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How can I even argue with that?
You’ve got the sunsets to enjoy with that someone who could be “the one,” and how could you not feel happy when you admire the changing sky, and how those last rays of sun make the ripples of the Seine glimmer like jewels from Chanel? If it’s cloudy out, don’t worry, there’s back-up! It comes in the form of romantic cobblestone side-streets that are perfect for stolen kisses. Or here’s another option: gaze at each other as you sit side-by-side on charming café terraces.
These elaborate set pieces are somehow the natural state of Paris, and as beautiful as it all is, it negatively alters your ability to discern who’s dateable vs. who’s insufferable. If anything your judgment is blurred by the distracting background.
Basically…Paris is airbrush makeup for ugly personalities.
It’s not Paris’s fault; I mean Paris didn’t ask to be defiled in this way, to be used as an agent of “surface romance,” for people who think wine and chocolate and gazing at Eiffel Tower views will be enough to distract you from poor conversation skills.
But that’s what people do!
And only after several dates (once the Parisian haze has lifted) do you realize you’ve never been more bored in your life but now you’re so far into it you should probably break it off in person and dammit if only you’d met him (or her!) in a rural barren wasteland because then you would’ve known how boring he (or she!) was within the five-minute mark.
It’s a shame how Paris numbs your senses and radars, and all the other skills you’ve amassed over the years to weed out the wrong ones to help you find the right one. It’s a shame because well shit, you’re in Paris! And it’s beautiful! So why can’t you share it with someone special?!
This is the part where I tell you to move to a different city.
This next part is when I tell you I was lying in the part above, because I loved living in Paris and will rob you blind when you’re not looking so I can fundraise my way back to the Seine.
So what’s the workaround to the Paris “blur”?
Actually, it’s simple: you must go to the places that bring out the random conversations…you must! Nothing tells you more about someone’s personality than how they react to random topics of conversation. “But Romi,” you say, “conversation’s not that important. I mean that’s what my buddies are for. I just want a girl I’m really ‘into,’ ya know?” Sure random blog reader, I know all about it. But what YOU don’t know is that forty years from now when all your buddies are dead (your buddies lived hard and fast) you’ll stare into the face of the person you spend almost all of your “awake time” with, and you’ll realize you have absolutely nothing to say to her (or him!). And it’s not one of those adorable “comfortable silences” either.
So back to my workaround solution!
There are many places in Paris that are ripe for random conversation, and one of the best ones is the Centre Pompidou, a.k.a. Paris’s museum of modern art. I don’t even have to take you through it step-by-step because it’s easy. All I have to do is show you some of the art I saw when I was there, and the conversations will make themselves. I was not there on a date, but if I had been, there’s so much I could’ve discovered about a possible mate in front of this melting bicycle painting. I mean it’s MELTING! What does that MEAN? Does it make you think about how everything’s made up of atoms, whether it’s a liquid or a solid? In which case…is a melting bicycle really such a leap in logic? And how does a specific combination of atoms even hold a bicycle into a solid? How fragile is it? What if I’m riding a bicycle and it starts to melt?! I have many concerns!
Obviously this sort of date could result in my possible mate thinking I’m extremely weird and running away, but that’s the risk you take by being yourself, and there’s someone for everyone..right? In other words your conversations don’t have to be as weird as mine, but at least it’s a conversation! Now this one…well this one is just so easy. Do I even need to go there? Look closely. Bringing your date here and getting them to describe this work of art will equal automatic laughter, and laughter’s an important part of haze-free romance!
Okay…so this one. Well it freaks me the hell out. I could find out a lot about a guy by asking him how he feels about these little troll men who are basically SMILING while one of them passes the other one the CORPSE-HEAD of one of their peers! If your date is not the least bit disturbed by this, he is probably a serial killer, which is a really important trait to weed out!
These are just a few examples, but by reading this, please don’t think I’m so nerdy when it comes to romance that I’m a conversation robot who simply wants to talk and talk until death do us part. As a matter of fact I love gazing into someone’s eyes on a café terrace, I love sunsets, and I love those little cobblestone alleyways which are so conducive to making out in doorways (heh). I’d just rather do all that once I’m sure the personality in question matches up well with mine. You gotta EARN the sunset…
Before I drift away into the new year, I wanted to share some exciting news: the “Year of the Chick” series is now available as an ebook box set! The readers of the series have been SO great with their reactions/emails/Amazon reviews, that I’ve put together all three books into a set you can get for yourself (for a crazy introductory price of $3.99!), or gift to your friends via Amazon’s simple “give as a gift” button (all you need is the “giftee’s” email address, and they don’t even need a Kindle, since you can read ebooks on your phone or iPad with the free app).
Anyway, here’s the link so feel free to check it out, just in time for Christmas!— Year of the Chick series boxed set
I’ll be back in 2014 with many more thoughts on Paris (oh, you thought I was done?) and updates on my writing projects.
For now I’ll leave you with this lyric I’m really digging right now: “Our love, it grows, because I know it makes me better; thy will be done, when we are one, us, together.” (See? I’m not a robot who’s only obsessed with conversation!). It’s called “Fall” by Serena Ryder, and I gotta say, she really gets me. If you’re curious you can listen to it here!
You’ve become quite the world traveler, haven’t you, old friend?
I’m delighted to read of your happiness and your continued plan to conquer the world. Have fun!
Thanks! It’s a slow journey to conquer the big ol’ world, but I’m working on it :-)