There I was, scampering up to the post office just under closing time, boxes and books eye-high to mail. I rest the packages on the middle island to rest my weary biceps and there he was–wearing a preppy red, white and blue striped collared shirt, jeans with a belt and loafers. He was slim and tall.
He was standing under the west-facing window of the building, where the evening sun blazed down on him, and he fanned himself with the fistful of envelopes.
One look at this guy and I knew he wasn’t from Temecula.
I must have looked odd too, holding all those packages, because he glanced at me and I caught a look at his face–brown eyes with long, almost girlish lashes, neatly cut brown hair that looked…soft., square jaw, wide smile and full lips.
He mumbled something about me having a lot of packages, and that’s when I detected the accent. Not wanting to guess in error, I asked, “Where are you from?”
He paused, and looked at me like I asked a question I should have already known. “I’m from France,” he said.
“Oh yes! I thought that was the accent I heard but I wasn’t sure. You don’t hear many French accents in Temecula.” Then I thought…wait…Abbott Laboratories, the big pharma in town is French owned, so I put it together–he must have been here for work.
He turned around to check why the line wasn’t moving after five agonizing minutes, fanned himself, then turned back to me. He tells me that he’s from a city near Paris.
“So, what do you think of our little town?”
“I feel out of place here.”
WELL DUH!! I thought, but didn’t say. “Yes, mostly families here in Temecula, so single people stick out I guess. But everyone is usually very nice. Maybe New York City is more your speed?”
He nods thoughtfully, rubs his chin.
Finally it’s his turn to be greeted by the robotic mail carrier, then it was mine, and I was standing next to the service window next to his. I’m busily trying to figure out how I can put these packages on the cheapest slow boat to China and The Frenchman, in his thick accent, whispers in my ear and passes me a note. “Here’s is my number…just in case.” Meanwhile, the middle-aged horn-rimmed postal worker raised her eyebrows a bit at the action that frankly, left me speechless. The Frenchman rushed away before I had a chance to tell him I’m an old married lady, because he must not have spotted the .5 carats on my left hand, what with all the boxes I was carrying, so I’ll give him a pass. Although I hear the French can be notorious adulterers. I gave his number to the mail lady and went on my way, but I couldn’t help but have a self-satisfied smile.
When I got into the car on my way to doing mommy duty, I thought to myself, there’s a whole continent of men just like The Frenchman, who pass pretty black women their telephone numbers “just in case.” It also goes to show that it’s probably a good idea to comb your hair and shower before you leave the house, because you never know when you might catch the attention of a handsome European man living smack in the middle of suburbia.
Ladies, time to get a passport.