A spontaneous decision to build a shelf for my microwave oven lands me at the hardware store to buy 3 pieces of wood.
No, I did not know there would be an attractive French carpenter working in the little back room of the hardware store with piles of scrap wood and lots of big heavy machines surrounding. But I watched as he effortlessly worked with a scary looking dangerous table saw..."hmm, how brave." I thought admiring his entire profile. Sensing my presence, he turned to look, stopped working and asked me something in French.
"Uh, (still the first word out of my mouth before I think about speaking French) Bonjour. I'm looking for a small piece of wood to make a table for my microwave." I explained in simple French, pointing to the measurements I wrote on a small piece of paper.
He looked into my eyes, (I should have looked away, but I couldn't) as I held out the paper. In one smooth move, he took the paper from my hand, smiled, look at my lips, hips and breast, saying "follow me", all at the same time.
I followed him...
"You will find the wood here." he points to exactly what I needed. "I will cut it for you. For free." He says in a way, with an expression that I'm not sure if he's doing me a favor or if "For Free" is the store policy.
He gives me back my piece of paper to continue his work.
After finding the wood I wanted, I wait 10 minutes behind one customer ahead, as the French carpenter chats with the customer while glancing at me while I waited.
They finish talking, signed some papers and finally it was my turn. Before I handed over my three pieces of wood, "Bam!" right there in front of me, the carpenter slams on the counter a "Do Not Enter" sign painted on a wooden board.
"Closed! I'm sorry. I am closed now." he says to me, in English with a French accent that I love.
I wanted to laugh, but he was serious.
"No!?" I said. But was really asking.
"Yes. I'm sorry. I close at 7 and I have all these papers I must finish." he explains in French now as he lifts a few slips of paper off the counter.
"But, I was standing here before 7." I say in English, too shocked to think in French.
"I tell you what..." he says softly in English with a French accent that makes even standing in the dusty back corner of a hardware store seem romantic. The way he's looking at me, my mind immediately imagines him in my kitchen building the microwave shelf for me.
He walks around the counter (as I fantasize about his wood working skills) and stands so close to me, that my right boob is almost touching his arm as he finishes his sentence, while taking the paper and wood pieces from my hands again "....why don't you give these measurements to me..." he suggests looking down at me and my measurements, "...leave them here with me tonight. Tomorrow you come back and I will have them ready for you."
The American in me, wanted to protest. Instead, I walked away, without my wood, without my measurements, only a smile, and wondering why I wasn't angry...