Oh, Valentine’s Day. A day of lacy cutout bras and Agent Provocateur nipple tassels, for some. A day of drinking and making Scarlett O’Hara-esque oaths that you will never be dateless again, for others. A non-event for those who actually have a life and are too busy to care. A day of reminiscing a questionable romantic history, for yours truly.
To my credit, I have quite the impressive track record, which I once spotlighted in a post circa 2014. Little did I know that it was then only a WIP, a trajectory that was sub ject to evolve until it finally hit a record low at this exact time last year. Since it is my firm belief that disasters should be shared as much as love stories (balance, people), I bring you a partially-recycled post that takes you through my top Valentine’s Day memories. Too lazy? Skip over directly to 2017; never mope about your own love life again.
“I can only marry someone Jewish. Would you be open to converting?” asked the cute almost-stranger over a bottle of wine in the West Village.
It was our fourth date in the course of a week, a supersonic speed that he attributed to our electrifying connection and once-in-a-lifetime compatibility. A couple of hours prior, we had taken a romantic stroll through Central Park, where he had casually whispered things like “When it’s right, it’s right” and “I haven’t felt like this with anybody in so long.” A couple of hours later. we were in his bedroom. A couple of days later, he was history, filed away in the Land of Ghosts Past.
“But he said all these things! Why would he ask me about CONVERTING?!” I lamented to my friends in the aftermath. While I wasn’t particularly upset about the guy in question (4 dates does not love make), I was desperate to understand his rationale. After all, I was a grown adult who didn’t require a precoital engagement ring; why had he deemed it necessary to lay it on so thick? I didn’t know what was more humiliating – that, or the fact that I had fallen for it. Read More
(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.