ok?”, “YES, I just need another napkin.” Well, thought I’d just ask one last time… So this is when I would generally wish to have a trapdoor under my chair and just exit my existence.
On the way home I got told off for walking too quickly, as you do. Now, in France there are many rules about everything, the scroll goes on forever, and I’m sure that walking a certain speed at a certain hour is forbidden in chapter 679, verse 22.
I did the traditional victorian getting into bed routine, you know, where you try to get in to the covers whilst taking your clothes off at the same time without flashing any thigh. However, if somebody comes in mid undress, the traditional I’m just checking my messages on my phone sitting on the end of the bed, tangled in a t-shirt, must come in to action. “What are you doing?” , “Oh just replying to Willow… yes, because she has a phone, her French is better than mine you know.” *Cringe* “you’ll need a toothbrush from now on I suppose.” I paused for a moment, hang on a minute, meeting the friends, supplying me with a toothbrush… maybe things are progressing!
I wandered in to the bathroom to find Mr. LA unpacking a freebie plastic toothbrush from an airline… topless which made the moment more memorable. I’m sure there were women out there less excited about receiving engagement rings. So there the gladiator and the skeleton brushed their teeth in sync, and I placed it in prime position next to his. Now in England, this is pretty big stuff, we’re not huge fans of public affection, so we pick up on how the other is feeling through gestures. Toothbrush equals serious relationship, your own draw equals marriage soon, “I’ve taking up horse riding every weekend” equals I’m having an affair and will be looking for a divorce soon.
A few evenings later Mr. LA came to return my work phone which I had left there, probably in excitement of receiving my cheap and nasty toothbrush. He showed up at the door with a bag from the bakery. It was the time of year for Gallette Des Rois, (cake of the kings), the most dangerous dessert known to man! Now I was talking about the French rules earlier, but health and safety didn’t seem to be one of them. So the cake of the kings contains a small ornament, the person who ends up with this in their slice of cake wins the prize of becoming king and wearing a tacky cardboard crown, as well as the risk of loosing several teeth and potentially choking to death with a trip to A&E.
‘I was winning all the way at the moment’! I thought to myself, whilst I looked at my disturbed looking Russian doll with pieces of cake still stuck to her head. I let out a sigh “I need a holiday soon, to get away from Paris! I’m not sure whether to go to Amsterdam again, back to London for a trip…….. Orrrrrr Berlin!” So I knew already that Mr. LA was going to Berlin for work, and I was feeling kinda lucky at the moment. “Well, babe! I’m going to Berlin! Why don’t you come with me?” Ok so you just called me babe *rolls on the floor and dies* and you’ve invited me on holiday. “Sure!… Could be a good idea.”
A week later the tickets were booked and in a week’s time I was going on holiday with somebody that was just supposed to be a friend for a night out, that turned into casual evenings, which now seemed to be turning into more serious behaviour. Was this it, had I finally developed something that happened when I wasn’t looking for it, I suppose I was about to find out on a weekend away, to Berlin…