Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm sick. Not outrageously sick, but a little sore throat, malaise and sniffles. I actually recognize the itchy throat as "post nasal drip", which is odd because my nose isn't dripping very much.

Consequently, it's 2pm (sorry, 14:00) and I haven't left the house--and why should I? (No class today, luckily.) I've been knitting, had some tea and breakfast/lunch (my appetite is fine), and watched tv on my computer. I sort of want to see a movie, but I'll probably skip it. I desperately need to do my homework and study for the test tomorrow--but I'm not in the mood. I will give it a couple of hours and that will have to suffice.

Now, I may be sick because I stayed out late on Saturday and drank a little too much (for me--3 small drinks!) while I was meeting my future husband. He called me yesterday (yes, I gave him my number) and wanted to come right over to my place. I said no because I was on my way out the door (true) and he asked me to call him today. I haven't called.

Yes, I do seem popular, don't I? I think I've overdone it.

Yesterday, I went out to see Pat perform. Pat is the friend of my classmate, Issy. He acted as our French tutor last weekend.

I got to the club early and it seemed closed, so I went in search of a beer. I found a place and stood awkwardly at the bar drinking a Leffe. A group of four older (than me) guys sat and stood to my left, talking and joking, obviously old friends. To my right, a guy about my age or younger was texting furiously and completely ignoring me. I had the sense that the older guys were talking about me, trying to figure out my story, where I was from, and the like.

One man, Jack, started talking to me and they guessed I was American. No problem. I had a fun and somewhat confusing conversation with Jack in a mix of French and English. He offered me another beer and I accepted it without hesitation, even though I didn't want or need it and I was going to be late to the concert. I was enjoying the interaction and I wanted it to continue. They were the kind of characters I get a kick out of, sort of like the guys who were Kansas's friends back in DC. So, it's not romantic but it is comfortable.

It got to be 8:20 and I had to go. Jack wrote down his name and the address of his bar (!) and invited me to visit (his words were something like, "if there's a God, I'll see you again!"). Maybe I will visit, if I can find someone to go with me. Unfortunately, it's not at all in my neighborhood, but only about a 30-minute trip (walking + metro).

When I got to the club, about ten minutes later (I had to stop for a candy bar--I hadn't eaten supper), I saw Pat and Issy. They were sitting near the stage, watching another performer. The music was sort of R&B style, not my favorite, but the guy singing was good and I enjoyed some of the songs. After a few minutes, I went up to my friends and found that I'd completely missed their performance (Issy sang too). Whoops, they actually started right on time! Still, they seemed happy that I'd bothered to show, so that was worth something.

After a few more performances, things wrapped up and we stood around talking. I was introduced to a few people and we chatted in the usual mix of English and French. Issy, who is pretty, slim and was wearing a sort of fluttery scrap of a dress was particularly popular (no surprise). Two guys asked if we (I think one mostly wanted to invite Issy, but included me and Pat) wanted to go to salsa dancing. Turns out, there's an open-air salsa dj dance on the bank of the Seine (couldn't get a handle on how often it happens--but many nights in June and July). I was excited and we decided to go.

Pat drove Issy and I…I think they are getting together, if you know what I mean. On the drive, I mentioned the six emails from Fred and the marriage proposal from Saturday night. Issy was cracking up. She said, "I didn't think you were so…funny!" Hmm, perhaps she thought I was conservative too? I was pretty sure she didn't like me, but perhaps last night was a curative for that. The thought that she didn't like me bothered me so I asked myself how I felt about her. I decided that I did like her, though we weren't going to be best friends--she's 21, a model, aspiring singer, with a boyfriend back home and other irons in the fire in France…she's interesting, but a little flighty and not a future confidant. She is fun and friendly, though, and I like her fine. Hopefully, she now feels the same way about me.

The salsa dance scene was much like all the other salsa dances I've ever been to, though I only got asked to dance once, which was disappointing. I did dance with Pat a couple of times, but the guys we met were (as I suspected) interested only in Issy (well, one was, the other danced with other women) and didn't even give me the courtesy ask. I figure if I keep going, I will get asked to dance eventually, and I do think I'll go back.

Eventually, a tall good-looking guy from Senegal asked me to dance. He didn't know how to dance but he didn't try fancy turns or step on my feet, so that was ok. He didn't speak any English AT ALL, but I did convey my name, my country of origin and that I was on vacation. Then he wanted to get together. He wanted my number and insisted that we go out on Monday night. I said no and eventually got the message through by saying that Monday was "impossible" (same word in French, but not pronounced the same way AT ALL). I agreed to Tuesday. But I don't want to go out with him on Tuesday either!

Pat and Issy left while I was dancing with "Ibrahim" and, after we stopped dancing and planned our "date," it was about 11:30 and I had to go (I'm still not sure exactly when the metro stops running). Ibrahim kept talking and I had to insist on leaving so I could get the train. Argh! What is it with these Paris people who think it's no big deal if you can't get home at the end of the night? I asked Ibrahim where the metro was…since I'd gotten a ride there, I didn't know exactly where I was, a slightly disconcerting feeling. I went in the direction he pointed out, which turned out to be not very close by. I think he directed me to the nearest station with a direct line to my ultimate destination, but I would have preferred the closest station and been happy to transfer. Whatever.

So, my life is overflowing with men, none of whom I particularly like. It is flattering. I'm glad to have some assurance that I'm moderately attractive. Though, ironically, having a lot of guys floating around who I don't like doesn't make me feel particularly attractive, happy, or smug. It's merely frustrating--a different kind of frustrating than having no options at all, of course. No, now I feel guilty about not appreciating the options I have and the weight of the future guilt when I finally figure out how to brush all of them off. Ugh! Please tell me I'm not a terrible person. I wanted attention. I have attention. I am not happy. What is my problem?

Grateful for: time to myself.

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