Simply Solo Spotlight: Getting Dumped in Paris
Getting Dumped in Paris
I have always been someone who was tough when it came to relationships and even tougher when it came to break-ups. I accepted them as a fact of life and never believed in the fantasy of forever. My parents divorced before I learned how to tie my shoes and I was well-aware of my awful former stepfather’s infidelities. Did this destroy my idea of love? I would like to think not. I know that I didn’t enter my adult life with the idea of happily ever after. Ironically this cynic moved to Paris; the most romantic city in the world.
I moved to The City of Light by myself in early 2009, at first as a sabbatical which then turned into me planting down some serious roots as I grew into my adult life and kissed my frivolous 20s goodbye. I found a job, made some friends, found an apartment and fell in love – head over heels in love. Monsieur Flâneur and I met several months after my wide-eyed and bushy-tailed arrival at the Charles de Gaulle airport, and for the first time in my life, I experienced kismet.
Within a matter of weeks, I had infiltrated his life where weekends were spent with his family in the suburbs or at cocktail parties at chic Parisian apartments with his friends. After several months, I moved in with him in the bohemian part of Paris and we were so sure that we were made for one another that we planned to marry in early 2012. Little by little, our perfect love story unraveled and became increasingly unbearable. This was due to his inability to honor commitments, specifically in regard to other people’s time, as well as his lack of problem solving skills where the slightest hiccup would turn into a three-part dramatic mini-series made for television. I was constantly warned by his family that he was notoriously difficult, and they praised me for being able to handle his intensity and selfishness. Life together was difficult, but I didn’t have the strength to end things because I loved him
and figured that we could weather whatever storm was currently dominating our relationship. When he ended things on a cold, rainy February night, the person who I was irrationally angry with was not my Monsieur Flâneur but Grégoire, my former French teacher. I was angry with him because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have understood the hurtful words that were being said to me. Having your heart broken in French was not exactly what I had in mind when I enrolled in language classes three years ago.
Like my mother, I dated my share of colorful gentlemen who came and thankfully went and was frustrated because I wasn’t moving on at the speed that I had in the past. There was Adam, the filmmaker in L.A. who grew impatient with me because I didn’t immediately recognize his pretentious and obscure film references and who thought that an enjoyable date for me was to watch him “make music” on his Casio keyboard. He broke up with me because he found my Christina Aguilera Back to Basics double CD. Then there was James the “grad student” in New York who overall was a nice guy but did stupid things that I excused for what I thought was his inexperience with women. He broke up with me because he couldn’t live with the lie he as living – he was only 18 years old and was actually a freshman in undergrad. I was 27 at the time. Then there was Lucien, the pseudo-intellectual in Paris who used to hold food that I was about to eat up against my thigh to demonstrate where it would go next and was under the misguided belief that when I had my period, it meant that I was open to having anal sex in place of intercourse. He broke up with me because he thought I wasn’t skinny or adventurous enough. All these break-ups left me disappointed, but not crushed, and eventually thankful that these losers left my life. I was desperately waiting for this epiphany to come in regard to Monsieur Flâneur, but our unexpected ending left me emotionally paralyzed.
The weeks after the break-up went by like molasses where his absence was deafening. In a matter of weeks, my French dream turned into a Parisian nightmare. This sudden change in scenery put me into a deep depression and I didn’t know how to pull myself out of it. I started a blog as a way to vent and try to make sense of the madness that had ensued. Instead of focusing on my grief, I began highlighting one positive thing I could do per day to improve and learn from this misfortune. While I’d like to say that everything changed and my life was better than ever after 30 days, I can’t because I don’t live in a Nora Ephron Rom-Com. What I can say is that during this time of isolation, I learned a lot about myself, as well as experienced a plethora of challenging situations turning my blog into a series of tragically comedic episodes and short stories.
Life kicked my ass this year but I believe that everything happens the way they are supposed to and just living with my ex-fiancé in Paris wasn’t enough, my life expected more from me. As a result of the break-up, I was being forced to learn, experience, suffer and overcome. Has this year been difficult? Absolutely. Do I wish that the break-up never happened? I’m finally in a place where I can see that it was necessary for personal growth. I would not be who I am today without these hardships; a survivor who can persevere after being dealt a shitty deck of cards and know that laughter is the best medicine for a broken heart.
Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.