I was not in a good mood this morning. It normally takes me 20 minutes by bus to get to the metro station, where I hop on Line 1 and have three stops until I get to work. This morning, though, there was more traffic than usual, so the 20 minutes turned into 45. It was hot and crowded and I couldn't open the window. I hadn't eaten breakfast because we were out of yogurt, so in addition to everything else, I was also hungry.
Hungry, hot, late & cranky.
I finally arrived, stopped to buy an apple and a croissant, and was stomping my way to the building where I work when someone tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I turned around to face a man in his late forties, a smile on his face.
'Bonjour,' he said.
'Bonjour,' I replied a little impatiently. I was already horribly late.
'May I give you a compliment?' he asked.
I love this type of gallantry times a million - asking permission to give a compliment. While you're at it, could you throw your coat over that puddle so I don't get my feet wet?
'Go right ahead,' I answered with a smile. 'It's always nice to start the day with a compliment.'
'You are simply exquisite. You have so much allure - even from far away - I noticed you immediately. You really are beautiful. I don't ask that you leave your boyfriend or husband or children, but simply put, may I see you again?'
I laughed. 'Thank you for the compliment. It's always nice to get one. But, no.'
He actually looked surprised. 'So I can't see you again?'
'No,' I said firmly but with a smile.
He looked around, a little confused, 'This is not how I pictured the scenario in my head.'
'C'est la vie,' I shrugged.
'In any case, I wish you a very good day,' he said, bowing slightly and stepping away backwards, as if he were addressing the Queen.
'And a good day to you,' I replied.
Suddenly, a day that started out frustrating and crappy turned into 'The sun is out, and I'm alluring!'
God, I love this place.