Catch up on what happened before…
So where were we?
On Thursday morning I woke up to an email from the girl with the smile…it looked like her time was up in Paris and there was no time left for us to meet up. I was a bit bummed, but I had things to do and places to be. So I got dressed and headed off on a long walk to find “De Gilles Tissus“. For those who are wondering why I trekked to an obscure (and overpriced) fabric store, it was to find vintage fabrics. I had first hear of them when I was researching the costume designer for the fabulous French film “Populaire” which is set in the 50’s in France.
Can I please have one of everything “Rose” wears in this movie please?
My plan was to buy something to turn into a hat…or possibly a dress if I found something perfect in my budget (which was much less than I ended up spending). Unfortunately they don’t allow photos…but oh my. It was heaven in there. I had planned to search the place from top to bottom and then select just the right piece…but within 3 minutes I had already blown my budget on bright coloured silk remnants that at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with them…but I knew it was vital I bought them. I decided I would have a quick look upstairs and the second my foot hit the top stair…there, draped on a mannequin was THE piece of fabric.
A few years ago I was at a vintage fair and I came across the most beautiful picture/platter hat in navy taffeta. The fabric was pleated (very narrow pleats) and it was trimmed with a simple narrow velvet ribbon around the crown. It was the hat of my dreams. Sadly, lacking in funds to take it home with me I put a deposit on it and a week later the seller contacted me…to refund me. She had no idea where it went. She didn’t sell it. But it was no longer there. Either someone else sold it while she was on a break or it was stolen (actually really common at vintage fairs). I was heartbroken. For the first few weeks I insisted she keep the deposit in case she found it…but eventually it was returned. A year later I found her at another vintage fair and as soon as she saw me she started apologising. I did buy other vintage hats from her (at a huge discount) but never did I ever see that hat again.
THE piece of fabric was a long, narrow (just wide enough for a wide brimmed hat…probably not enough for any clothing) finely pleated piece of navy silk taffeta. I was both absolutely elated and petrified. I knew it was going to cost a bomb. But I also knew Ryan was about to put through another 500 for me that week. I managed to communicate with the guy upstairs enough to get it off the mannequin. It was 175 euros. A remnant from a couture house in the 50s. I managed to negotiate it all down to under 200 euros (for my other pieces of silk and some amazing velvet covered buckles) and handed over my cash. I then headed for the nearest cafe for some more onion soup….knowing it was probably going to be the last time I ate out.
Annnnnd that’s when I got the email from Ryan. He had to pay an unexpected bill, lest the electricity get cut off. And my 500 went down to 150. As I ate my soup I wondered if I should take it back. I mean she was pretty adamant there were no returns…but maybe I should. Instead I looked at the things I could do for free or near free until we got paid again. I decided I could totally be poor in Paris. I kept waiting for buyers remorse to creep in…but it never did. I was meant to have that fabric. And now I do…
While I had walked to De Gilles from my apartment (about a 45 minute walk) I caught the metro home as I needed to get ready for the ballet! Earlier in the year, after I had booked my tickets and accommodation, I booked tickets to the ballet. Opening night of a modern ballet choreographer that I had never heard of. I had gotten excellent seats, at a reasonable price & had also paid for the program up front. This meant all I needed to worry about were metro tickets (which I also had plenty of) so my current lack of funds didn’t hinder my night out.
Palais Garnier – home of the Paris Opera Ballet
Without a doubt, this is the single most beautiful & decadent building I have ever seen, let alone gone into. I stood and stared for quite sometime outside…but nothing could prepare me for inside…
I could not even come close to capturing the inside and its magnificence. I walked up the stairs and started to try to find the cloak room. Instead I found a long gallery/hall where they had classical music playing…
Everyone around me was dressed up. People in tuxes and floor length gowns. There were display cabinets filled with amazing costumes. And everything seemed to be covered in gold.
Red velvet seats and gold, gold, gold trimmed everything!
ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER: Choreographer
Check out the roof! This building was so decadent. I wish I had gone back for a tour of the building
SO this was my first very modern ballet. The first act even had dancing to no music. I couldn’t read french, so I couldn’t read what it was “suppose” to be about, which honestly…made it so much more interesting. I wonder if I interpreted the ballet the way that it was intended? But it was absolutely magnificent.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. First of all it appears they don’t have a lock out period. Most plays & ballets I have attended have very strict lock outs. If you arrive once the curtain goes up, you can’t get in until intermission. Arriving after the performers are on stage is not on rude & disruptive to the audience, but to the performers. I noticed it even more in the first act at there was almost no music. It was suppose to be quiet. It was extremely distracting for me…but I also saw the dancers struggling…which made me furious.
As it was so quiet, you could also hear the people “whispering” to each other. And you know, not even bothering to whisper. Don’t even get me started about someone who start yelling out about why there was no music.
Also during the first act three different peoples phones rang. Two answered. And I lost count of how many times I heard phones get notifications. And I kept getting distracted by people with their phones out. Back in the days of little led displays this would have still been rude (IMO), but not many would notice. But with our extra large smart phones I felt like I saw more brightly lit rectangles than I did the ballet.
So before you even THINK about going to a live performance I beg you to read my Theatre Etiquette 101 post from a few years ago.
It’s really simple. Show up on time. Be quiet while people are performing. Switch your fucking phone off (even the silent “vibrating” mode can be heard when it’s quiet) and don’t leave while there are performers still on stage.
My local metro station at night…on my way home going up the stairs
stuffed a croissant in my face as soon as I got home
Woke up looking like a total wreck and spent Friday in bed doing absolutely nothing. Besides eating, watching stuff on youtube and skyping my babies. Didn’t have many plans at all for the weekend. There were a few things I could do with my last 40 euros for the week, as I had already bought groceries enough to last me.
When I woke up Saturday I think I was determined for another lazy day. But there was an email from the girl with the smile…
“A quick note to say that I was able to extend my stay for an extra day with no charge! I’m here tonight, leave in the morning. Do you want to get together tonight? We could go to a lesbian bar, perhaps.”
Pretty quickly I went from frizzyhaired mess to
This is my “OMG I think I have a date in Paris” face
For those wondering I have no gaydar…I have no idea if someone is or isn’t a sexuality unless they straight up tell me. So I didn’t know if it was a date? Is she a straight girl just wanting to visit a lesbian bar? But she changed her flight to hang out with me…right? That’s not common? Oh the thoughts that ran through my head.
I was in Paris. About to go to my first Lesbian bar. With a beautiful lady. Who asked me out. And changed her flights to go out with me. EEEEEEKKKKK!
Game face on…and only lingerie under my trench coat *wink*
I walked to 3W Kafe (be warned…drinks are watered down….I had 4-5 shots of tequilla and didn’t even get the warm & fuzzies) stopping pictures to capture Paris at night.
Then panicking that I was going to be late. I stood out the front, bathed in glowing pink neon and waited. We hadn’t exchanged numbers. We had only emailed each other. What if she didn’t show up? What if it was like highschool where they played the “lets ask her out just to laugh at her game”?
Then she appeared. Tall, brown haired and the loveliest smile. We went in and it was pretty quiet. We had a few drinks and talked. Awkwardly asking if there was anyone the other liked the look of in the bar. Eventually we moved away from the bar and sat on some stools close together. We talked some more. Then I just couldn’t take another second of it and just said “I really want to kiss you”. The smile she smiled at that very second is burned into my eyes. She said she wanted to kiss me too. I cursed wasting the last hour on small talk.
She wasn’t upset by being covered in red lipstick. She ran her hands threw my hair. She kissed my neck. Not only did she tell me I was beautiful and sexy and special…but I felt it. We made out for hours…hands ducked in and out of clothing…the rest of the place falling away. I was dreading midnight. Like Cinderella she had decided she had to leave at midnight to get enough sleep before her plane in the morning. But midnight rolled around and she was still there. Then 1. Then I asked her to run away with me. To come home with me. To never leave. I was only half joking. But the time came where she had to go. We were walking the same way and we had to cross three bridges…so I told her my Parisian fantasy that I have had as long as I can remember.
Standing on a bridge at night. Under a street lamp. Lights reflecting and shimmering on the Seine. With someone who made me feel feelings. Kissing me…in the misty rain.
She said that was one fantasy she could help me with. I asked to hold her hand. We did. Then she stopped and asked if we could swap sides….more perfection. I like to hold hands with my right hand as I carry my bag in my left hand…she is the opposite. We came along to bridge number 1. she said she was sorry that there was no rain, but kissed me anyway. It was light, soft kisses. Hands running through hair. Her bending down and me on tippie toes. Eventually we started walking again. The next bridge I was rambling away when she grabbed me and kissed me more forcefully. Pressed up against the bridge.
Those who know me…know I am a rambler…especially when I am nervous. I want a girlfriend who just kisses me to quiet me down. Can I have one please?
The last bridge I was dreading as a block past it was where I would turn to go home and she would continue on to her hotel…and then back to New York. But we stopped. Snuggled in together and just stared at the beauty of the night. I turned around to kiss her again and that’s when it started raining. Misty beautiful rain. In Paris. At night. Under a street lamp. With light reflecting off the seine and everything shifting slightly out of focus with the rain. Love locks pressed against my back and over her shoulder was Notre Dame lit up. She said “I hope someone is looking at us right now and being terribly jealous of you” (i had previously ranted about being jealous of all the happy lovey dovey couples making out in Paris).
We got to my turn off and I couldn’t stop. I asked if I could walk her home. And I did. I felt my heart sinking literally every step we got closer to her hotel. And eventually there it was. We kissed goodnight one last time. And that was the end.
She arrived at the bar at 9:30 and at 2:30am she walked into her hotel. 5 hours in Paris with her. One perfect night in Paris.
And that was the end of that. I got a whole 5 hours. In Paris. With an amazing girl who made my Parisian fantasy come true. But sadly, that is as far as our story goes. She went home to NYC and after being a tad heartbroken in Paris, I came home to Melbourne. We email occasionally, but just as friends.
But for 5 whole hours…she was mine.
Miss Fairchild xoxo