Pierre called and wanted to meet for dinner, so I said "Sure." Who else (for now) is going to take me out to dinner in Paris?
"You are obliged to wear a dress or a skirt, no blue jeans.", he added after I accepted his invitation.
Arriving a few minutes late to his apartment, he opens the front door, smiles, looks at my feet, then my legs, my waist, etc, etc, then smiles again saying, "Ahhh, you are beautiful. Lovely, lovely." We greet with a kiss on each cheek.
"Okay, I want you to understand something." I say after a few minutes of talking and catching up from the weeks that had past. "How about, I pay for my own dinner so you won't expect me to be your girlfriend and we can be friends."
"Yes, yes, of course you can be my girlfriend!" he replies to my English, which was obviously spoken too fast.
I explain my idea again in broken French and simple English. "If you pay for your dinner, I still want you to be my girlfriend. What is the difference?" he asks, making my brilliant idea suddenly seem juvenile. I don't have an answer as I stare at a Paris fashion illustration book on his coffee table. "Is this from a fashion show?" I ask, changing the subject. "Yes, it's for you." he says. "Did you go to the show?" I wanted to know. "Yes of course." he replies. "Why didn't you call me to go with you, like last year?" I ask. He mumbles something entirely in French as he rolls his hand in front of him. "What did you say?" I ask again. I think he was cursing me under his breath in French, but I'm not quite sure as he continued to mumble in French. "Let's go, my lovely." he finishes in English.
As I stood and looked in his full length mirror, I asked, "Do I look fat?" observing the results of eating too much wonderful food in Nice. "No, no, you are beautiful." he said standing beside me resting his hands on my hips. Just above the three layers of the soft ruffled skirt that makes my hips look wide. "But next time you go shopping for a dress, I must go with you." he says. "You have a lovely body, long legs and a small waist. Your dress should follow your body to show your curve and your skirt should stop here." he explains as he points just above my knee. "...and your shoes shall be like the stilettos." he finishes. "And I should be standing outside on the corner with a fur coat like the other ladies (french hookers)?" I add. "No, you shall be like the ladies in Hollywood, you shall be like a star." he answers without a second thought. "I must shop with you, to show you." he softly demands.
"Okay, I can take you to where I shop." I said, interested at the thought of shopping with him again. "Do you know the store 'Camaiue'?" I ask. "No." he replies. "What about Promod?", again he replies "No." followed by, "I know Christian Dior for women, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent,....(followed by a few other French designer names I don't even know how to write) " he explained sympathetically.
"I will take you shopping at Dior, and you shall try the dresses. One dress is very expensive, so we must find the right..." He says as we leave for dinner. I realize that since Camaiue and Promod are the French equivalent to The Limited and Express, he and I are once again not on the same sheet of music.
Why is it impossible for me to be his girlfriend? Pierre has great taste in fashion and he makes me laugh, he always pays for dinner and will buy most things I ask for, but he also does not believe in dating one woman. He's more than 20 years older than me, and he currently has two girlfriends, which he explains later in the evening, asking me what's wrong with that? I don't have an answer, he's French after all.
"I don't understand why you don't have a boyfriend." Pierre continues our conversation. "This is impossible for a woman like you." he says. "I don't know." I answer, "Maybe there's something wrong with me on the inside." I try to explain as we walk through the gay district of the Marais where there are bars and restaurants filled with handsome gay men and a few pairs of women overflowing onto the sidewalks.
"Look at all these places, filled with the gay." he points out. "It smells terrible. The smell of only men." he says frowning his face. "I love the smell of men." I say without really thinking about the comment until he stops, suddenly, turns my shoulders towards him and asks, "What did you say?" "I said I love the smell of men." I repeat. He looks as if he wants to kiss me but instead says, "You are very special indeed."
I explain that maybe the reason I am not dating anyone is because there are so many gay men as I point to all the men in the streets walking together and coupled outside the bars and restaurants. "I would date every one of them, if they were not gay!" I told him. Once again he stops to look me in the eye as he says, "And if all the women resist men like you, this is what happens." he laughs pointing at two men holding hands in front of us.
We had a nice dinner outside in the perfect night air as we laughed and talked about dating and French men...him.