Just when I thought it was all over and you guys would never hear another decent dating disaster again (my new sober streak is resulting in a serious lack of Dbag luck – I’m starting to see a correlation here! ), I found it, sitting smack in the middle of a “Potential” folder on my desktop, perfectly edited and yet never posted for reasons I cannot recall. Without further ado, here is the story of the Man who Went Commando.
Last fall, a friend and I threw my Muse a birthday party in an effort to nurse her through the ordeal of being broken up by some French douche named after a fruit. After spending six hours trying to turn her Parisian abode into a Mexican fun-house, we proceeded to get properly hammered via the tried & tested formula called the Moscow Mule. One Moscow Mule, two Moscow Mules, an entire herd of Mules later, I heard myself voicing a desire to get my head rammed into a bedpost, which is when I realized that something was up. It turned out that a couple of my darling friends, knowing perfectly well that I was too square for conscious illegal substance consumption, had slipped a little bit of this n’that – the same this n’ that that Jay Z raps about – into my drink. (Yes, I realize how messed up this sounds, and I probably would have been livid, hadn’t the night taken such an entertaining course.) In any case, this bit of innocent roofying affected me in the most pleasant of ways, and I suddenly became extremely happy and excited about everything in life. Particularly at Silencio, where I decided to put my newfound love for mankind to good use by recruiting every cute guy in 20-foot radius to our table.
Now, in a normal country, most guys would be psyched to have eight girls trying to give them free booze. Not in France. Here, they pout and proclaim themselves “objectified”, a word that should exiled from the male vocabulary forever. One of said pouters was a cute scruffy Jewish kid named David. While he refused to approach our table, he invited me to join him and his peculiar Asian break dancer friend at the bar, were we consumed more rounds of drinks and I exploited my chemically-induced chattiness to its highest capacity. It turned out that he was 30, born and bred in my local Marais, and had recently opened a video production company with his brother. A cute local Jewish guy with weird friends, good English and some sort of ambition? Could this possibly be my dream man? Discovering that we live a mere few blocks from one other, we decided to walk home together. My roofies must have started wearing off, because I suddenly got really hungry. Luckily, David happened to know a restaurant that was still open at that hour, and the next thing I knew, we were sharing a coconut chicken in a questionable African restaurant in Sentier at 5am. After “breakfast”, we resumed our walk and he kissed me, right there on the urine-soaked streets of Les Halles, his breath smelling slightly like coconut chicken. We kept on walking and kissing until we reached the corner of my street and he turned to say good night. Wait! Wasn’t he supposed to be my dream man? Aren’t dream men supposed to walk you all the way to your door on the brink of dawn, and not depose of you on the La Perle corner? I asked him if he could walk me to the door, a safety precaution that he must have taken as a direct invitation to come upstairs, as he seemed genuinely surprised when I told him that he could not sleep over.
‘I just want to continue getting to know you. I don’t want to sleep with you. I just want to sleep next to you. ‘ – he proclaimed, caressing my cheek.
‘But we just met..’ (Now I was the one feeling objectified!)
‘Stop being so American with your rules. In France, when two people like each other, they sleep together.’
You would think that, after two and a half years of living in France and hearing this bullshit spiel a million times over, I should have known better. But it was 6am, and I had a herd of mules, illegal substances, and coconut chicken in my body. My guard was down and I was with a French man with odd logic, who was suddenly making me question mine. Also, who was to say that my own prude logic was the right way to go? After all, where had it ever gotten me? And so, I allowed this almost-stranger come upstairs so that we could ‘sleep together without really sleeping together’.
In my apartment, David informed me that we had a small problem. It turned out that he wasn’t in the habit of wearing underwear, as he liked to let his thing ‘breathe’. Hence, he would be going commando for our platonic sleepover. I wanted to kick him, or maybe myself – clearly this whole new logic thing had been a mistake. After questioning him on the logistics of not wearing underwear (Does he wash his jeans every day? Is he not afraid of skid marks?) I told him there was no way in hell he was sleeping in my bed in the nude, and instructed him to keep his jeans on. I was once again informed that I was “too American” but this time I stuck my ground. Mentally cursing out my friends for the roofie scheme, I quickly fell asleep to the sensation of David lightly thumbing with my (very American) sweatpants.
A few hours later, I woke up next to a strange man, clad in denim, smelling like exotic spices and wet beard. Wtf? Had I gone to Woodstock? David was up playing with his phone. He made no real passes at me, but he also seemed to be in absolutely no hurry to leave, acting way more comfortable in my apartment than I ever would in a stranger’s home. Feeling mildly claustrophobic, I texted my friend and told her I was coming over, then rolled over and told David we had to get up.
‘No, you have to get up. I have no plans for today’ he informed me, stretching out on my newly soiled sheets.
Was this guy for real? He wanted us to spend the day together? Maybe this would have been cute, except for the fact that he was dirty and rain-soaked and his beard was starting to smell like a wet muppet, not to mention the fact that he hadn’t made as much as an attempt to wash his face or finger-brush his teeth! We got dressed and headed downstairs, where he somehow convinced me to stop at La Perle for a coffee. An hour and two café crèmes later, I finally managed to duck out under the pretenses of doing my food shopping before the supermarket closed early on Sunday. David announced that he would be accompanying me to the local G20, as he too had to buy groceries. He then watched with mild disgust as I purchased soy milk and cottage cheese and fruits and all the other healthy things that French people like to ignore in favor of jam and baguettes.
At noon, we finally parted. He took my number, texting me that afternoon to chat and share photos of his rock climbing excursion. While I was still a bit skeeved out by the whole commando-wet-beard scenario, I continued talking to him. I figured that hygiene is a manageable issue, and we could work through it, if necessary.
On Tuesday evening, David asked if he could come over to watch a film. I realized that I was in the all-too-familiar predicament of the guy who wants to do nothing but have sleepover parties. Acknowledging that I had nobody but myself to blame for this, I made some excuse, only to receive the exact same offer the next evening. After three rounds of this exchange, we finally met up on a Friday night at at good ol’ La Perle. Now, most people I know like La Perle in an ironic sort of way – everyone know that the place is a dump, but we all go there anyway. Not David. David really liked La Perle, proclaiming, in all seriousness, that it was the Best Place in Paris. When my friends and I decided to move it elsewhere, he acted offended and texted me five minutes later to tell me that that he didn’t understand my logic, my way of thinking, or myself in general. I told him that I was tired of being invited exclusively to bar crawls and sleepover parties and that he would have to do better. A day later, I received an invitation to do something ‘in the sun’. This cracked me up (all of you fellow Scandal fans will relate) and I agreed. On Sunday, we met up at Place des Vosges, where David rejected 90 percent of the restaurants as being “only for America tourists”. I once again resisted the urge to smack him and simply closed my eyes and sipped my Sancerre while he droned on about some socialist bullshit.
I saw David again twice. Once, a girlfriend and I found him at the corner of La Perle, seemingly crying. It really appeared as if something bad may have happened, but then twenty minutes later he was back at the bar, flirting up American tourists with no sign of distress. The other time I bumped into him on the streets of Marais and had him accompany me to the now-closed Yvon Lambert Gallery, where he announced that he could make better videos than the ones that were being projected on the walls. I wished him the best of luck in this endeavor, and we parted ways.
While I know that this story is not of of dramatic proportion, it happens to do an excellent job depicting exactly how and why I am incompatible with French men and their bizzare, script-flipping ways. In fact, I am convinced that these people have tired me out to the point where I have pretty much given up trying, and am yearning to flee back to NYC, or anywhere else where men might still have a semblance of balls, possibly even the underwear-protected kind.