First, let me clarify. It was a dream.
But who expects Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps joining them in Paris in their… well, dreams?
No, it wasn’t a nightmare. On the contrary. It was, quite simply, yours truly trolling and strolling through some of my favorite haunts in my most favorite place on the planet.
Why I was there with Ramona and the Countess, I couldn’t possibly say. But I am compelled to remark that the former was in an amiable frame of mind, while the latter, believe it or not, was zipping around the City of Light on a Vespa. Yes, a Vespa.
Could this have been top of mind because earlier in the day I had been watching John Oliver’s François Hollande schtick, and what schtuck was Monsieur le Président on his motorbike?
Whatever the reason – suffice it to say that both ladies were marvelous company, much to my surprise. There was no sniping, no catty competition, and while Ramona was insistent that she not ride on the back of LuAnn’s bike – it’s a hair thing – she was otherwise almost docile!
Meanwhile, I was walking through winding little streets on my own for a time, both the Left and Right Banks. Then I met up with Ramona, and we stopped in one boutique where the real treasures were to be found up one flight of stairs. Apparently, so were some musical instruments that I was to pick up and deliver to someone outside of the city. I am uncertain of their eventual destination, and I have no clue what the instruments were, nor why I was charged with such an odd task.
When I knocked on the door to retrieve the instruments, Ramona and I were greeted warmly by a smartly decked-out “woman of a certain age,” who seemed to know me.
“Ah!” she said with a smile, and then rattled off a stream of French about how long it had been and how thrilled she was to see me. I replied – en français, naturellement – did a quick translation for Ramona, and she, blinking effusively, extended her hand politely and said “Enchantée.”
The French woman reminded me that I once leased the space on the ground floor, where I managed a successful hair salon. Go figure! And by the way, was I looking to occupy the space again? If so – whatever my business venture – she thought it could be arranged.
Who knew? Is Paris in my future?
Dreams being what they are, the instruments were forgotten and we bid our farewells. Ramona and I decided to wander our way down rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – designer heaven – and then she said she had nowhere to stay for the night. I told her she was welcome to share my hotel room – far more modest than she was accustomed to – and when we arrived, she tossed her bag on one of the twin beds, commented on how pretty the toile cover was, and there were no complaints about the simplicity of the accommodation.
Again, to my surprise.
With no cameras around (and I was checking), Ramona couldn’t have been more agreeable.
She was, however, concerned with the whereabouts of the Countess.
“Where’s LuAnn?” she wanted to know.
“Let’s look out the window,” I said.
What do you know. We see her taking off through Paris on that Vespa. (Don’t you love the superpowers in dreams?) And then I see her racing through a field outside the city, wind blowing in her hair, and a smile on her face.
Now, not to mess with a good thing… LuAnn, however briefly we had seen her, was in a grand mood. Glowing really. Was she off for an assignation now that she and Jacques had split up? (If so, good for her!) And Mrs. Singer was as sweet as a newborn kitten, so I dared to take the two of us back outside into a sultry summer night (hoping there would be no celebrity missteps and that she wouldn’t be recognized).
Much to my relief, my bubbly blonde companion was appreciative of having a tour guide, and we flirted our way through a number of cafés in one of my favorite Parisian neighborhoods. I have a vague notion of a little spice in the air and a particular dream boat I’ve never seen before, who caught both Ramona’s eye and mine. And again, I noted how different she was without the glare of the television cameras – never crossing the line of impropriety.
Is there a message in any of this?
Oh, not really. This is hardly the first time I’ve conjured Paris for a night, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. It’s a dream, it was fun, I woke feeling as if I’d just returned from a mini-vacation. Yet perhaps the conclusions to be had (if there must be some) are these.
We do not know how “lights, camera, action” can (and does) change us.
We never know what a person is like until we spend time with them… including on a foreign get-away.
And as Audrey Hepburn might say (in Sabrina)… Paris is always a good idea.
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