Lèche vitrine*

a Street reNamed Happiness

Growing up, I was not the girl with movie star posters on her walls. Luke Skywalker did not melt my butter and I had no dreams of cycling off into space with my very own ET. I was a grounded girl I figured, my feet firmly planted in the rich California earth. Then the Goodfellas came out and I nearly swooned for Ray Liotta. Turns out, I like the bad boys. The really bad boys.

Which is when I realized that us girls, we all have a very particular taste of our own. Someone at adopteunmec.com must like bad boys, too, because she has helped he online dating site go brick and mortar, opening up a pop-up shop for single women.

Pilot Mec, I always wanted the Barbie plane!

Like human Barbies, the available men are displayed in large, pink boxes, with detailed instructions on the side just waiting to be unwrapped by an anxious young girl under the Christmas tree.

As I walked into the shop, I felt like Barbie herself, the entire Matel universe brought to life with a pilot, veterinarian, gym buff, and surfer dude. As I clapped my hands in glee, I turned to see Thomas, the event photographer who I met last week and who also happens to be a very good friend of La Fashionista (Mr French’s daughter).

“I’m…. I’mmmmmm….. here for work,” he stuttered, pointing to his camera and very hard-to-miss tripod.

“Yes, me too,” very glad to have OutandAboutinParis by my side as chief witness to my innocent curiousity.

Monsieur Surfer Dude

At 15h the place was humming like a night club, crowds spilled out on to the rue du Bonheur, with live music spun by Mr Techni, an open bar and plenty of treats to seduce the girls. Adopteamec gets girls. There was chocolate, and bubble gum pink tagadas, and mouth satisfying Magnum bars to pleasure their fantacies as they popped into a box with the tux clad Mr Chic, or the plugged in Mr Geek.

I had been shooting the IHT early that morning, so I thought it would be fun to get the guys with the paper. Opening the box of Mr Chic, I expected a look of utter horror. I am probably closer to his mother’s age than his own. But this is France where age matters less, and I was greeted with a warm invite.

Le Bar, serving teddy bears, red heads and geeks

As stereotyoes would have it, Mr Chic held the paper up to pose, Mr Geek started reading and I had to pry it from his hands, while Mr Muscle just held it up to the plastic box, the concept of reading well beyond his imagination.

If you’re looking for a bad boy of your own, Adopteamec is at 15 rue des Halles in the 1st until next week, before hitting the road for the dating capitals of Europe…


*Lèche Vitrine means window shopping, but translate as Window licking

*Adopt a Dude

Happily ever after…

Imagine a life without the promise of a happily ever after. I think of this occasionally; when I’m waiting for the metro to clamour up, as I avoid the people mags at the Dr’s office or at the movies before the show begins. I wonder how different my expectations would have been had my mother not ended most days of my early childhood tucking me in and reading a story about some beautiful princess, the man who rescues her and their happily every after. I particularly think of this in the cinema because this is where I first learned that in France, for this too, things are different.

Its thanks to a playful film starring the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and her actor husband Yvan Attal and it is called, Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d’enfants.

“What a funny title.” I laughed one day, walking by the billboards of the Odeon cinemas with my chief Parisienne.
“Its like in the fairytales.”
“What fairytales?”
“Yes, you know, they always end with that line, and they got married and had lots of children.”

In France, Cinderella went from her step-mother’s frying pan into her new husband’s fire with a bevy of children to look after; challenging her waistline and her future. And it would seem that Frenchwomen have bought into the story line, hook, line and sinker, contributing to one of the highest birth rates in Europe. Frenchwomen are not raised with the expectation of having a fairytale life once they marry, so they prepare to look after themselves, which is one of the reasons they have one of the highest employment rates of mothers in the Western world. Being a princess starts to sound a lot less fantastic, and a whole lot more realistic.

Which I am starting to find works for me. Let’s face it, I am not a princess. The laundry needs to get done, the dishes don’t wash themselves and raising kids is alot of work, even when being tackled by two people who love each other very much.

Then there is the niggling detail; happily ever afters simply do not exist. Again, I learned this from the French. I was at a Paris night club, having a fantastic evening with my husband, dancing and drinking champagne, when a hit from the 80’s came on and I began to sing, listening to the lyrics for the first time, “Les histoires d’amour finissent mals.” (All love stories end badly)

No they don’t! I objected.
Yes they do! I reasoned.

Because even if you love each other madly until the end of your days, there is an end to your days, and your partner’s and that end rarely arrives simultaneously. The French are right, there is really no such thing as a happily ever after. Which sounds so sad, but is really quite liberating and makes you savour the happily for now moments of everyday life.

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