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years ago that I went on my first date with a French girl.

She was from Brittany and thus had one of those terribly sexy accents that American tourists are always trying to imitate (“Eet woood be a plezzure to join yoo for deener”).

Yet, even in the most beautiful city in the world, during the most beautiful time of year, romance does not always come easily. And why in God’s name would the waiter be telling us this? We threw our gelato away, too cold to eat on this Eskimo-style date.

Checking the weather before leaving my apartment wouldn’t have been the worst idea either.

So we sat down on the stone quays with no conversation and an odd meal behind us. “I’m pretty tired.” Then she confirmed that this had been my worst date ever: She vomited. Helping her into a taxicab, I figured I’d never see her again.

The intrinsic romance of the sparkling city now mocked us as we sat in silence. Well, I thought to myself, your first French date may not have been terribly romantic, but put it behind you, perhaps the next one will be better.

But just as I was finishing my internal pep talk, she asked, “Would you like to come to the theater with me tomorrow? I have an extra seat, and I would love to see you again.” Excuse me? This gorgeous girl from Brittany who was taken to a terrible restaurant that gave her food poisoning then had to walk through the cold making dull conversation wants to see me — the idiot who orchestrated it all — again?

“Ummm…I’ll text you.” “Okay,” she smiled, before driving away. It would’ve been too cruelly awkward, but these kinds of surprises, in which I find myself on entirely different wavelengths with French women, aren’t actually that unusual.

Often though, it’s the other way around, where I’m the one who thinks the evening went well when my date probably wished to never to see me again.

Take, for instance, the time I went to Frenchie Bar à Vins with a girl from Paris.

I had a pleasant time, but after two unanswered calls and a text, I never heard from her again.

Or how about that time I went out to a girl’s cottage in Normandy only to find out that she wanted our relationship to be just “a weekend thing”?

I’m not one to complain about hanging with a hottie in the French countryside, but how could I have misunderstood so many dates?

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