dimanche 24 juillet 2011
Friday, her bi-monthly day off, which is usually spent running errands (doctor's appointments, La Poste, the bank, etc.) and eating chocolate in front of the TV, watching series episodes that her husband can't stand to watch.
But this morning, she has a rendez-vous at the Bureau de Proximité of the Mairie of Marseille to file the paperwork for her passport and ID card.
She wakes up around 7, eats breakfast, and gathers all her papers together. Certified copies of her Acte de Naissance? Check.
Really bad ID photos that will haunt her for the next ten years? Check.
86€ in Timbres Fiscales to pay for the passport? Check.
Justificatif de domicile? Check (cellphone bill since the electricity bill from EDF only comes out once a year now.)
Filled out forms? Check
Décret de Naturalisation? Check
A little before 9 she heads over to the Bureau. She had called Allo Mairie a few weeks earlier to set up an appointment. The Bureau is open, it opened at 8:30, a rarity for French administration. She makes a few photocopies and waits to be called.
The woman behind the desk is nice and chatty, asking the usual questions about why she is here and where she is from.
As she is dating and signing the forms, she realizes that it is 6 years, to the day, since she arrived in France. What a coincidence! Here she is now, officially French, filling out the paperwork to get her French Passport and French ID card.
After about half an hour of formalities, she is told that she will get an SMS on her cellphone to come pick up her passport in about 3 weeks and the ID card in about two months.
She heads back home, and picks up her shopping trolley and heads back out to do the grocery shopping, instead of on Saturday morning like usual.
100€ in groceries later, she returns home, puts away the food, and spends the rest of the day watching tv, eating peanut butter sandwiches, and straightening up the apartment inbetween the peanut butter - eating and tv-watching.
Her frenchman arrives home around 7, and they order a pizza for their weekly pizza and a movie night. They have been ordering pizza once a week from the same place for about 5.5 out of the past 6 years. She then heads to bed, while he stays up, looking at motorcycles on the internet.

6 years in France!!
jeudi 7 juillet 2011
As I was walking home from the metro station a few nights ago, a man passes me in his car, and does a double-take. I don't think much of it, and continue on my way. I saw him park his car, and then he got out and ran up to me. He said I was so beautiful, so I said thanks. (Didn't know what to say/do. Nothing? Smile?)

He noticed my accent and right away starts in on the where are you from -America. Oh I was in New york several years ago for three months... blah blah blah.
He says I must give him my cellphone number, we must go have a drink together.
I tell him I am married.
That doesn't matter, love isn't guaranteed, things can change, etc.
I try to continue on my way but he grabs me and starts doing the bises..
I still try to get away and he is following me.
I finally say I will take his number (to try and end the conversation) but don't have a pen. He then says to put his number in my cellphone, and when I take it out he takes the phone from me and enters his number and then calls himself so that he has my number.
He told me his name and that he is Italian-Spanish. In his thirties I would say. He says that I must be about 23.
I tell him my husband is very jealous and protective of me.
He says that any man would be with me.
He keeps grabbing me and kissing me on the cheeks (but trying for the mouth) but then finally leaves, saying that he didn't even lock his car.

The next two days, all day long, text messages and voice messages from him.
A sampling (spelling and grammer reproduced as-received.) :

Ok beauté je sui dacord d etre ton amie ok

Chaque hommes est unique toi t es unique je sui diferent de tous une femme com toi c est speciale je le resent trop c est enorme megane tu comprend devenons amie deja fesons conaissense ok

Ont boi un coup t as finit le boulo t es ou beautè?

Ok beautè dmain je te fai plein de gros calins choisi la robe qui te plai je te l offre ok

Bjr beautè bien domie cava mieu le roume?

Tu as penssè a moi un peu megane?

Ma cheri cava

Cava beautè gross jounè je dois dèposè les dossiès d un permie de constructions ds l aprè midi je vais faire de la dèmolutions ont a aquis un bien imobiliè tu finita quel h qu ont bois un coup beautè?

Il faud qu ont parle tré serieusement toit et moi beauté!

Tu ser au cing avenu a quel h beautè?

Ont boi un coup beautè dit ma di se soir?

(and the last, after I finally sent a message telling him to stop communicating with me, that I wasn't interested)

Tempie pour toi
Nothing since, so I am hoping it is over.
If he calls again, I'll let Alain answer the phone and give him what-for. That should do the trick.

I don't think he knows where I live (though the general neighborhood), and I don't think he knows my last name. But I will be keeping my eye out for him nevertheless.

Geez 'o flip.

It just illustrates to me how much it is ingrained that one shouldn't make a scene, and not to say an outright "No, I'm not going to give you my number, get away from me." for fear/risk of 'disappointing' him, appearing 8itchy/rude/cold/stuck-up/arrogant, to the point where the man is grabbing you and pressing himself against you. Bleh

Guess I learned a few lessons:
1) Don't engage in conversation;
2) Don't let a man take your cellphone and enter his number;
3) Make sure he doesn't follow you home; and
4) Next time a man grabs you and kisses you on the street, effing scream Megan!

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