We'll ask each other how much we pay in rent without the slightest hesitation, but dare to ask such a question of a Parisian and you're deemed rude and nosey, or simply very "American." to watch.Or maybe if we make it through dessert in record time, we can get to the bar before last call.Even if I was single, I had zero interest in this older man.I simply loved him the way one loves pizza or a Jimmy Stewart movie.But there I was, on our wedding night, consoling my husband and reassuring him that I didn't have any interest in his brother-in-law."I love him like that Bon Iver song I can't stop playing," I said.
I told him he was being dramatic—a trait that comes easily to French men.Before I could escape, he planted a very wet and very "French" kiss on me, as I struggled to get away. Papa, tell her."Here was a 17-year-old telling me the ways of love and sex, in front of her father, no less.I began to apologize profusely to Madeleine."Prude," she said, laughing at me. When you love someone, you kiss them no matter where you are. Even now, as I'm about to be on the other side of 35, I can't talk that way in front of my own father.We've adopted the kiss on the cheek when we greet or say goodbye to Europeans.It's a bizarre dance of the faces, to say the least, and noses are usually bonked, while apologies are made. Although I still live part of the year in Paris, I know I will never be completely Parisian in my behavior.
Shortly after our wedding, Henri and I were walking along Rue des Martyrs with his teenage daughter from his first marriage.