Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


My French boyfriend

I met my French boyfriend Paul in Barcelona in 2007. During my daily traversal of the city, I’d cross paths with him and wonder how it was that he always seemed to be where I was. As a private English teacher, I had a regular weekly schedule, but every work day I’d be in different parts of town depending on where my students lived or worked. BCN is a pretty small city and it was common enough to run into people I knew on the bus or on the street on any given day, but Paul and I crossed paths multiple days a week and it was too weird not to think something was up.

Then I moved to the nicest part of town I ever lived in while in Barcelona (there was a Baby Dior shop down the street) and he was right around the corner. Our love was pre-destined, written in the stars.

And now, he’s come to where I live. Here he is shortly after arriving.

Paul 2

You thought Paul was a human boyfriend? Nah, this Paul’s had a longer relationship with me than any guy I’ve ever actually dated. But he does share some of the qualities I value in a partner like dependability. Paul never surprises me, which I love. (Seriously. If you surprise me, I will be super-pissed.)

In Spain, the bread is generally bad, which is why they slather it with all kinds of things to make it taste better. Spanish Croissants are particularly terrible since pretty much every bakery will smear the finished pastry with a sticky honey-like solution that makes the outside really hard and gross. Also, as an olive oil loving country, they never, ever put enough butter in dough so all manner of baked goods come out too dry and hard.

What Paul offers is consistently good quality foods to stuff in your face. There are other, better, bakeries, but Paul is open all week, all day, and has really tasty sandwiches too. My favorite local bakery goes on holiday and closes on Wednesdays and generally makes my bread buying something I have to plan around, but Paul, Paul’s always there. And now he’s here.

Except now, I’m not here. Just as Paul has finally come to my town, I’m moving. Ours is a star-crossed love. I love stories with unhappy endings.