You know that scene from Matilda when Miss Trunchbull makes poor little Bruce Bogtrotter eat chocolate cake until he gets green in the face and prays to God that he never sees another chocolate cake again? This is exactly how I feel about my love life at the moment. Particularly, my love life in France, in conjunction to French men.
What used to be a delicacy and a delight has become an all-too-familiar routine with a predictable outcome that I do not have the energy to re-live over and over again. Not only do I not like anybody, but I have actually reached a whole new level where I don’t want to like anybody. All the guys I have met in the past few months (Tinder – 5 / real life -1) have blurred together in one uninspiring package, leaving me feeling about as emotionless as a Xanaxed-out Beverly hills housewife.
To start, there are the dates, which in France only happen if you use Tinder, already entailing the format of an awkward mutual interview. Then, there is almost always a built-in language barrier, so you always have to start by approximating their level of English and understanding how much you have to dumb down your own vocabulary in order for them to understand you. Best case scenario, you speak extra-slowly, using an odd British-esque accent that every American is forced to adopt in France. (No matter how much Friends they watch, French people have trouble grasping American English.) In more extreme cases, you cut out all definitive and present/past tenses and begin replacing certain words with more understandable ones, saying things like “You wait, I go to toilet”.
If you manage to get past the first date and there is an ounce of spark and you proceed to see each other again, the rest of the relationship can get mapped out in the following scenario.
- The French guy is interested. He calls, he texts, he makes plans, he occasionally picks up the tab, he attempts to speak English.
- The French guy gets what he wants which is usually a reciprocation of feelings, followed by sex.
- The French guy becomes lazy, you become crazy.
- You decide that a mediocre piece-o-shit relationship is not worth it and you end it. You expect a grand gesture that never comes. You walk around Montmartre and pretend to be Amélie or something.
- You get over it and Tinder on.
This is all really fun once, twice, three times around, until it becomes so exhausting and physically draining that you lose all desire to even try. Instead, you start desperately seeking out for people who come from countries where English is a real second language requirement and not some excuse to take extra cigarette breaks (I work next to a Lycée Bilingue so I would know). Just last month, I went for a drink with a Australian TV director who happened to be in Paris for the summer. As we started chatting, I suddenly felt more alive than I had in months.. I understood him, he understood me, we made jokes and finished each other’s sentence! It felt like magic – that is, until I realized that the guy is 40 and still doesn’t have an actual billing address, which may be a bigger issue than ESL. You clearly can’t have it all.
Despite my obvious current frustration, I feel like I may still get back my taste for em’ Frenchies. After all, do you honestly believe that fat little Bruce Bogtrotter never ate chocolate cake again? An addict is always an addict. Plus, having French babies in marinières who call me “maman” happens to be a dream of mine, and I believe that dreams should be taken seriously. But, for now, I think I need to cleanse my palette, which is excellent timing as it is August, aka the month you get to abuse the system and get the f*ck outa Dodge for the month!
Stay tuned for Eurotrippin’ disasters, coming up on newsfeeds near you!