Back in March I asked to meet the “right” guy for me… My order was delivered in various separate entities. The most entertaining, and unreal, story is undoubtedly the passionate Panamanian. Yes, that’s what people from Panama are called. As it turned out, mine would have enough secrets for his own Panama Papers! Get ready for a racy caliente story!
If you read my article Be Careful What You Wish For, It Can Happen! you may recall that I did a visualization exercise on trying to attract what we want in our lives (you can read the full article here). The problem with the exercise is that it really did work, but it hadn’t required me to be specific enough so suddenly I was buried in a boy avalanche… each of whom had characteristics I sought: cultivated, smart, funny, an interesting profession, a reasonable age, international, moderately attractive… however sadly, not all rolled into one. I didn’t even need all of those traits, but it didn’t seem too picky to desire a minimum of few of them combined.
I’d ruled out one because he was too young, another didn’t call me back, one was a hopeless returnee, another didn’t even live in France, so when the fourth one seemed initially have enough of the right features, I thought I should give him a try.
It started with a whatsapp message:
Honey?? Who was honey?! “Chérie” might have passed in French, but honey wasn’t exactly a good translation nor was it an appropriate thing to call someone via text message. It sounded like the sender was some chain-smoking, purple haired 80-year-old lady from the New Jersey.
There are a few particularities about whatsapp. The first is that it often shows you the sender’s pseudonym instead of their name (bad) and does show you their profile photo (GOOD). So I clicked on the photo hoping that it would jog my memory. Honey me? Honey you!! The little profile photo showed a hone-licious shirtless guy holding a surfboard. I needed to fan myself. Who was this surfing god? A hot body wasn’t normally on my prerequisite list, being with someone super-fit might make me a bit self conscious as I could stand to be in a bit better shape, but these concerns were far from my mind at the time, he’d definitely captured my attention.
I tried to zoom in on the photo to get a better look at his face (cut off from the photo… and I added in some of his favorite emoticons – see below), I was still having time putting my finger on who it could possibly be. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I replied asking who he was, thinking that he’d provide his name. His cryptic answer didn’t help in the slightest and it made me think that he assumed I had his name and number saved in my phone. Darn, I was really stumped.
Who had I meet in a bar at Pigalle when I was with another guy… and why didn’t I notice at the time that said person might have had such a sexy body beneath his shirt? Sure, I’d chatted up all kinds of guys often when I was out at the Bus Palladium during my friend Fran’s party nights or might I have been out with one of my gay friends when I met this hunkster? I tried to get some precision. He thought we’d met about a year ago, I made me even more puzzled. I’d been away so much last year that I had trouble placing when this encounter could have occurred.
Pondering this, I received his next message. Boy, we must have exchanged more than a few words for him to “like me ….. a lot.” I was even more perplexed, though one thing was for sure: he was not a native English speaker. When he replied “I will love to see you,” I thought I had nothing to lose, so suggested meeting for a drink that weekend. Seconds after hitting send my phone started ringing.
“Salut ma belle, c’est Enrique!” Oh dios mios. Enrique. If he’d only given his name in our chat I would have know instantly who he was!
It wasn’t a year ago, I was 100% positive of this because I remember specifically where and when we’d met… I’d even written this blog post about him! It had actually been 2.5 years ago, during this awkward time just after things had ended with this complicated international man of mystery that I’d been dating. Enrique, whom I’d called Signor Besos at the time, was a Panamanian that I’d met at this afterwork “party.” For him, it had seemed to be love at first sight, I started getting all kinds of lovey dovey text messages even before our first date which involved him trying to sit right beside me and put his arm around me after barely exchanging a few words! A little too clingy and affectionate for my liking, so I’d given him the brush off by saying I was going back out with my ex, well, which I actually did, albeit briefly, so it wasn’t really a lie. This was “the other guy” he was making reference to in his whatsapp message.
Just like the last time, I was suddenly bombarded with cute heart emojis and romantic text messages from him. What had I gotten myself into? Sigh! I’d already agreed to meet up with him, could I really retract that now? Sure I could. I could feign some sort of excuse, but then I got to thinking that perhaps back when we’d previously met, I just hadn’t been in the right mindset? Plus, hadn’t I asked to meet someone… was fate throwing Signor Perfecto into my path? I might as well meet him for one drink to see if he actually had some potential.
We fixed the following Sunday night at 9:00 pm as our meet up time. I would have prefered a bit earlier, but he seemed to have gone away from the weekend or was busy before. Since the time was on the late side, I made him come near me, close but not too close. We met back down at Pigalle, just as we had the last time. Spotting him in front of the métro, the first thing I thought was “Man, Lily, what drugs had you been on the before?” He’s really good looking! The tall broad-shouldered latino was dressed in designer jeans and a smart trench coat opened enough to show off a sexy loose-fitting but clingy at the same time T-shirt, gently revealing his perfect figure.
I’d specifically chosen a “normal” cafe to take him to even though I knew several romantic bars in the neighborhood. My intention was for us to sit opposite each other and have a nice catch up conversation. He had other ideas in mind!
Sitting down at the table assigned by our waitress, I could tell that he was bothered by it. In fact, almost immediately after sitting down he was trying to figure out how to get his chair closer to mine. After the waitress came for our order, he got up to go to the restrooms, bending down to kiss me on the lips on his way. Well, that was forward!
Stop being such a prude! I tried to tell myself. He was dreamy. It was my fault anyway, in addition to unleashing to boy attraction vibes, I’d also added in that it could be nice to meet a South American. Panama wasn’t far away. I had nobody to blame but myself… I hadn’t really factored in that South and Central Americans can tend to be lovey-dovey.
Sure enough, when he came back to our table, he did his best to slide his clunky chair closer to mine. Amidst my slight embarrassment I asked him to remind me of what he did etc. He did something that sounded kind of boring in building code controlling, but had a side business as a style and image consultant, ah, that’s when I remembered that he used to be a model, that explained the six pack. He had also written two books and was working on the third. His profile was developing rather interestingly.
After we finished our drinks he said; “Can’t we go somewhere where we can be closer?”
I was now regretting that I hadn’t chosen a more romantic bar after all, he might have been content with a cozy booth. It was drizzling so it wasn’t like we could take a leisurely stroll around Montmartre. He was certainly hinting to go back to my place, but I wasn’t born yesterday and knew what he may have desired… This was technically our second date… he was smoking hot… we were both adults. We could make out a little, but he wasn’t going to get totally lucky and I made that completely clear to him… and he said of course no problem… besides, he had other things in mind! Hot stuff indeed! Well, hola again Signor Besos, now nicknamed the Passionate Panamanian.
Hombre! He was talented in many ways… why not give him a try, at the very least to have some fun. From his perspective, it seemed like he was very into me. He had to head off around 11:30 pm, it was a Sunday night after all and he did live in the suburbs (can’t have everything I guess). He bid me hasta luego paired with promises to see me again soon.
And we did. Later that week, he said he could come by my place after work. “After work” turned out to be once again 9:00 pm. I’d put a bottle of wine in the fridge, thinking that we’d have a chat and a glass or two. Letting him in the down he took off his coat as one would normally do … then he immediately whipped off his shirt! It was like I was in some Latin American soap opera! Now a love victim to his passions! Once again, as the clock neared midnight, he pulled a Cinderella act and disappeared in his carriage.
We did get in some talking and he seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and in pursuing something long lasting. He asked about my family, if I’d ever been in love, he told me a bit about Panama. He also seemed very open and honest. He told me that he was divorced and that his ex-wife and his kids lived in Belgium. Well, it’s not like that was a big surprise for a 40 year old and being in Belgium actually seemed better to me than living across town in Paris.
He said that he couldn’t do anything the following week because he was going up to see them. Fair enough, I was actually off to England for a week. During our mutual absence, he sent daily text messages and tried to call a few times. All kinds of emojis… very little substance. No “How’s your trip going?” “What sorts of things are you doing?”… just little hearts and plenty of “I can’t stop thinking of you…”
The weekend after I’d returned he said that he’d probably be going to the beach that Saturday to surf if the weather was nice. I didn’t want to be a scrooge. He should be able to pursue his other passions, though it would be nice to make time for me too. Off he went and he said he’d come back to see me the evening. What time exactly? I wasn’t about to just wait around on a Saturday night twiddling my thumbs until he arrived, so I went off to a friend’s for some drinks and told me to pick me up when he got back to Paris. Good thing I did, because he only arrived around 11 pm. Was he just working on “Spanish time”? He pulled his Cinderella act again, this time a little later, around 1:30 am… and he was driving back to Normandy… he’d driven two hours just to see me then drive two hours back? Was this romantic are merely a tad loco?
All that to say I was getting a little fed up with the Passionate Panamanian’s “schedule” and his meaningless beating hearts fluttering up on my phone (geez, I’d have rather sexting texts than the constant varieties of emoji hearts!). When he’d tried to come by a week later at what he’d said would be 8:30 pm and was going to turn into 10 pm (!!), I flat out said no es posible. The strange thing was that it didn’t seem like he was just looking for booty call action. Nevertheless, I wanted more; I wanted to go out for dinner, to the movies, to a bar… something! But instead I was getting nada.
The next week he was moving apartments so would be a little busy and the following one was his birthday, he had some visiting fellow Panamanians and they were going to Istanbul for a few days. I said that I could join them out for dinner one night, I did speak some Spanish and could manage some friendly conversation. I wasn’t really sure why he didn’t bite, then they were off on their little trip.
As the weeks ticked by so did my interest. Perhaps I was being harsh. It’s true, I’d also been rather busy as well. Meeting up would be the chance to hash things out and set a few things straight. When would he be available before 9 pm? I even said that the next time we saw each other it would have to be out.
When this didn’t happen for yet another week, instead I was just getting more gooey messages… he even called me one day to say he thought he was falling in love! With whom?? Me? He barely knew me!
Mid-May I was walking in the every-persistant drizzle down to meet Chloe of My Life Living Abroad to see a play during the Paris Fringe Festival. I’d had enough, I was drafting him a goodbye text message. Since I hadn’t seen him in almost a month, it wasn’t a shameful way to break up. Nearing the end of my message, all of the sudden I heard “Lily, Lily!” I turned around to find a different friend of mine sitting at a café terrace. She was also going to the same play so I sat down and explained my woes. Like a few of my other friends, they thought meeting him in person to discuss was best. I agreed… but quando, quando, quando?? Breakup text message averted, I received a promise from him that we could get together Thursday evening.
Thursday rolled around and the Paris rains had continued drowning the city. The Seine had breached its banks. Love wasn’t wafting in the spring air as it should. Getting out of an appointment in the early afternoon, I saw that I had a voice message from the Passionate Panamanian. He said that he wouldn’t be able to come into Paris because of the rain (the river might have flooded but it was far from reaching street level!)… and that he had something he needed to talk to me about. Hmmmm…. that was always a suspicious statement, so I called him back when I was walking home. After apologizing for not being able to come that evening he spit out his “news.” Well… not new news, just new to me… he was still living with the “mother of his children” and his children! He claimed he and the “ex” didn’t share a bedroom anymore and went on to say that he hadn’t wanted to tell me right away to not “spoil” things. Spoil things for whom?? For him!
Totally baffled, but not troubled, I got off the phone by saying I’d have to think about this revelation. Think no more! What a twist of fate! This was fabulous news! I wouldn’t have to break up with him after all! Had I done so on Sunday, I would have never known the incredible truth. What about Belgium?? And the always showing up late suddenly made complete sense! He was putting his kids to bed… not working late!
A total cad, but then again, now I didn’t have to painstakingly get rid of him… and I had this telenovela story to tell you guys!
Alas, Universe, I need to put in a better order for the right boyfriend… I’ll be a little more precise the next time, and be sure to add “no wife and children hiding in his bedroom closet” to the list.