⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

September 3, 2009

How we met.

As requested...(who can refuse a pretty please?)

Once upon a time, a young girl of 25 years found herself in a big big city - the big apple. She had no idea what to do with herself. She had just finished a master's degree in a useless subject (as her father had claimed and, as it turned out, was justified) across the Atlantic in Oxford. She had also just exited a marriage that had happened too early and ended too late. Every night she slept on the couch at her unceasingly generous brother and marvelous friend's apartment. She was swimming. Swimming through the streets around her. She loved these streets. They were swimming with fascinations. But she was swimming in her head.

While dispatching up to 25 resumes per day all over the city, she felt she had to do something with herself and decided to put her skills in 'sparkling conversation' and charm to good use. She got a job as a shop girl. A sales assistant at a shop called Restoration Hardware. She waltzed around the store with a feather duster and made dinosaur noises into the walkie-talkies to communicate with the other fanciful employees. She was rather charming in her role there, folding towels, helping clients decide between polished nickel or polished chrome finishes and fluffing beds (and jumping on them after the store was closed).

One New York day, a young gent walked into the store. He looked a bit different. He talked a bit strangely. He was identifiably French. She liked French people; not so long before she had come back from a study abroad where she lived with a French family in Paris. So she told the gent she wanted to meet French people in NY. "Ah, I have just the chap for you!" he said to her excitedly. "I'm only here for three days, but the friend I've come to visit has just moved here." Then he penciled down her email address and phone number, slipped it in his pocket and promised to use it with care. He told the quizzical looking girl that she would adore the Monsieur to whom he would accord the paper.

The Frenchman returned to his friend and must have said something that made her seem quite ambrosial. Little emails from him arrived in her inbox, where she was anxiously waiting for replies to those dispatched resumes. She had all but forgotten the Frenchman in the store but she had not forgotten her job search, thus his emails seemed, at the very least, inconvenient. All until he wrote at the end of one: "Bonne nuit et fais de beaux reves," which is a very charming thing to write indeed. She did want to meet French people in the grand city, so when he subsequently suggested that they attend a party for these sorts called "French Tuesdays," she was keen on the idea.

The night arrived. The Tuesday night. She was in her (well not her, to be correct) apartment after a day of trying to charm people into buying chenille throws and 464 Percale Italian sheets. She turned to her lovely friend, Meredith (whose apartment it was) and remarked that it was rather strange to be meeting up with some random man - a random Frenchman at that. Meredith assured her that he would most likely be very charming and possibly dashing.

The meeting place was 51st Street and Lexington avenue. He worked there. She stood there under the street light and talked to a few men standing about whom she thought might be Xavier. They were not. But when he arrived, she knew. The tall, handsome gentlemen with his big, open smile. And she thought to herself, "How did I get so lucky?"


...a photo from early on (merci Emmanuel).

10 comments:

Chaoyi said...

That's a sweet story. Again, love how you write.

Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

such a nice story, what a great beginning. thanks for sharing!

Jill said...

I've heard this story before, but this telling was charming, and the rest is history.

sl said...

Pretty pretty thank you :D for responding to my request... What a lovely story! :)

Anne said...

Thank you! I'd been wondering about it but it seemed kind of crass to ask. Your blog is so much fun.

la_sale_bete said...

Oh, Emile. What a lovely tale. I always thought that the apartment belonged to all of us! Crowded but cozy in the city of dreams. Who knew that in addition to being both charming and dashing, Xavier shared your same spirit of whimsy and mayhem and dinosaur sounds? Awesome.

the sweet life with olives said...

swoon! what a totally romantic story. it was clearly meant to be!

Anonymous said...

But where did Mlle. Marguerite figure in?

Emilie said...

Mlle. Marguerite was a lovely addition from Xavier's earlier life and love. But alas, some love stories end sadly even when such a delightful thing as a child is involved.

Bonnie said...

Loved reading your tale of romance Emilie. I've heard it before but your written words are exquisite! Such a sweet beginning to your wonderful, adventurous life together.

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