365 Days In Paris: En Couple

My life has done a 360 180.

I used to spend my days largely alone. Wake up. Yoga or run. Grocery store. Work. Work at the library. More work in bed. Make dinner. Work. Bootleg movies online. Bed. (Or, three or four times a week, a simple drink with friends.)

Ever since Henri came into the picture, this comfortable Leo alone-time schedule has gone out the window. And I’m happy for it. Instead of rising at 6 a.m. with an instant ball of stress pounding in my chest making me obsessively plan my day, things now start later. Henri goes to work at 10. We wake up with the sun, sometime around 7:30 and start off the day by making love (a phrase I’ve always hated but have come to find completely appropriate seeing as Henri literally asks me with a nudge of his chin and a sleepy smile if I want to faire l’amour). Then: lounging in bed with coffee and pain au chocolate which Henri or I buy fresh from the bakery until 8:30, taking a shower together, and finally saying goodbye for the next nine hours or so until we meet up for dinner or wine and cheese in the park or by the river.

In a nutshell: I think I’m in love. I’m pretty sure Henri is, too. We had the whole boyfriend-girlfriend talk this weekend, which I actually expected, considering that he’s French and all. We were having brunch at the Palais de Tokyo, a modern art museum with a cafe-terrace that has a view of the Eiffel Tower, when he asked me if I’d overheard his phone conversation with his buddy the night before.

“What are you talking about?” I asked him.

“You know, you and I were watching TV, and Jean-Baptiste called. He asked me what I was doing and I said I’m hanging out with my COPINE.” His girlfriend.

“Oh. No. I didn’t hear that.”

“You didn’t hear, or you didn’t understand?” Most of the time, Henri and I speak a weird mix of Franglish. Usually, he talks in French, and I answer in English. If I speak to him in English, I make sure to talk just a bit slowly, and I can tell he does the same in French. Meaning that I have a harder time following him when he’s on the phone with friends, or when he’s goofing around with his roommate and there’s a lot of slang or weird abbreviations thrown around. I tend to tune out during these times.

“No, I wasn’t listening. So you said copine?”

Henri looked at me and raised his eyebrows. “Yes. What do you think?”

I smiled like a fool. “I think that’s really sweet.”

“Et toi? Tu dirais quoi?” And what would you call me?. I could sense Henri was suddenly nervous and really insecure. It made me want to kiss him and hold him tight.

“Well … I’d call you my copain.” My boyfriend.

And so it was settled. He seemed instantly relieved and leaned across the table to kiss me, catching the waiter to order two extra glasses of champagne to celebrate.

I instantly began gushing to friends via text and email, who all began placing bets: “Twenty bucks says he’ll say ‘I love you’ by the end of the week,” “You’ll meet his parents by July,” “He’ll start talking about moving to the States with you in a month.” All stuff that would freak me (or any girl) out normally, but I’m actually really happy to move quickly.

The real question is … will I get my heart broken? And to this, I have to say: probably. There’s only so long I’ll be living in Paris, and it’d doubtful that what Henri and I have could work outside of that. But for now, I think that’s all OK. I’m happy, and that’s all that matters.