Today is a best worst day. I have many of these. I am not sure if it has to do with my unpreparedness or just perpetual bad luck.
I am on my way to Paris the city of love, two days post breakup. This wasn’t a “I was seeing this guy and he stopped texting me” thing, it was four years dumped via video chat. I am finishing my last semester in Spain which may be the best or worst place to go through a breakup. When I drunk Skyped my cousins last night they reassured me “you’re in Europe, that’s the best place to be broken up with.” True, but what about when I want to sob into my mom’s shoulder or eat an entire wheel of Brie cheese with my real friends. I am so far away from my other life, in a dreamlike state where I have school four days a week and travel to a new country every weekend. My life is nothing short of ironic because the first thing I think of when I think of Paris is love and how he and I always wanted to go. The second thing I think of is the stereotype French people hold for being rude but so are Chicagoans so I should be fine. The third thing that comes to mind is the four years of French I took in high school and how pathetic it is I can only remember how to say hi, bye, and shut up. I blame my teacher who may or may not have married a gay man (hairdresser) and been institutionalized.
This morning I woke up late, missed the first aerobus, and grabbed a bad banana. Airport stress may be comparable to childbirth, but I have yet to experience either till that moment. I got to the airport and walked back and forth frantically searching for Terminal B Gate 30. I forgot to empty out my coveted infused water bottle (you can put fruit and shit inside a tube that floats, it was way too expensive and from Urban Outfitters, judge me). I told them “just throw it out” I’m late for my flight. He did, but didn’t hesitate to search my bags and waist. “All you’ll find there is the extra eight pounds I’ve put on since I moved here, mostly tapas and sangria.” I thought.
My gate was closing in 15 minutes and I knew I was fucked. Looking “hot” or “normal” was out of the question. I ran full speed rolling my huge luggage straight to home plate. Made it. I thought I was in the clear, but all cliches aside- what can go wrong will go wrong in my experience. The shitty economical European airline only allows one bag (regardless if it’s carry-on or handbag), so I had to stuff my leather purse into my carry on. It then went from questionable to totally checkable and the lady rocking 80’s bangs slapped a checked bag sticker on it and told me to leave it by the door. “What door?” I thought. So nondescriptive and blasé as if I hadn’t just packed all of my best outfits for Halloween weekend in Paris. Ironically if I hadn’t stuffed my purse into my bag I would have my one allowed piece of luggage in my lap. But naturally i’m an idiot. Now my wallet and keys are in my checked bag and if this airline loses my bag I’m shit out of luck. All I have on my person is my passport, phone, and copy of Lena Dunham’s book (which may have been the most important thing in my purse).
The feeling of being moneyless in Paris is comparable to the feeling of your thong riding up in all the wrong places- uncomfortable and sad. I took my seat and waved my white flag. You won world. But no, just one more gentle jab for my psyche. I was sandwiched between two very in love couples going to Paris, the city of love. Couple #1 to my left can’t stop touching and kissing and I might just use my provided barf bag. Couple #2 on my right is slightly more bearable. His hand is on her leg and her head is resting on his Abercrombie and Fitch’d shoulder (yes I am writing this in 2016, some Europeans are decades behind in fashion, some)
It’s like I entered a new dimension when I became single again. For four years I had this feeling of being “his” and being part of this sometimes exclusive “I’m taken” cult. We would be at brunch and I’d see a happy couple. There was some unspoken bond the four of us shared. Like our souls were winking at each other saying “I see you’re a happy couple so are we or appear to be.” But then BOOM you’re single and the world looks a whole lot different. You actually make eye contact with smoldering Dads on the metro and contemplate getting a tinder after resisting out of common courtesy for your partner. You see happy couples and want to chop their conjoined hands off. You look at them in a single way now. Aren’t you fighting yet? Don’t you hate his mom? Why aren’t you single like me? It’s so fun…it’s so fun? This feeling is new for me, it’s heightened. It’s been two days, but this is my experience thus far. The plane has taken off and I’m on my way to Paris right now- it’s one of my best worst days. I’m going to have the time of my life, see cool shit, drown in wine, and eat 3 dozen macaroons because I’m single god damnit and it’s Paris god damnit.
By: Allie Yazel