“Sometimes when you are in a dark place… you think you have been buried; What if you’ve been planted?” Anonymous
Travis and I had only known each other for eight months before he popped the question. The first three months were total bliss. I thought I had met an intellectual; he was charming, humble, a great listener, seemingly very into me, often describing me as “the secret sauce” as something “so utterly delicious and mysterious you don’t quite know the ingredients that went into it, you just know you want more.” Not to mention his model looks. Yeah, truth be told I fell for him, hard and fast. Were the red flags there?
But in small enough, insidious doses so that my rose-colored glasses remained thick and nicely settled around my earlobes. The start of the mask falling off was on that boulevard in Paris. I would later find out I had been more or less prey to be hunted. Well-thought-out calculations and my tendency to take a red flag and make it a challenge to prove my worth had led me to the bathroom floor in my own puddle of tears come the end of summer 2020. Love. Paris. Husband…
Paris and I had a long-standing love affair at this point… Would Travis compete and ultimately win my heart?
But I’m going to back up. I’m going to start at the beginning of Paris and me, on a balmy, summer night just after I had passed my sommelier exams.
After nine months of living in Paris, I still found myself feeling I was in a dream. I contemplated pinching myself as if, poof, I would wake up suddenly. I turned the key to my deadbolt lock and wiped my boots on my orange doormat that greeted visitors with a hearty Bienvenue. I walked into my well-adorned flat with floor-to-ceiling windows, which looked out to eighteenth-century rooftops; they often made me feel like I was in a scene from the movie The Aristocats. The charm was immediate. I had a fairly up-close-and-personal view of Notre Dame, and the bells ringing at the commencement of Mass never got old. They added to the adherent charm of the flat, along with the wrought-iron safety bars and pots of flowers outside my windows. I poured myself a large glass of Michael Chapoutier Syrah vintage 2012, which I had purchased on a recent trip to the Rhone Valley, and gazed out to the sky. How did I get so lucky? Was this fate?
What did it all mean?