I’d like to start this entry off by say I do not hate men. In fact, I love men. I love to flirt, I love to go on dates, I love to drool over the beautiful abs featured in Cosmopolitan each month. I also don’t write about every guy I go on dates with, if its a pleasant (or decent) experience I generally keep it private. Which brings me to this story, my second experience with french men.
Its a beautiful day in early April. This day I was to start my new job at National Jean Company immediately after class, therefore I was slightly over-dressed for English. I was wearing a navy blue tunic dress with a white and pink design on it and silver ballet flats, nothing out of the ordinary just “cute”.
I’m walking back to my dorm building from class, sunglasses on, headphones in, not trying to talk to anybody. I was not trying to talk to my friends, nor was I trying to talk to strangers, I was simply enjoying my solitude, the sweet smell of homeless people and the pleasant view of at least 10 crack deals going on. I was right in front of the state house facing the Boston commons. I see out of the corner of my eye a man in a suit tap my shoulder. I was under the impression my attire would guard me from human interaction but I took my headphones out of my ears to see what this man could possibly want (did I drop money? does he need directions?). This man opens his mouth to reveal a thick french accent…
Man: Excuse me miss are you from Europe?
Myself: No (awkward laugh) why do you ask?
Man: Oh I’m sorry, I thought you were from Europe
Man: Well you have beautiful European style, where are you from?
Myself: I’m actually from Massachusetts…. where are you from?
Meanwhile, The rest of the world is going about their business. I am standing in front of the State House…. people shoving by me while I am talking to some strange man.
Man: I am originally from France but I have been here six years
Man: No, work.
Man: So what is your name beautiful?
Myself: Mackenzie… whats yours?
Man:Look at you! You are gorgeous and have beautiful style- May Itake you to coffee sometime?
Myself: Uh, sure?
JUDGE ALL YOU WANT, BUT WHAT WOULD YOU DO?! This man was very very bold in asking me out. Had this not been in person and had I not been so shocked at the situation at hand I probably wouldn’t have given him my number.
Phillipe: Let me take your number Mackenzie (pronounced Muh-Kin-sy) and I will call you tomorrow- we will set something up
Myself: (gives him my number) bye nice meeting you… (no intention in answering his TEXT obviously)
No texts come, but the next day a phone call does. Mind you, I didn’t save his number, he took mine.
Phillipe: HELLLLOOOO Muh-kin-sy its Phillipe I was wondering if you would like to get coffee today, yes?
Myself:Actually Phillipe I have work and class all day
Phillipe: Thats okay we’ll do lunch tomorrow
Myself: Sure give me a call tomorrow
I really had no intention in going, but I forgot to save phone number.
Next day- I go to scan my school ID to buy my breakfast… turns out my meal plan is empty…. coincidentally my bank account balance was under $50 and had to last another 4 days
Phillipe: Hellllllooooo Muh-kin-sy how’s 1 pm for lunch today? Stephanies on Newbury St? (my favorite place to eat… well played)
Myself: See you then.
I forgot to mention earlier that I was under the impression that this man was older then me (my best guess was that he was about 25-30). Although the biggest “red flag” about Phillipe probably should have been his intrusive way of approaching me, my hesitance about his age was much more prominent. I’ll admit, part of the reason I was more intrigued then anything by this situation was due to him wearing a suit in front of the state house. While I don’t know enough about politics to avoid becoming another one of the girl’s you see on the cover of The National Enquirer (just another mistress of a politician, mother of his future alien love child), I wasn’t against the remote possibility of him being the president of France or some shit ( YOU NEVER KNOW).
I decide to walk to Stephanie’s to save money, even though its raining a little bit. As I’m shuffling there, Phillipe pulls up next to me in a limo.
No, he wasn’t a passenger.. he was the driver.
He says from across the road “Muh-Kin-sy! I hope you don’t mind I didn’t shave today, I’m going to go find a parking spot”
The next thing I am about to type I am ashamed of. Phillipe walks through the door of Stephanie’s.. I get up from the waiting area to greet him and notice immediately that he has “salt and pepper” facial hair. I instantly realized that I was not on a date with a man who was older than me, I was on a date with a MUCH older man. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t make you feel like “super-fox” Catherine Zeta Jones, instead I imagined myself as Anna Nicole Smith (rip), fighting my “true love”‘s son for all he’s worth in court…. baby blue velvet dress and all. I knew I was stuck there, so I pulled myself together and pretended that this wasn’t actually “real life”.
I was suddenly much more aware of my surroundings. I could feel the heat of the glares I received from Mothers out to lunch with their daughters, who were not far at all from my age, judging not only myself but the people who raised me. The waiter, was probably unsure if I was uncomfortably friendly with my uncle, a mail order bride, or the next Courtney Strodden. I felt their judgement and I felt their pity, they saw me as I would have seen someone else in my place, a young girl caught up in the lifestyle of an older rich man.
I “group text” a few of my more “mature” friends and ask them what kind of wine I should order, but for fear of miss-pronunciation I hold back from actually placing an order. What I felt was an “out of body” experience, I imagined myself as a bystander; wondering how the young girl could stomach being with such an older man. To answer the question of those who saw me that day, I was unable to.
I let my eyes wander the menu although I knew what I was going to order from the start “pecan crusted goat cheese salad”( SO GOOD!). I led Phillipe to believe I was very captivated by what the menu said, when in reality I just wanted to avoid conversation. He ordered a house salad, and water.
I asked extremely typical and generic questions about his life in order to fill silence; where he grew up, how long he’s been in America, what he does for a living. He was raised in France (as I could have guessed), he’s been in America for 8 years, he owns some Limo company I guess (he was vague in explaining his profession, aka hes in the mafia)?
He tells me about his life. He told me that although working and travel are big priorities in his life his wife comes first (yes, you read that correctly- married man right here). He then tells me that he travels to New York often, and needs a “friend” to “shop and party with”. He winks at me from across the table. I notice a women on the other side of the room struggle to take her eyes off of me.
He asks me where I go for fun. I list a few nightclubs. He tells me that he doesn’t go there because “those places are full of young people”……..(I am not even of age to drink yet, awkward.)
The conversation goes on and as he asks me about my life he interrupts me every few sentences to tell me how “sexy” or “beautiful” I am. My heart sinks every time, I half expected “Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC” to come out from the bathroom and bust this guy. Too bad I am over 19 and I’m legally allowed to make my own decisions.
Phillip spends his summers in Europe; he describes the beautiful beaches and tells me how much he loves his family over there. However, he says he enjoys living in America because it makes it so much more special to be in Europe when he is.
Phillipe looks me straight in the eyes, hands clasped together on the table “Muh-Kin-sy, I see you on the beaches of Spain with me this summer” he says with a devilish smirk on his face. I wonder if he has a daughter my age that he failed to mention.
I’m a pretty adventurous person, I’ll go on dates with strangers, I’ll dance on a table at a club, I’ll even occasionally change my shampoo. However, the invitation to be in a foreign country with my brand new “sugar daddy” made the goat cheese in my stomach rise to the back of my throat. Although this would be great material for my future E! True Hollywood story, I decided to keep the best interest of my future husband in mind. I didn’t need this kinda baggage.
Luckily Phillipe had to go “Pick up the president of Brazil”. So, he throws a hundred dollar bill on the table and we leave; the eyes of the bystanders following my lead, Phillipe’s hand on my lower back.
Its pouring outside so Phillipe offers me his umbrella which I graciously accept. I hug him goodbye and he steals a peck on my lips (which I am not proud of, I should have dodged it better then that). He tells me he is going to take me out to coffee later that day if I have time. I nod but walk away knowing I will never see Phillipe again, by choice.
Phillipe leaves me a number of voice-mails and text messages over the next week. I don’t respond to any of them. I considered briefly calling him back to ensure I was alive (he was very concerned I have to say…), but decided to let the memory of me fade from his mind so he could find another girl to spoil.
I still use the umbrella from time to time, I hope it didn’t belong to his wife.