The mean streets of Paris.

Sale season in ParisLast week Paris was a bitterly cold and unwelcoming place. But I didn’t let that slow me down, no sir! It’s SOLDES season! It was my expatriated duty to brave the mean streets for the annual January sales, because hey, they’re a cultural tradition. And indeed, I was happily elbowing my way through the deal-hunting crowds, right until I stepped into Sephora.

Maybe I was high on the fumes of French consumerism, because I swore I’d never return to that international beauty emporium after one of their perfume sprayers verbally assaulted me during a pre-Christmas visit (another story darlings, for another time). But I forged ahead, in desperate need of mascara. While there, I opened a pot of concealer (that was already open, dammit!) and was subsequently accused of trying to steal it. I think. I know there was definitely angry French being hurled in my direction, and I was forced to buy the stupid pre-opened makeup. But for all I know, they could have just been exceptionally horrified by the bags under my eyes. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m currently listed as public enemy #1 with the French police.

Which is funny, because the next day my freshly concealed under-eye circles and I were the victims of a real crime. Yes, despite many hysterical warnings about “theiving gypsies,” I got pick-pocketed on the metro. By a 7 year old. He pushed into me on a crowded train, looking panicked. I was about to ask him if he was lost, and then I was going to say wait-uh-minute you just took my wallet didn’t you, but by then of course it was too late, he was slipping out the doors just as they closed. It all happened in maybe 2.5 seconds.

Sans concealer!

I considered yelling for the police. But what was I going to say? Yes monsieur, a very small child in an orange puffy coat absconded with my wallet before I could even think of the word for thief in French.

Seriously. What kind of world do we live in where a kid can rob you blind right in front of your (baggy, but well covered) eyes?! I prefer American criminals thank you, they’re much more straightforward about their business.

Quel dommage. I am now wallet-less. Euro-less. DC Drivers license-less. I’m also deeply saddened knowing that poor little guy is being forced to rob people instead of getting any kind of a fair shot at life. So if I ever see him again, I’ve devised the perfect plan for retribution: First, I will get him off the streets. I will find him a loving and stable family to live with. I will make sure he’s enrolled in school.

Then for a little taste of some harsh American-style justice, he’ll be required to make all trips to Sephora for me and wait in line at the DMV for my new drivers license. And if that won’t turn someone off a life of crime, I don’t know what will.


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  1. Kimberly Willson

    Mon Dieu! Your adventures will put Dumas to rest at last! Good work. I look forward to reading more about the life you are leading now….

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