A Pilot, A Boat, and a Stripper


When it comes to sh*t dating, it is rare for me to find people as wickedly talented as myself. The only person who appears capable of giving me a run for my money, is one of my best friends who has now rightfully earned the title of my Muse, and will be referred to as such. A fellow expat living in Paris, she seems particularly determined to find Mr. Right in this wonderful city, and continuously seeks out various gentlemen in the bottomless pit that is Tinder, resulting in a myriad of colorful adventures.

Last winter, Muse truly outdid herself, picking up none other but a an Air France pilot, a character who kept us entertained for a good six months. Mr. Pilot was a very tall, very charming fellow who quickly swooned Muse with his WhatsApp messages and his text messages and his multilingual voicemail serenades that she would play to me on loudspeaker, grinning from ear to ear. The only issue with the Pilot was that he was based in the city of Toulouse in the South of France, hence they yet had to meet in person.

It was around that time that Muse was invited to Barcelona Fashion Week, which happens to be a short hour away from Toulouse. She asked Pilot if he wanted to come there so they could finally meet in person, and he agreed. They met late on Saturday night, and, to our collective joy (we are always connected via cell phone device), Mr. Pilot was just as tall and handsome as in the pictures, with wit and charm to match. He had brought along a sidekick (another Air France pilot, of course) and my friend took the two of them to a fashion event, where the sidekick got to hang out with real live models – possibly the pinnacle of his 35-year-old life – while Muse and Pilot got to know each other in person. Sparks flew, unicorns soared, and they retire to her hotel room, where Muse discovered the Pilot’s far more impressive asset. Yes, our Superman was endowed with something that has since been compared to a baseball bat, an elephant trunk, and other phallic shaped objects of gigantic proportion. Granted, they had a fantastic time that left her with a steamy memory and a desire for more.

Muse came back to Paris, Pilot went back to Toulouse, contacting her occasionally to propose an impromptu rendez-vous. For some reason, it was always something extravagant that required traveling: Valentine’s Day in the countryside, a ski trip in the mountains, a sejour in Normandy… One day, we were shopping at Marché aux Puces, when the phone rang – the Pilot was calling to invite her to his 35th birthday party, which was going to be held on a boat in his hometown of Toulouse. At first I volunteered to accompany her, but then quickly realized that the party was on a Thursday, and decided it wasn’t worth taking off work for. Muse decided that nothing would come in the way of her amazing sex, and booked herself a ticket to Toulouse.

The following week was spent selecting outfits for the birthday party, with me trying to explain to her that Alaïa does not a Toulouse party make. Nonetheless, an Agent Provocateur set was purchased especially for the occasion. On Thursday, she finally boarded the plane to Toulouse, where the pilot was supposed to pick her up.  I think I was more nervous than her, feeling like a mother sending her kid to summer camp for the first time. And, of course, my gut was right.

The first sign of trouble came about an hour after her plane had landed, when I received a frantic text: “This was a bad idea”. It turned out that the pilot had gotten held up, and had sent a friend to pick her up from the airport instead. But it wasn’t just that..  They were now waiting at the airport for more friends to arrive, which mean that there was no time for her to drop off her stuff, and she has to head directly to the party with her suitcase. Also, everybody in the car was French and worked at Air France, making her the only foreigner there. (And, possibly, the only foreigner in Toulouse.) Lastly, she thought that she heard one of them mention that they had invited the pilot’s stripper friend to “surprise” him.

A pilot, a boat, and a stripper. This didn’t sound promising.

An hour later I received a phone call. My friend sounded drunk, which I knew could either be a good sign, or a very bad sign. Apparently, nobody at the party spoke English, the pilot was in birthday mode and couldn’t pay much attention to her, and there was still the possibility of a stripper. I told her to smile and be friendly and try to find one person to talk to, preferably a male.

By 11pm, the texts stopped, which I figured was good news.

At 1am, I was woken up by a phone call.

“I AM SUCH AN IDIOT. I AM AN IDIOT. A MORON. I AM 31 YEARS OLD.. WHEN AM I GOING TO LEARN? WHEN?”- This was followed by loud, heart-wrenching sobs.

I was terrified. Had she gotten abducted? Snatched up by the Gang of Toulouse?

Nope. It turned out that the pilot’s friends had, indeed, hired him a stripper, who had performed a very admirable striptease for him. The Pilot, feeling flattered, went backstage to express his gratitude, which did not go well with Muse, to say the least. Feeling disrespected and unappreciated and humiliated, she decided that she had to leave the boat at that very moment. And so, she ran off the boat, her black & white Proenza skirt billowing in the wind, her Alaïa booties barely making it down the ramp as she dragged her Agent Provocateur-filled suitcase behind her. Since the Pilot was still backstage with the stripper, his loyal sidekick friend followed her, begging her to a – not make a scene (too late) and b – to come back (no chance). At some point the pilot got wind of the situation and ran out to apologize, and yet she still wouldn’t hear it – she was feeling disrespected, a fact that she stated multiple times as she waited for the taxi for one hour, while the friend searched for a hotel room in Toulouse. I had received a phone call from the cab en route to said hotel.

After an hour of reassuring her that she hadn’t failed at life just quite yet, it was decided that she would wait until the next morning to see what happens. The pilot texted her all night, apologized, begged her to stay in Toulouse. The stripper hadn’t meant anything, she was just a friend. (La classe.) After some deliberation, we decided that she had nothing to lose, and that changing her flight all over again was simply too expensive. The next morning, she had a mimosa, packed up her stuff and showed up to his place with her suitcase. He took her clothes off, and they had sex six consecutive times.

That evening, he showed her one of the gifts he had received for his birthday – it was a framed photograph of him,  in the nude, taking a nap on his bed, his glory weapon out for the entire world to see. As it turned out, she wasn’t the sole appreciator of this beauty! And so, like most beautiful things, she decided to let it prosper and run free, in its natural habitat of Toulouse strippers and such. She returned to Paris with this beautiful memory, never seeing the Pilot again.

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