Sunday, October 19, 2014

Social Savoir-Faire

I have been remiss in my posts of late, tottering around Paris trying to get my schedule in order and my life under way! As with any big city, the day-to-day management of even the simplest things can seem vastly overwhelming when the new season gets underway. School has started, students are accumulating, finances are ever-inconsistent, and creative endeavors hover in the periphery like fairy-winged promises tempting you to action but still just a bit too far from grasp. And of course, amidst it all is the desire to see friends, have fun, and relish in a fulfilling social life.

This weekend was particularly busy and particularly interesting. It began on Thursday night when what I thought was a long-awaited date with a seemingly worthy Scotsman turned into a bitter taste of momentary humiliation. Let's just say that while he did come to my neck of the woods, we split the check, and less than two hours later I was walking up the stairs to my apartment with a giant question mark hanging over my head. I think I may have actually turned into a cartoon character who has the ability to conjure visible punctuation marks due to how baffled I was. For the sake of argument, let's say this one was hot pink and ginormous. These are the moments when you realize your social know-how is not nearly as developed as you had previously thought. Yes, he and I had made out several previous times, yes I wasn't completely delusional in my assumptions, but still...  Lesson learned? Do not assume you are going on a date unless the man in question has made the primary effort (I am tragically a notoriously impatient effort-maker) and in fact actually used the word date. So be it, so says the Lord, done and done...

Friday night was therefore meant to help me escape from puzzling paradox and drown my sorrows in girl talk and wine. I met one of my British friends at a sushi restaurant she had raved to me about in past and it really was a delicious antidote to my cares. The place specializes in slightly less traditional fare, so one of our sushi choices had fried chicken in the center and another was layered with pieces of barbecued pork... Yummmmz... We met a second friend for a couple of drinks after dinner and I will say that, while I don't recall drinking an obscene amount, sushi is not the best base for lots of wine. All's well that ends well, but the next morning I admittedly had a bit of a headache...

And so off for round three! Saturday night I made plans with one of my oldest friends here, a French girl I met my first time in Paris three years ago. We decided to barhop around various places that she had connections or parties she wanted to make an appearance at. We started off at an Irish pub in Saint-Michel then headed to a bar near Champs Elysées and ended up at a quirky venue up by Pigalle. Between the bars we did a lot of walking, since the weather has been in the 70s despite it being mid-October. The benefit to going places you know bartenders of course is that you get some free drinks, which can really help out the pocket book. 

In the end, no matter if you're in Paris, NYC, London, or any other city under the sun, the social scene can always seem a mixed bag. Barhopping, birthdays, nights out with the ladies, dates that go well or dates that fail miserably, a weekend as a single gal is a variety of social surprises. The trick, of course, is to keep the confidence blooming and enjoy the effervescent ups and downs.

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