What can I say? It is my favorite city in the world, the most romantic, energizing, and fascinating city I have ever been to. I was thrilled to be going. We stopped in London for a few days and then took the Euro Star Paris. I had never taken this route, and I loved it. I had always flown but I must say the English and French countryside is beautiful as we traveled.
The first time I went to Paris was with my best friend and business partner, on the flight over he asked me a question.
“Do you know why I am taking you to Paris?” he asked.
“Because you wanted to go, and I was a good excuse,” I answered.
“I am taking you to Paris because the first time you go you should go with a man who will love you forever.” He said.
He was gay and fabulous, and my soulmate, or I thought so at the time.
My first trip to this magical city almost ten years prior was beyond anything I could have imagined. I had dreamed my entire life of going to Paris, and for a girl from Kansas that is a long way from home! As I looked forward to my second trip I was almost more excited because I knew how fantastic it was!
We flew over on a red eye, which is the best way to go. I ate my dinner, changed into my pj’s, my bed, was made, two glasses of wine, half a Xanax and I was out. When we woke up we had all been transported to London.
London was great. Historical tours, of course, a visit to the crown jewels, Singing In The Rain at the theater, shopping, and pubs… but I couldn’t wait to get to Paris. As we headed to our train, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I had not been to the city in 8 years, and I wondered if I would love it as much as I did the first time. I wondered if I had built it up in my head to a point that I would be disappointed when I actually arrived (you know my usual destructive, prepare yourself for a letdown line of thinking). When we arrived and stepped out of the train station…I was not disappointed one ounce. It was more spectacular than I had remembered.
Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Jean Paul Gaultier and, of course, the famous, and my favorite place to shop in the world, Paris flea market Porte de Clignancourt, which is what I imagine heaven to look like.
Row after row of shops, big and small, and vendors all selling fabulously vintage Parisian goods. I went with two goals; one, see as much jewelry as I can and two; find something that can be in my home and remind me of Paris every day. One entire store is nothing but Chanel jewelry, you must be buzzed in through the gates and can take no pictures (though I snuck a few and have them now hanging in my office). Some vendors/ booths have grand vintage display cases, and some have tables set up with their goods in disorganized piles. The thrill of the hunt is what I really love. I did pick up a few amazing trinkets; a vintage Christian Lacroix gold ID bracelet that I later found out had a matching choker that belongs to Rihanna, some great costume pieces, and a piece of art that I will treasure forever.
When I left for Paris my mother said to me, “buy something that takes your breath away!” She is full of good advice, especially when it comes to shopping! After a few days in Paris, I found it; I was walking by a super snotty vintage shop and a Dior gown in the window caught my eye. The construction of the dress was impeccable, the fabric was perfectly preserved, and the design was timeless. When the shop keeper asked if I wanted to try anything on I said, “No thank you, I don’t have the figure to wear vintage clothing.” Then just as I was about to leave I spotted it, a vintage Chanel leather jacket. It was so delicious I couldn’t resist trying it on. It was a serious Cinderella moment; it fit me like a glove!
Never in my life has a vintage piece of clothing fit me so perfectly, and it was CHANEL!!!! Original buttons, braided leather trim, not even a scratch on the leather- total classic. I couldn’t tell if the piece had even been worn, I decided then and there this would be the piece I would buy, that was until I looked at the price. It was more than a months rent for me. Shit! I wanted it so badly, but I knew it was not the smart move. I had already been spending money in Paris like I actually had some disposable income- which I did not. So I sadly asked for the gentleman’s card and put the jacket back on the rack. I knew not buying the jacket would haunt me for years!
On my walk home I stopped into the most amazing little lingerie boutique and decided to cheer myself up with a few sexy selections- Paris has the best lingerie. I had no idea who I would wear them for, but I figured it was like Field Of Dreams, if I bought/ wore it they would come!
For two days I couldn’t stop thinking about this jacket, I caught myself talking about it at great length over food and wine. As we prepared for our last night out on the town and began to pack up our things, my best friend called me upstairs. We had rented a flat so all of us were staying together, which made the trip that much more fun. He said he had something for me to pack in my suitcase (like I had any extra room) and hands me a white paper shopping bag. As I asked what was in it, I opened the bag at the same time. Before he could answer I just started screaming. I couldn’t believe it, it was the Chanel jacket! I had never owned a piece of Chanel clothing, and this one was so special. It is and will always be one of my most treasured pieces!
He told me that it was my birthday gift for that year and the wedding gift he never got me all wrapped into one. I told him he never needed to buy me one other thing for as long as he lived.
As we left Paris, I was anxious to get home, which was a new feeling for me. I thought that it would be a good time to start over. The pageants were over so work would slow down, my boy slate was clean and I was going to move full steam ahead with my life. Plus while I was in Paris I just kept thinking about the fact I couldn’t wait to visit with someone I love, romantically. Dinner in the Eifel Tower was great but it would be so much better with someone you are romantic with. Walks around the city are amazing, but would be so much better to be holding hands with someone… you get my drift?
The day we were leaving I got a text from Sam, “Hey, how are you?” It was so odd; I hadn’t spoken to him since I called to tell him I accidentally had dinner with his ex-wife and that had been over two months ago!
This is a great story:
Before Christmas that year, 2012, my girlfriend from New York was in town and she had invited me to dinner with her and two girlfriends. I was beyond tired that day but decided to pull it together and go. I am sitting at dinner next to a lovely woman, and we all begin to talk about being single and dating. She mentioned how difficult it was to date with kids, due to schedules and such. I replied that I didn’t have kids, but I had dated someone with children and I remember it always a hurdle.
When she brought up her children, two girls, and a boy, I said: “Oh the guy I dated had two girls and a boy, how funny.” Pretty soon we were ordering another round of cocktails and having a great time. As the conversation moves on we begin to talk about being divorced, she had not one negative thing to say about her husband (unlike me) but my girlfriend was clearly not a fan of his. After the mention of what he did for a living, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I casually asked to see photos of her children and as she turned her phone around to show me a few pictures I nearly knocked over my drink. They were Sam’s kids! How the fuck did I end up at dinner with Sam’s ex-wife??? I took a giant swig of my cocktail and decided to excuse myself to use the restroom; I was sweating like a whore in church. As I got up from the table, my large designer (expensive) cuff bracelet fell off of my arm. She was kind enough to pick it up and as she handed it back to me she said, “Oh, I love this. I have always wanted one.” I just looked at her with a “holy shit” smile and said, “Oh thanks, it was a gift.” What I left out was that it was a gift from her ex-husband!
I got to the bathroom and started dialing everyone I knew, what are the freaking chances! I thought about faking ill and having a waiter send a note to the table, but that would be lame. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “I can do this, we are all grown ups. There is no way she would be able to figure it out, it is not like Sam and I were ever serious.” As I walked back to the table I had calmed down and stopped sweating. By the time I got back the girl talk had turned to the topic of sex.
Shit! Suddenly my new BFF was talking about her preferences and how sex with her ex-husband had been, etc., etc., etc. It was horrifying! I decided to stop drinking for fear that I would over medicate and begin talking about things I shouldn’t. Sex with Sam had always been fine but he was a man of the same three moves over and over, I was just waiting for her to say the same thing… thank goodness she never said exactly that but let’s just say we had more in common than I originally thought.
As I left dinner, I immediately dialed Sam. We had taken a group photo and I she had mentioned that she was going to post it on social media. I wasn’t dating Sam any longer, but I didn’t want him to hear it from someone else, and so I thought the mature thing to do was call him. The phone rang, and he didn’t pick up, so I left a message. “Hey, it’s Keylee. I just had dinner with your ex-wife on accident, and I must say she is lovely. Just wanted to let you know. Bye.”
He was clearly screening because he called me back very quickly. “You what??? How??? Why???” He said with panic in his voice. When I explained the story, he wanted to know every detail of the night, what I said, what she said, what the other girls said. I told him to chill out, I hadn’t said anything, and I had no plans too!
Now back to why Sam text me originally…..