Day 171: Meet the Parents. Part Deux.

I have never had a meet the parents story quite like this before in my life. God bless the French. It's moments like these that I love being a foreigner.

Before heading to the Loire, we stopped at Aurélien's father and stepmother's home for Friday night dinner and to pick up the car before heading out on our 3-hour drive on Saturday morning. This would be my first time meeting his dad whom Aurélien has told me he is closer to than his mother whom I already met in September. I was nervous. It's always more pressure meeting the closer parent.

Having done the 'meet the parents' thing here in France several times, I was ready to answer questions about American healthcare, my opinion of the Obama administration and what my plans in France are. Current events and politics from my American point of view have always been common points of interest when meeting the parents here. At work, before heading to Gare de Lyon to meet Aurélien, I brushed up on my answers and armed myself with some juicy and insightful answers.

Gilles picked us up at the station at Fountainbleau and something told me that everything was going to work out just fine. Papa Aurélien was leaning against his convertible Renault wearing tight black jeans, a leather jacket, smoking a cigarette with rock music blasting from the car. He introduced himself and was immediately warm and welcoming making me feel comfortable as he grabbed my bags to put in the trunk.

After a 10 minute drive through the little village, we pulled up the driveway to their quaint stone house that was covered with vines in fiery autumn shades of gold and red. Aurélien's step-mother Françoise opened the door wearing black leather go-go boots, textured tights, a fitted black sweater dress cinched at the waist with an elastic belt that had a leather heart closure. The black of her ensemble contrasted her amber red hair reminding me of a fabulous French Peggy Bundy. "Hello!" she said with a smile and an American-style extended hand, "How are you?" Appreciating that she wanted to greet me in my language, I resisted my new instinct to go in for the double kiss and awkwardly shook her hand. "I'm well, thank you. And yourself?" I said, absolutely charmed and delighted by her effort. Gilles shuffled by with our bags, "Françoise has been trying to find hip American expressions all day and this is all she could find!" he said with a huff as he was trying to balance our heavy bags on his shoulder. I assured them both that they need not speak English but to beware of the whoppers that I was sure to make at some point during the evening in French.

After offering them the bottle of champagne that I picked up at Nicolas on my lunch break to thank them for having us for the night, I was given the tour. What was ahead of me, no one could have predicted.

The main living room where we were having our apéro was shabby chic with quilted throw pillows, sheer curtains, unfinished wood tables and navy blue étoile print covered couches. Through the living room was a laundry room that was converted into a bar with rustic shelves stocked with vintage champagne coups, flutes, highball and shot glasses, martini glasses, shakers, stirrers and all the accouterment for a functioning bar. The kitchen was typical French country in shades of cream, deep red complimenting the dark oak wood finishing. Françoise had a room of books, teddy bears and jewelry while Gilles' room had wall to wall DVD's (categorized in alphabetical order), vintage vinyl and rock concert posters. The rocker girl and girly girl in me identified with both rooms.

We continued on to their bedroom that had sexy nude photos of Françoise wearing nothing but lace masks and pearls posing in 'playful' positions. Oh, my. I tried my best to not look at the pink elephant in this small room where my eyes met Aurélien's who looked at me with concern. I squeezed his hand to assure him that I wasn't shocked and in truth, I wasn't, I myself was hardly raised in a typical home. Were there nudie photos of my mother in our house? No. But some would find the fact that she used to garden in crochet bikinis and work boots a bit bizarre. 

Through the bedroom, we were lead to the costume room that had a Marie Antoinette costume displayed on a dress form, pirate puffy shirts, Jesus costumes, wigs, capes, sunglasses, make-up, a working jukebox stocked with all of Gilles' favorite picks and why not? A stripper's pole. Now I was positive that questions about the upcoming presidential election were not going to come up in conversation. Anytime soon. Thank God.

Gilles prepared an offering of handmade Indian samosas, curry birdsnests, poulet tikki masala, tandori lamb and homemade nan that we enjoyed while listening to his iPod mix of Brit Pop, 90's grunge and the newest Indie Rock that I'm sure is not even played on Nova yet. I asked Françoise if she cooked and she said that she puts out the cocktail peanuts and toasts bread. Super! We clinked our champagne glasses to that. During dinner, we talked about everything but politics, visas and the future and while I can hold my own in these topics, after a trek in from the city after a day at work where everyone was in such a terrible mood, it was nice to keep things light.

After several glasses of champagne, wine, an after dinner cocktail and mini dance party to Gilles' NRJ 2011 Mix CD, we were wiped out and had to retire early before our drive in the morning. While Françoise was giving the tour earlier, Gilles had quietly brought our bags into the spare room that apparently was saved for us to see later. 

These are just some things that were set out in our room with a bed that was sprinkled with silver metallic heart-shaped pillows under a pink feather canopy.

After the shock of our love den wore off, we hit the hay to recharge for our drive. Being used to nights in Paris where there is always the sound of a scooter zipping by and the shadow of the street lights that tint the room with a hue of blue, the complete silence and pitch black darkness on Halloween weekend in the country gave me the chills and falling asleep took longer than it should have. Aurélien, on the other hand, was out within 10 minutes.

The following morning before getting into the shower, Gilles had stopped me in the hallway while holding a pot of coffee and asked me if I liked dance music and Jennifer Lopez. Given the setting, time of day and coffee pot in hand, this was not the question I was expecting but I responded with a yes and yes. He nodded his head in approval and padded back towards the kitchen. Ok. Several minutes after soaping up in the shower, steam shot out from a jet above my head, disco lights flashed from circles that I thought were just an aesthetic detail in the tiling, strobes began flickering and a disco ball started turning giving the room a spectrum of polka dots to the surround-sound beat of French dance music followed by J.Lo's Singles Remix album. I was in Studio 54. Naked. In 2001. Showering will never be the same. If my next apartment doesn't come with a damn disco shower, a conversation will be had.

Our evening with Aurélien's family was special, extraordinary, génial! I have never fallen in love with parents on the first visit (un coup de foudre!) and I have the impression that the feelings are mutual. Gilles sent Aurélien a text while we were driving up to Langeais that said: "Ella est ravissante, pétillante, sémillante, charmante et jolie. On pense que t'as trouve une bonne femme!" He showed me the text which made me blush. His response to his father was a simple and calm 'I know'. It has been a long time since I have received a testimonial that kind and it's been a long time since I have been with someone who appreciates and notices my good qualities and effervescent spirit without trying to break me down for not being skinny enough, successful enough, supportive enough, smart enough, artsy enough, whatever 'enough'. Damn, I've dated some real jerks. Putain...

Stay tuned for our magical weekend in Loire!


  1. Awesome! I probably would have been all awkward in that situation though... And does he know something about JLo's showering habits that I don't?

    Thanks for the link by the way :)

  2. Gwan - I wasn't naughty enough for Keith this week! And you got a try harder next week! LOL! We're getting soft on him!

    And thank you for the link too! I'm so glad I discovered you!

  3. This post was AMAZING. Go-go boots? Love den? Disco shower? Absolutely brilliant. Thanks for sharing and making my day!

  4. Thank you Meg!! It was quite an experience, my head was going to explode from over stimulation! I love, love, love his parents!!!

    ..and am glad I entertained you! Ps- love your pjs!

    : )

  5. Wow! I NEED that shower! It might even make me a morning person. ;)

  6. I'm loving Seb's parents! And the love den dice and disco shower!:)) Too funny!

    (Hey, I can leave comments again, how about that?!;)

    You totally deserve a guy like Seb and in-laws like his parents!:) And yes, it sounds like you kissed a lot of toads before finding yourself a nice little froggy:) I can totally relate. The dicks make you appreciate the good guys:)

    By the way, your post about that trip from hell to Nice sent shivers down my spine... We're willing to put up with a lot of crap when we're young... but it passes (thank God!):)


  7. @Ms. Lovely Lauren - You soooo need that shower. my shower at home seems so lame now. My happy ending WILL have a disco shower. Must manifest that like 'The Secret'.

    @Duchess - How horrible was that Nice story?! And my ex told me that after that trip he wasn't sure about ME and that he stayed with me because he loved me. Thank you so much MF, how kind of you. I honestly felt like there was something wrong with me, Duchess. I became such a monster with him because he mad me crazy. Roar. Now on to greener pastures like awesome boyfriends and disco showers!

    Glad you can comment again! : )

  8. That is too much!!! Hahahaha!!!! I don't know what to say!!!! I'm glad they're nice! I hope there wasn't a video camera in the shower (or bedroom) or something crazy like that! It's like meet the Fockers. :-) I want that sorta' shower experience as well! My bf's parents are very 'normal'.. the weirdest thing about them is his dad's southern accent and his mom's owl collection. Thaz it!

  9. Ella! I was looking at the last photo on here and I have that book about lingerie too! I bought it in Virginia while visiting a friend. Love it!

    1. Really?! What kind of naught things are inside?! I didn't flip through it. It's funny that you bought it in VA! Oh VA, you saucy minx!!

      I wish my backside looked like that in bloomer inspired undies!!