…We kissed that same night. I mean, I kissed him. I slowly threw myself at him (there’s an art to it) trying desperately to make the whole thing much lighter than what it was already turning into. We were at a club where we’d decided to go have a drink after our candlelit first date dinner and, I have to say, at the very first kiss, time stopped.
I don’t know, it was just perfect. In the sense that it was natural, his arms, his lips. It was it.
I kept not wanting to see the signs though.
But I noticed something very early. His hands never wandered beyond the edges of my clothes. Very respectful, this guy. I even felt a little bit disappointed when he put me in a taxi, told me he’d had a wonderful evening, and kissed me softly. Firm, but soft. Perfect, basically.
He texted me immediately to thank me and said he’d like to see me again.
Well, yeah, ME TOO, MAN.
You’re the one who put me in a taxi, in case you forgot, man.
We saw each other for a second date, and that’s when he decided (I imagine, anyway) to start showing me real life and test my level of princessitude, so he took me to eat in Chinatown to a restaurant where you eat slurpy noodles at a communal table. The opposite of romantic.
At that phase, I was in the blessed state where you can’t even eat one leaf of lettuce so he very well could have taken me to McDonald’s and I would have thought it was “so interesting and original!!!”
Amazing night, once again. And once again, I slowly threw myself at him, otherwise he never would have kissed me. And once again, he put me in a taxi, very respectfully, at the end of the evening.
In the taxi, I sent texts to all my friends (yeah, sorry if you’re reading this, babe, but you were the subject of an extensive forum for months. It’s normal. It’s a girl thing. Don’t think about it too much): “This guy is kind of weird, no? I feel like he’s really into me, but he keeps putting me in cabs. What the hell?”
My American friends immediately responded with: “It’s because he really likes you! He’s taking you seriously, so he wants to take his time. It’s totally normal, super obvious, piece of cake.”
Reaction: “So how much time does he want to take his time?”
[Interlude Love, French Style: (future in-laws, cover your ears, please, excuse me, thank you, sorry) In France, when are really into someone, you sleep together right away, boom, it’s normal, that’s the way it is, it’s not degrading, doesn’t mean you’re a slut and / or he’s taking advantage of you, it’s beautiful, it’s love, it’s passion, you can’t stop passion.][And you move in together the next day.][See my essay explaining this here].
Anyway. Chris took his time. But one day, I got him. HEHEHEHE. He slept over and I won’t give any details because you have to leave some things to the imagination, it’s not like I wouldn’t like to share but I’ve got a little secret garden (queen size) but it’s real, and it’s called my memory foam Tempurpedic.
After that, things started to become just as magical as they were strange, since our relationship was a sort of complicated hybrid between an American love story and a French one.
We didn’t understand each other very well, but we really loved each other. We learned to get to know each other. He soon figured out that I wasn’t a crazy fashion victim (the idea people who don’t work in fashion typically have about people who work in fashion) and I finally realized he wasn’t at all the urban playboy (the idea people generally have about jazz musicians) I had imagined. We had pretty similar childhoods, actually, we were both country kids and we had both fought to live our passions. On the other hand, in terms of love, we couldn’t have been more different.
As for me, I was your proverbial serial monogamist, always in a relationship, never really settled, and not really sure that being in a relationship was all that important, actually.
And Chris was…well, let’s just say he had his share of fun. Or, like he told his mother, he had been waiting to find “the one”. And he just hadn’t ever found her, so he preferred to stay single instead of settling. And, you know what? I really felt like he was telling the truth.
He was that romantic.
Compared to him, I was a love bulldozer.
[Musician interlude: You will often hear your friends say: “Oh no! Not a musician!” But the truth is (well at least with all the subjectivity of my conversation with two friends who happen to be in love with musicians, ok, ok) musicians are the most sensitive and open hearted guys in the world. All I can say is, don’t listen to people who try to put people in categories based on their profession.]
[But never go out with a fashion photographer, obviously. Ahahahah. Kidding.]
[AstroTwins astrology enlightenment interlude: Garance is an “earth girl”: her Sun (Taurus), moon (Capricorn) and ascendant (Virgo) are all in luxurious, steady and sensual earth signs. It’s not easy to get her to change her ways! But Chris is a caring Cancer (a water sign) with an uber-patient, gentle and musical Libra moon. Since Libra is an air sign, he can step back from his feelings and remain calm a little more easily than Garance. No surprise it took them a minute to get in sync, especially since their moon signs (which symbolize the emotional nature) could bring a few tug o’ wars before getting in sync. Luckily, Chris has a Taurus south node (his past life sign), so Garance’s energy is very familiar and comfortable to him at a deep soul level—just what a Cancer needs to feel at home. Congratulations, Garance and Chris!]
Anyway, let’s get back to our trumpets.
We quickly found a pretext for seeing each other every night. I HAD to try his lasagna (Chris cooks like a god), he HAD to come watch Star Wars (I watch Star Wars like a goddess), and we HAD to go to this party together (we both have an innate talent for partying).
I HAD to take him to Westwind Orchard, my friend’s amazing farm Upstate, where we spent a wonderful and memorable evening and where three funny things happened.
1/ He said he’d come pick me up at 10am AND HE WAS AT MY DOOR at 10am. The first guy in my life to be as crazy as me about being respectful with time. I love it.
2/ Everything seemed like it was happening in slow motion, like in a John Legend music video, all weekend.
3/ When he dropped me off at the Studio on Monday morning, the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me (other than getting Tourista in Mexico last week) happened. I was crossing the street, and suddenly…well…I promise I’m not joking. I had a vision. Not a daydream, not a thought. It was different, more precise, super weird.
I saw us – Chris and I – smiling on the day of our wedding.
Whoa, whoa, whoa…we’d only known each other for three weeks! CHILL OUT, GIRL!!!
It really shook me up, and I obviously made sure my board of specialists knew about it in our text forum – and my married friends all told me, “That’s the way it is. When you’ve found the right person, deep down, you know.”
Meh. I put my vision away for safe keeping. But to this day, Westwind is still a special place for us, and the vision is still as precise as the first day.
Anyway, at this super fast pace, we were burning the steps written in The Great American Dating Book that doesn’t exist, but we should invent it, given all the rules you have to memorize. That’s why I fell flat on my face when one day, he said:
“So, uh…I know you broke up not too long ago, so…anyway. You can go on dates, you know. If you want to see other people, it’s no problem. Ok? Go out, have fun!”
So there it was. We were addressing the pink elephant of love in my tiny living room. The big question, here in the US:
WERE WE A COUPLE? Without even knowing it?
If you ask a random French person in the street, they’d say: “Yes, of course! Obviously!”
If you ask a random American in the street, they’d say: “Hmm, let’s see, it depends. How many dates have you been on? Have you slept together? No? Yes? Are you seeing other people? Is it serious? How many? Have you talked about the future while pretending not to talk about the future? Have you had THE TALK? HAVE YOU DEFINED THE RELATIONSHIP? Cause else, like, how would I know if you’re a couple, huh?”
We weren’t a couple, in fact. As long as we hadn’t defined our relationship, I couldn’t even say he was my boyfriend. Chris was just “a guy I was seeing”. Every day. And every night. And every weekend. But hey, he wasn’t “mine“. And, if I wanted, I could have seen other people. Slept with other guys, even. Seriously!
But eeeewww!!! Noooo!!!
“Eeeew“, I said to him. “Chris, I’m French. I don’t date. I don’t even know how to. If I’m this interested in you, I can’t be interested in other people. It would be weird to me, and I don’t even want to. My attention isn’t divided, I’m not going to pretend to be one of those girls who couldn’t care less. I do care, but I also respect your culture. If you want to date around, go ahead!” (total hypocrite — I definitely didn’t want him to see other people, but I wanted to play it cool, of course. I was also a little worried that it was just a trick so he could see other girls, but we will talk about that my many many many worries in my next post).
To which he responded right away:
“Ah, cool!!! I love France! Ok, let’s do it the French way. We won’t date other people. We’ll only see each other. Ok!”
YES!!! And that’s how we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend.
And that’s when the problems started.
I’ll tell you the rest next week! Kisses!!!
P.S. Thanks for all your adorable comments last week!!!
P.P.P.S. Based on your suggestions, Chris promised to write his version of our first date – hahhaa I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to it ;)
P.S. I’ll answer all your questions about love, seeing as I’m not at all an expert, in an upcoming post. I promise!
Translated by Andrea Perdue