Day 214: Be Surprised.

 Illustration by Fifi Flowers

After a long day at work where the office is buzzing with everyone getting ready to head home for the holidays next week, I stopped by chez Sylvie for a noisette and to decorate the restaurant's Christmas tree with her. While sipping my coffee and going through her box of heart-shaped ornaments, we shared our Christmas plans with each other. While I'll be in New York, she will be closing the restaurant for the last week of December and the first week of January to spend the holidays in Bretagne with her family.

The stuffy and packed metro ride home on this wet Monday evening had me looking forward to a quiet night in, with each stop bringing me closer to the silence and tranquility of my apartment. Unfortunately, my fantasy of nestling in a vanilla bubble bath with a glass of red was quickly shattered when I realized that my night wasn't over just yet - I had an apartment to clean. I have been putting this off for a week and with the excitement of my mom in town, going out to dinners and holiday functions, my apartment has become a bit of a dumping ground. I had a linty carpet to vacuum, piles of espresso cups and vin chaud stained glasses to clean, baguette crumbled-counters to wipe off and piles of papers and clothes to sort through. Good times.

I walked up my six flights of penis banister stairs, leaned on my front door while fishing for my keys in my exploding work tote and before finding them to let myself in, I fell into my apartment - I fell in because my door was already open. Oh no, now what? Has Barbara McRoy come to my apartment to do more damage? Is there a thong that she forgot to steal?

I tip-toed in with my heart pounding, fearing the unknown. Why was my door unlocked?

Because my apartment is microscopic, I quickly learned that I had not been robbed again this year as my eyes fell on an adorable Aurel who stood in my spotless apartment with my Christmas cinnamon spice and eggnog candles lit, making it smell like a holiday dream. He did all the things that I needed to get done, and did them better than I would have. My dishes were clean and piled up in the dish rack, my clothes were folded on my made bed (I swear that my pillows looked fluffed), my carpet was vacuumed and everything was in their little place. This just made me melt. Where is this guy from? The planet of perfect men? He left work early knowing that I normally skip the gym on Monday night, snuck in with his key in order to cross one thing off of my already heavy to-do list.

I have to say that I have never had such a kind and thoughtful boyfriend in my entire life. MF used to call me bordélique if I left a dish in the sink which used to irritate me to no end because on a whole, I'm quite tidy but even if I wasn't, who needs that kind of constant criticism from the man who you are sharing your life with? It was exhausting, nothing was ever good enough for him.

Since the apartment was already clean, it freed up the hours I would have spent scrubbing everything down, so we took our last Vespa ride of 2011 through a rainy and sparkling Christmas-themed Paris to the 11th where I treated Aurel to some North African cuisine.

At La Bonne Franquette, we ordered a tagine of couscous scrumptiously seasoned with almonds, raisins, cinnamon and chicken, split a pichet of wine and capped our meal off with a piping glass of fresh mint tea. The days before heading back to the States are getting closer and I'm trying to absorb as much of Christmas in Paris as I can and enjoy the best holiday season that I've had in years.

La Bonne Franquette
151, rue de la Roquette
75011 Paris


  1. That, is the sweetest thing, ever! What a great guy!

  2. Swooning! I'm swooning!
    Lucky lady x

  3. Awww, Seb sounds like such a sweetie!

    And thanks for not posting any pics of your dinner. WIth all of this miserable rain, a tajine would be too hard to resist today.

  4. I couldn't believe it myself. I stood there frozen for a few minutes. And the best part was that he was so casual about it, like obviously I would help you and clean your flat, now let's eat - bisous.

    Je l'aime....

  5. Bordelique!? What was wrong with MF? I don't think he has all of his screws in straight. He doesn't sound like a very nice guy. I think you dodged a bullet with this one!

  6. @Anony - It's funny! I had lunch with a co-worker last week and she said the same exact thing!!! And I agree...I couldn't imagine spending my life with him anymore. What was I thinking?!

  7. What a wonderful thing to happen before you head back to NY. <3 <3 <3 It's great when Mondays become amazing days :) Hurrah for Seb!

  8. That is so romantic :) What a fantastic surprise!

  9. My God! Does he have an older brother? Uncle? How absolutely bloody sweet! And romantic. (Sigh)

    M(o)F(o) lives up to his nickname. ;-)

  10. What a delightful story!!!! Loved it all ... humorous and sweet all at once! Thanks for stopping by Ooh La Frou Frou, darling ... I always leave a little note in response to comments on the blog and left one for you too in the comment section. Here's a link to take you right there quickly:

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    This Week: "Christmas in the City" with free gift tags

  11. Me likey the Sébastien surprise!:) What a keeper that one:) He's really very sweet:) I'm glad you finally have the type of loving, considerate and thoughful man that you deserve (and don't we all:)))!:)))

  12. He definitely sounds like the perfect man. Don't let him go. Love your blog posts!

  13. What a sweetheart Séb is! That is so thoughtful of him! He obv cares a lot about you; I'm so happy for you!

  14. I generally keep the blog separate from Seb but I had to send this link to him with all of your comments. He blushed and says to you all, "Merci, c'est très gentil." : )