The third date took place on an island called Panarea. It was a place I had never heard of before and that I would never forget after.
We had met at a dinner in an old time favorite called Chez George (1 Rue du mail, 75002). It’s the kind of no-bullshit French restaurant with loads of butter and cream. The place was crowded, next to us sat all the money and diamonds in Paris – Mister Calud with one of his mistresses. That night one of my favorite clichés of Paris was proven to be true: In this city you never know with whom you’re sharing tonight’s dinner table.
The day had started particulary early. Together with a friend I had a job just outside Paris. As soon as the job was done my friend turned to me and said: “Whatever you’re doing tonight, cancel it. I have found the perfect man for you. No escaping, the table is already booked.” As I was in my ‘Men are all the same’ and my ‘They are not for me’ phase, she had to insist quite strongly, ending up promising me that she hadn’t played the same trick on him (I have found the perfect girl for you).
Which of course she had.
I was a bit weary when I was about to leave home to find my friend, her beau and my perfect man waiting for me at the restaurant’s door. I had been perfectly okay with my messy hair and modest touches of make-up over the last months but now that I was going to meet my perfect man, my looks didn’t really make the grade anymore.
Four outfits later I was running late.
The dinner and the guy turned out surprisingly nice. When the evening came to an end he gave me his number. Better said, he added his number to my contacts. The Sunday after, while strolling around the puces of Saint-Ouen, I hesitated to send him a text. I had started writing one, deleted it, writing another one, deleting it again, etc. Finally I decided for something simple and direct: “Puces?” And immediately regretted it because me texting him clearly implied that I wanted to see him again. So much for my I-don’t-need-anyone-image that I had grown into.
Fortunately he replied soon after and my regret made place for joy. He asked if I was free that night and suggested to take me to the fun fair at the Tuileries to shoot some ducks. It was summer, the days lasted long and all I longed for was that they would last even longer. So, off we went to shoot some plastic ducks.
Finally he dropped me home around 3AM. We had been talking non stop and ended up eating hamburgers at this famous place close to Mabillon in Saint Germain that still serves food after midnight and who’s name I forgot. He didn’t kiss me but he did ask me for my date of birth.
Five weeks later I received a flight ticket in my mailbox. Up until the last morning before leaving, I couldn’t make up my mind. I had spent a week on a mental battlefield in between Are you crazy, of course you’re going and Are you crazy, of course you’re not going. So I went and the island and his friends and the house and the food were as amazing as it was to find each other back on the airport in Rome after five weeks and only 2 dates of talking and shooting ducks. After one more flight, a very strange taxi drive, and a 2 hour boat ride we finally arrived in a far away paradise called Panarea.
Without exaggeration it’s the best place I have ever been to.
But Paris ain’t Hollywood and after the best third date ever, Paris decided differently for us. Which is actually quite worrying because who is ever going to top this date?