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Online Rendevous

Love Story


by Laurel Avery

Having felt
like I had dated every man in the United States, I thought I would
give France a try. Hey, they’re charming, handsome, and they speak
French, which sounds erotic even when they are ordering a sandwich.
Trying to keep images of Pepe le Pew out of my mind, I thought I
would do a little advance research before my move to Paris and check
out a couple of online dating sites to see if there were any interesting
French men available.

Now, as a woman,
it’s not difficult to find French men who would be more than happy
to show me the “special” sites of Paris. I had been there
over a dozen times before, and while I have not traveled to every
country on the planet, I can vouch for the fact that a little trip
to France is enough to restore any woman’s sense of being attractive.

French men
just LOVE women. All women. Tall, short, thin, voluptuous, young,
old, it doesn’t matter. And, contrary to popular belief, they are
not all philanderers. The results of a 2001 Franco-American research
project revealed that 52 percent of American men have had a sexual
partner outside of marriage, while only 31 percent of their French
counterparts have.

So I entered
my criteria into the dating site’s search engine (male, 35-47, located
in Paris) and hit the “go” button. I was assailed with
pages of men of all shapes and ethnicities. Some of these guys looked
like they had just been sprung from prison (or were on their way
there). Others looked way too serious for their own good. I still
can’t figure out why the French think that looking like you have
a stick up your butt is chic. But the most off-putting ads featured
guys wearing speedos. Now I like looking at guys as much as the
next girl, but there are some things I would like to find
out after we’ve had our first date.

Then there
was one guy who looked sweet and down to earth. Just my type! It
turned out he was an American writer living in Paris. While I had
planned on looking for a French man, I find anyone who has a way
with words extremely attractive, so I figured I would give this
guy a chance. So we corresponded for a couple of months while I
was busy packing up my life in the States. His e-mails were intelligent,
funny, and sexy. Everything I wanted in a man.

Then I met
him. After spending a couple of hours together I was not sure this
was really the same guy. The man who wrote all those warm, sometimes
erotic letters, had been replaced by a man who was somewhat distant,
who really didn’t like Paris very much (how is that possible?),
who reminded me in an odd way of my father. Eek! So much for American
guys, even if they do live in Paris!

Going back
to square one, I found this French man, living in Paris who actually
had the ability to write a fairly intelligent English sentence.
This was good, as my French was still atrocious. A few days after
my arrival in France, he met me at one of his favorite bistros,
flowers in hand, and despite having a tendency to pout as only the
French can, was able to
smile beautifully every now and then. And so my love life in France

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