After three months of texts and FaceTime calls, the day had finally arrived! It was finally time to meet French Charming face to face! He even arrived on a white stallion….okay it was an Airbus 330, but it was still white! That counts, right? And, come on, the guy flew across an ocean for a first date…he gets a little extra credit for that one don’t you think?
We had still been waffling over exactly how we should meet up until the time his plane took off from France. He would be arriving late afternoon. Too early for dinner. We could meet somewhere near the galleria for a drink. In the end though, we agreed to stick to the plan and meet in the hotel lobby. We could have a drink at their bar and then go to dinner if all went well with the meeting.
I was a nervous wreck! I had tried on maybe ten different outfits the night before. I wanted to look perfect for our first meeting. I didn’t want to look too trashy, but not too uptight. I wanted to look classy and sexy at the same time. Just when you think you’ve got the perfect outfit, the shoes can be a game changer! Then there are the accessories. What jewelry says “hi, I’m happy to meet you” without saying “woohoo let’s go party” or “I work in a library”? Should I take a designer bag? Does that send some kind of message? A good one or bad one? I have never thought so much about what to wear in my life! I finally decided on a simple black cotton dress. The type that can go from the office with a jacket and flats to dinner with some bigger jewelry and heels.
I worked that day and I was constantly checking the time, counting the hours until I could leave work. I had his flight on a flight tracker so I could see at any time how much longer until his plane landed. Of course, he would have to go through immigration with the crew and take the shuttle to the hotel. He had time to shower and change out of his uniform into fresh clothes and I had time to get rid of my pajama-like scrubs and the hospital smell that I’m so immune to.
The hotel wasn’t too far away, maybe a 20 minute drive in decent traffic. I think I was shaking and hyperventilating the entire drive. As I parked in the garage, I sent him a text that I was arriving at the hotel. He texted back that he was waiting in the middle of the lobby near a short set of stairs. I had come in the back entrance for all the reception halls. This place was huge!!! Grand ballrooms were on both sides of the long hallway.
As I came around the corner I passed a restaurant and then I saw him. His back was to me as he was looking out the front floor to ceiling windows. He had expected me to valet park. He was standing at the bottom of the short staircase he mentioned, leaning on the rail. I recognized his stature and dark hair. I hadn’t even seen his face yet but my heart was racing. I started down the few stairs and he turned just as I was approaching him.
We said nothing. There was no “Hi!” or “At last we meet” or “There you are!” or “Hello, nice to meet you”. There was no handshake or la bises as the French do. Our eyes met, we both smiled, and then we kissed! It was an automatic response from both of us! We kissed in the middle of a very large and very crowded hotel lobby, on a small set of stairs, between a restaurant, a bar, a Starbucks, and a deli…..but all of that disappeared!! The world disappeared. There were no sounds, no smells, no visual cues as the world around me had been replaced with nothingness. It was like a sci-fi movie such as the matrix, when the characters are suddenly in some state of existence without any other thing around them. There was nothing but the sensation of that kiss at that moment in time, which seemed to stand still. It was the most amazing first kiss!!
Okay, I always thought those stories, movies, fairytales about magical kisses were just a bunch of hooey (that’s a southern term). It’s real!!!! Those magical kisses exist!! Even for a divorced woman over 40! How could a first kiss like that ever get any better??? All of my years of being a hopeless romantic, disappointed over and over again without losing faith had finally paid off!!
I might as well have been wearing a giant sparkly ball gown with glittery glass slippers and a jeweled tiara on my head because I felt like a princess who had just met Prince “French” Charming and had just experienced my last (hopefully) “first kiss”.
Stay tuned next week to find out what happened after “the kiss”…….