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Episode 2: Down One Girl, Up One Girl

August 10, 2012

Even though I had just ended my relationship with Jill a couple of weeks earlier, I landed in Paris filled with excitement and expectation.  What I hadn’t expected was her reaction to our breakup and me being out of reach.  First it was one text, then the same text repeated 10 times….20 times…50 times!  Emails were flying in, then phone calls.  It was a blizzard of pain and sadness…and desperation.  I did my best to talk her down off the ledge, but she had worked herself into a distraught frenzy.  Nothing I said seemed to help.  Her pain was palpable and familiar—something I too had felt in the past (even if I reacted differently).  I felt deeply for her.   In the end, all I could do was to beg her daughter to intercede.

There was a silver lining: The symptom for my nagging doubt now had a diagnosisshe needed our relationship more than she wanted it, whereas I wanted way more than I needed it.  Being so unbalanced often creates issues…

Right in the middle of this madness came an email from someone I had briefly dated two years ago.  Man, when it rains, it pours!  Judy and I had shared three dates back in 2008.  She chose another guy, but by some cosmic happenstance, that, too, had recently ended.  I really liked Judy.  She was beautiful, intelligent, and fun.  She said she wanted to catch up.  Hmmm… It sounded more like a suggestion for a date to me.  It made no difference.  Long ago I had learned the futility of trying to control circumstance.  Her email was neither good timing nor bad timing—it just was what it was.  Whatever it was, we agreed to see each other after I returned from Paris.

Hadn’t I come to Paris to start a book?  Saturday morning, when the work week finally ended, I snapped up my iPad and eagerly headed out to find a quiet place to begin writing.  On the way, I helped a sweet elderly woman move a new TV into her apartment (she turned out to be the City of Paris’ Ambassador to the City of Chicago—apparently they are sister cities) and walked the Seine from the Eifel to Notre Dame looking for that peaceful, inspirational place I had envisioned in my mind.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a quiet spot in Paris?  It’s a freaking busy city! Oy!  I finally settled for Le Bourbon, a sidewalk café across from the Assemblée Nationale.

Le BourbonYes, this was the quietest spot in Paris—even though there was a group across the street demonstrating against something or another (it was all French to me).  Maybe they were demonstrating against noise pollution, because other than the signs, there wasn’t even so much as a whisper coming from that direction.

A bottle of wine, chunks of bread and cheese, some welcomed shade and these words flowed onto pages:

July 10, 2010

The first words of this book find me find me sitting with my iPad  at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.   What better setting as an opening for a book on finding love?  Walking down the Seine amongst the amazing Eiffel, Louvre, and Notre Dame, I find myself instead observing the couples – some embracing, walking hip to hip, some holding hands (if but by fingers to escape this unusual Parisian heatwave); yet others separated by feet as they walk down the dirt sidewalk at the riverside.

Looking across the street, I felt myself smiling as a young couple hugged  and kissed, unabashedly, with a bubbly energy we all should know in love.  Even the couple that just now sat at the table in front of me stare into each other’s eyes as they touch hands across the table and laugh.  I’m smiling again…

Why is it that some are so in love that the world shrinks until there are only two hearts – aflame, together, joyously happy – while others seem dead to the romance that is unarguably Paris?  Why is it that my own story finds me here alone in the City of Lights, just three weeks ago ending a relationship with Jill: lovely, loving, incredibly  nurturing, sweet, and understanding Jill.  How can one learn to know the difference between a relationship that is good and one mere words are powerless to describe?  From whence comes faith to know that there is a superlative match, a extraordinary relationship for me…..and for you?

As a warm shower begins to patter upon the cobblestone road, without a doubt, I absolutely know that she exists and that we will find each other soon…..and by the time your eyes peer upon the last word of this book, I know that you will feel the same!

How prophetic that was!

Click here for Episode 3: The Profile Works – Perfectly


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