Just in time for Valentine's Day, I have a secret admirer.
Yesterday I came home from the market with my fish to find this note stuck on the fence outside our building:
As the only anglophone I know of in the building (well, except for Karen, but we'll ignore that for the moment), there's no question that this note was intended for me. I'm very lovable.
What is in question, though, is who it's from. The gardienne, her sneers perhaps just desperate cover of her longing? Our landlord the disco queen, who has willfully displayed her thong while fixing our toilet? One of the old ladies I get items off the top shelves for in the grocery store? Madame Gantier, who has been saving the darkest kouign amanns for me after my bike rides? The leash-yanker? Maybe a peeping-Thérèse from across the street or across the courtyard? So many alluring possibilities.
If she's been stalking me attentively, the sign might well be followed on Valentine's Day by a bottle of wine, some salted butter caramels, a fresh fish, or a fender for my bike. But with my luck, it's just as likely to be a dead rat under my pillow. Yecch.
It's probably best for everyone involved that I put an end to it before it gets serious. So I'm skipping town before dawn on Valentine's Day for a week in Italy, a solution that has a reasonable chance of creating as many problems at home as it fixes. Hopefully, though, since nothing says "I love you" like a few pounds of cured pork, those problems can be solved by returning with a full load of guanciale.
And just in case it doesn't, Funny Girl and I shared a sumptuous Valentine's Day eve afternoon indulging in chocolat chaud, pastries, chocolates, caramels, and pâte fruits together at Jacques Genin's luxurious salon, wallowing in a little of that fabled romance in Paris. We hope everybody else is finding a way to do the same, wherever they are.
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