This has been a real week de merde and I’m currently bumming out big time. It was great having my sister here for Thanksgiving (or le Sanks-geev-ing-uh as the French like to say). We spent the past few days on a veritable Parisian binge—drinking bordeaux, shelling out at fancy restaurants, and buying typically Parisian clothing. (I must literally be a walking cliché thanks to my growing wardrobe of striped shirts, blouses with bows, and pleated skirts).All was fine and dandy until my sister left this weekend, leaving me in a huge depression. Having her go made me realize that I don’t have anyone in Paris who I love. All of a sudden, I was asking myself, What is my connection here? What’s the point of living so far away if you don’t have anything attached to your heart? We had to say our final goodbyes in the metro, and I will never again cry in public in Paris. It was unexpectedly humiliating to ride home with tears streaming down my face. Not that crying on the train is something I do with any regularity, but apparently you can get away with it much easier in the subway in NYC. Here, everyone stares at you, and whispers, What’s wrong with her? That certainly didn’t help the waterworks.
As I found my way home through my blurred vision, I couldn’t help but think that this would all be so much easier if I had a boyfriend. Of course, he wouldn’t understand what I was really going through. But God, it would have been nice to feel love elsewhere, and to have crawled into bed with someone who would just hold me. (Cringe, I sound like a Lifetime movie.)
What isn’t helping right now: I think I just got le dumped.
As I mentioned last time, I was debating whether or not to introduce my sister to American Boy. It had at first seemed out of the question to me that I would bring “some guy I’m kind of seeing” to dinner with my family, but when he brought up meeting them, I briefly reconsidered. And despite his weird misplaced phone call where he was looking for some Emily girl, my sister expressed curiosity.
“Do you want to invite him to dinner?” she asked when we were having girl talk on her first day here. “I’d like to meet him. Why not?!”
“OK, I’ll call him and see what he’s up to.”
A call that day had me leaving a message with his roommate. Knowing the unreliable schedules of AB and his flatmates, I phoned again on Wednesday, figuring he might not have gotten the note. This time, roommate #2 answered, who said he’d let AB know I called. That’s it, I thought. No more effort from me. It wasn’t until Thursday night that he finally got in touch (I missed it), and left the most pathetic voice mail of all time: “Uhhh heyyy, it’s AB. Sorry I haven’t called, I’ve just been, like, busy. Soooo … I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at Rachel’s party.” He was referring to a post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving lunch at a mutual friend’s house. I did nothing, and prepared myself for an awkward encounter.
Which it was. I greeted him with a fake ease and friendliness, and made sure not to sit next to him or even talk to him too much throughout the meal, figuring AB would (or should) come to me. He didn’t, and a few hours later, feeling tired and full, I geared up to go. “Hey, I’m leaving,” I told him. I knew I was going home alone, and while that was what I wanted, I half expected him to fall into apologies in the moment and grab his coat to come with me. He walked me to the door, playing with my hand and sleeve.
“So, sorry I didn’t call this week …”
“It’s OK,” I responded quickly, wanting suddenly to shut down any emotional talk.
“It’s just that … I’m seeing someone else. I’m sorry.”
A lightning flash of shock. “Well, AB, I expected as much. I mean, it’s not like we had anything exclusive.” I went into automatic defense mode.
“Yeah, sorry, I just wanted you to know.”
“No, whatever. I mean, I’m happy for you,” I said, doing the final button on my coat and stepping out the door. “I’ll see you.”
To be honest, it’s best that whatever AB and I had ended. But the rejection did hit me nevertheless, making me realize that I was now at square one again.
All I wanted now was to go home, crawl under the covers with a baguette and a bottle of whiskey, and sleep until Monday. That’s when the real s**t show started.
My mind spinning with thoughts, I fingered my keys in my pocket as I arrived at my 5th-floor apartment, mindlessly finding through feel the ancient skeleton key to unlock my door. I was jolted from my emotional brain cloud when my key stopped unexpectedly short in the hole. What the? I tried again and again, inspecting the keyhole, and the key over and over again. It just wouldn’t budge. I had a feeling this would happen one day—that’s what you get for having a key and lock that looks like it’s from the Middle Ages.
Freaking out, I dialed my landlord’s assistant, Clyde, a young American guy who I wish I had a crush on, but just don’t find attractive. Luckily, he seems to have a bit of a crush on me, so he said he’d be over within 15 minutes to help out. At this point, I would have relaxed a bit, but of course, of course something else crappy would have to happen—in the meantime, I got an email on my iPhone from Alex. My heart jumped into my throat. I had been so good about him lately, having made the decision to put him out of my mind for good and remove his online presence from my life. “Did you delete me from Facebook???” he wrote, along with some rambling response to the last email I had written him weeks ago. “I always think fondly about what we had … I’m glad we knew each other … it was so romantic ….” blah, blah, blah. I slid down the wall, hot tears trickling down my face, bringing my mascara with them. A moment later, Clyde’s head came bobbing up the stairs.
I hastily wiped my tears away, my cheeks now turning redder out of embarrassment. “I don’t know what’s wrong, the door just stopped working. I think something’s blocking it.” I explained, handing him the keys. He crouched to take a look at the lock, gently trying the key. He then looked down the barrel of the old skeleton key, knocked it against the door frame, and out plopped a bobby pin onto the carpet. I cringed in shame.
“Here’s your problem,” he said, picking up the pin, and opening my door with a swift movement. “It was that simple,” he explained with a smile.
If only all problems were that simple.