I fell in love in Paris. Cliche, yes, but also very true.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit France for a World Federation of Hemophilia conference they were having there. Every two years, the WFH holds an international congress, and that year it fell in Paris.
I didn’t know what to expect from Paris or the meeting. The latter was a bit disappointing, not because the WFH does a poor job of putting together a meeting, far from it. Their congress is probably one of the best in the world that provides some of the most useful information out there. And that’s what the problem for me was. I’m just a layman and this was designed for medical professionals. Which it should be. The greatest and smartest minds in the world of bleeding disorders get together and share their ideas.
The good takeaway from the meeting was the several activities they had. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people from around the world involved with hemophilia. So even though the congress wasn’t directed towards someone like me, I still had the chance to reap the amazing reward of meeting folks from all corners of the world.
Is this where I met my love in Paris? No. I met her in the streets of Paris.
I met her at the Louvre.
I met her next to the river Seine.
Don’t worry, this isn’t some analogy for falling in love with a city or a place. I genuinely fell in love with a woman there. I’ll explain.
Back home, in Phoenix, I was seeing this girl. We had a lot in common yet were as different as night and day. We loved to read and think. Our conversations flowed because it was like talking to someone you’ve know your whole life who knows you better than you. Yet our differences were pronounced too. Not just our ethnicities, she was white, but she was very feminine where I could be brash. We were the perfect mix of commonalities and differences. There was only one problem. Me.
I took her for granted. Something I have done previously with other women. I knew I had her so I didn’t try to have her.
When I was in Paris, I met amazing people, women too. But my mind kept going back to Phoenix, going back to her.
I thought about how only she would appreciate the sights and sounds that I was witnessing. Sure, everyone loves the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, but she would’ve loved the history and all the backend stuff that only bookish people like us would be interested in. And that’s when I realized, in Paris, away from her, that I loved her.
When I returned home I waited a few days, trying to play it cool. I sent her a message and it took awhile for her to get back to me. After a day or so, she got back to me and told me we needed to talk.
We couldn’t see each other anymore, she informed me.
You see, I was the other man. She was dating a wonderful guy. Seriously, everything I heard about the guy just showed me how great he was. Her and I just met and hit it off too well.
But she finally told me that she had come to grips with the fact that what she was doing was wrong. That the guy she was officially seeing was great. She didn’t say it was easy, but I’m sure it wasn’t that hard either.
I understood. Should I have fought for her? I don’t know, I still don’t. I never was or planned to be a home wrecker. It was just that this woman and I happened to meet at the wrong time, that’s really it.
I could have had her when I was in Phoenix, before I left, but I decided not to. When I came home and was ready to take her, she was gone.
I fell in love in Paris. Too bad I didn’t earlier.