(Yes, I am well aware that the OG version of this quote belongs to José Micard Teixeira, but I prefer it misattributed to Saint Meryl, ok?!)
There are a few pivotal moments in a young woman’s life. There is the moment you realize that your waist-to-hip ratio is never going to measure up to Candice Swanepoel’s, so you might as well make peace with it. There is the moment you start feeling uncomfortable in denim hot pants paired with heels and worn as outerwear. There is also the moment when your taste shifts from tortured hipsters / arrogant rich boys / [insert your personal dbag kryptonite here] to normal human beings.
Like most real-world miracles, it doesn’t happen overnight. First, you get burned by a few douchebags, weakening your overall tolerance for all things shady. Then, you find yourself dozing off while listening to eat another “life-is-out-to-get” me rant or life-altering Burning Man recount. Next, you go apeshit when a guy reappears after a week of radio silence, or his wallet gets hijacked by invisible evil birds for the third time in a row. (ENTER EUREKA MOMENT!) You catch yourself suddenly engaging in a long intellectual discussion with the super-nice nerd at work, all while estimating how much effort it would take to tweak his cool factor. When it proves to be too much of an undertaking, you revert to your familiar zone of dbag misery, only to discover yourself less comfortable there than before.
You begin realizing that there is something pleasant in good manners and predictability. That you want to – no, deserve – to be taken out to dinner and treated like a lady. You start choosing more wisely and having fewer terrible dates. Before you know it, the mere sight of a dirty beanie makes you want to regurgitate your $15 avocado toast that you just ate at a yuppie restaurant with you boyfriend who showers on the regular and understands the logistics of a mortgage. It dawns on you that your rebellious youth is not only in the past, but also replaced by everything you previously abhorred: stability, sanity and a clean shave.
About three months ago I was having a lovely dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant in Santa Barbara. The birds were trilling, the moon was glowing, it was all romance and roses and impeccably starched napkins.. and the most sexist service I have experienced in 31 years on this planet (Dubai included).
You see, throughout the entire dinner, the waiter addressed exclusively my male companion, whom we will call Mister Frenchie. I was referred to simply as “the lady.” It went somewhat like this.
“We are so happy to have Mister Frenchie and the lady dining with us tonight!”
“Excellent question Mister Frenchie!” (I had asked the question!)
“Would Mister Frenchie and the lady like to see the dessert menu?”
I took every ounce of cheapness the lady had not to whip out her credit card and pay for Mister Frenchie’s very fancy ribeye steak, although something tells me that he would have been the one signing the credit card receipt.
My relationship with Miami can be broken down, to make this inappropriately Biblical, into two testaments.
First, there is the Old Testament, which takes place between 2004 – 2009. This is the era when my girlfriends and I would group ourselves into packs of five, rent one South Beach hotel room for all, create a shower schedule, and see which promoters could keep us sufficiently inebriated at Shore Club and Mint. From there on, every woman was free to create her own journey into sun, fun and promiscuity, to be instantly forgotten once our plane hit JFK turf. Here, I learned the key canons: Miami runs on sex and money; the rest is irrelevant.
The New Testament commences sometime around 2010, when my parents decided to retire in eternal sunshine and moved to Miami’s Russian enclave of Sunny Isles. Here, I discovered the joys of shopping at Bal Harbor and tanning next to pregnant Russians and Latinas, strategically sent to Miami to await the arrival of their American offsprings. A blissful existence, really, if you never leave the “Russian Riviera” and cap it at about three days.
I have a confession to make. Prior to writing this article, my insight on Brigitte Macron was limited to the following data: She had been President Emmanuel Macron’s drama teacher; she is 24 years his senior; and she can do justice to a Louis Vuitton mini. Perhaps it had all seemed too unfamiliar, too French for comfort, because I never bothered to gather any additional intel on the woman who, as of May of this year, has become emblematic of the French culture and fashion industry. And yet, given that many of us are nostalgic for the White House’s long-lost morals and our own beloved former First Lady Michelle Obama, maybe it’s time we start seeking inspiration from another presidential residence. With this in mind, I resolve to find out how French women feel about their First Lady, both on a personal and sartorial level.
Once upon a time, there was a blogger who went on a million bad dates, but she was a good sport about it, and she laughed them off, and she hoped for the best. And then, one day, Prince Charming came riding along on an Uber Luxe, and the rest was history..
Sounds like the synopsis of an unfortunate Tinderella web series that never makes it into the second season? Not exactly. This naïve spiel happens to be my own long-standing inner narrative – at least, up until this past February.
To my credit, I had always been a dreamer, someone who favors crafting colorful storylines in lieu of facing reality in its bleaker palette. When I was little, I would ease the misery of Saint-Petersburg winters by mentally beaming myself into the Southern California world of my literary idol, Sweet Valley High’s Jessica Wakefield. Jessica’s life was never short on fun and glamour and excitement, and I resolved to one day live up to it, IRL.
Ladies, our resident Freud has spoken and all of your romantic cases are now closed!
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, a couple of weeks ago I offered the unique opportunity to outsource your dating woes to a real, live, cynicism-laden Frenchman. Today, I proudly present the first round of his wisdom. Not to toot my own horn, but I may have tapped into a psychoanalytic goldmine here – Carpe Diem and send in your questions before his generosity fades! (DM @dbagdating! And follow it too!)
NB #1: If your question is below, please excuse my editing and emoji embellishment. Attention spans are low; desperate measures are imperative.
NB #2: If we have missed the deadline of your dilemma, we apologize. We hope that this did not jeopardize your romance and this insight will still prove to be useful!