Yes, I know you thought I was done with Gomez but then I ran across this old story in my other blog. Here it is, along with some other things I remember about that trip, like the shoes. Oh, the shoes. I remembered the shoes because on Saturday, I had to make the hard decision to toss my fancy BCBG high heel slingbacks with the pointy toes because I was hobbling after walking one block. That's right. One block. I thought of Gomez because he is the one who told me what BCBG means (Bon Chic, Bon Genre) and because I hobbled with him because I was stupid.
After our first meal, which consisted of bread, cheese and sausage for me and endive for him, which turns out to be about the only thing he eats besides ripe liquid grapes, and of course was at Salima's apartment because he wouldn't take me out IN PARIS because really, the food stinks in Paris so why would you go to a restaurant there, Gomez and I cleared the table and did the dishes, which seemed very normal to me. But he laughed and said, “Oh, ze sings I do for you.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“At home, I never leeft a glass or wash a dish. I pay people to do zat for me. I have a maid who does zat. I mean, I am not exploiting her; but…”
I shrugged. “If I were paying someone to do that work, I wouldn’t do it myself, either.”
And I wouldn't. If I had to do the work I had hired someone else to do, I would fire her because it would mean that she wasn't doing it right. I would love to have a maid, but not a live-in one because I don't like having people in my space, but the kind who comes once a week while I'm at the gym and is like a little invisible fairy who waves her wand and ta dah! the bathroom sparkles and the laundry is done and the kitchen floor is washed (on the hands and knees, of course, because that is how one gets a floor clean).
Then he smoked a cigarette in the kitchen, blowing the smoke out of the kitchen window. I tried to give him an elementary lesson in fluid dynamics, explaining that when he blew the smoke out of the kitchen window, it just drifted back into the apartment through the dining room/living room/bedroom window, but he remained unconvinced, telling me that he had a PhD thank you very much and then he probably lectured me on US foreign policy and hurricane Katrina and how dare there be any poor people in the US.
Oh yeah, I should have said. Show me one child - ONE - in the US with an unrepaired cleft palate or a club foot. Ha. You can't. But I saw them all over in Morocco, so if you care so much about poverty Mr Knowitall, sell one of your Jaguars, stop your son's riding lessons and take care of some of the poor kids in your own country.
And then I should have gone into social mobility and the possibility of getting out of poverty, US 100, Morocco ZERO, but I didn't, even though I could have used the Moroccan taxi driver's line of, "I know what it's like in the US. Here, you work and work and work and you still stay poor. In the US, you work and you get to keep your money."
Back to the shirts. He wore a coat and tie. Every day. Which I thought was cute. At first.
I did him the extreme favor of ironing his shirts. Extreme because I don’t even iron for myself. I hate ironing that much. I just don’t buy clothes that need ironing. I told him I hate ironing and I am only doing this because I like him.
“But if I knew how to iron, I would iron for you,” he said. “You do it so well! It’s like you have a PhD in ironing! You iron better zan my maid.”
“Gee, thanks. You don’t need to flatter me. I’ve already said I would do it,” I answered dryly. “By the way, most women don’t really want to be known for their ironing skills.”
He was genuinely puzzled. “But I sink it’s nice that you can do sings for yourself and don’t need other people to do sings for you.”
You know about the coat and tie. Gomez also polished his shoes every morning. At first, I thought oh how cute! What a sweet little quirk and isn't it nice that he is so careful about his grooming! Then I realized I looked like a slob next to him in my jeans, topsiders and sweater. "Don't you have any jeans?" I asked.
He gave me a look of horror and disdain, all mixed up in a bucket. "No," he said flatly.
The next day when we went out, I wore my black leather skirt, a red cashmere sweater and my black high-heeled boots. These boots have 2" square heels, so they are OK for some walking. I was in Paris, after all, and I should make some attempt to represent.
Except I didn't realize that Gomez was such a cheap you know what that he wanted to walk the four thousand blocks to the church where he hoped to find proof that aha! his ex-wife was not Lebanese or Armenian Christian as she claimed and Jewish instead and I was thinking, You are insane, truly insane, I cannot believe you are dragging me on this horrible errand and that I do not have the guts to tell you to go to hell and get my own hotel room until my plane leaves and by the time we got there, my feet hurt. so. bad.
So I said screw it and later, when he wanted to go shopping, I changed back into my jeans and not as uncomfortable for walking the cobbled, dog-pooped sidewalks of Paris shoes, which really made me stand out among the fancy ladies in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is a street with very, very expensive shops.
It is not fun to shop in very expensive shops if there is absolutely nothing there you could possibly ever afford unless you wanted to sell your car and I'd rather have my car than a blouse.
I watched as he spent $1,200 cash on a navy blazer exactly like the one he was wearing, then we went back to the apartment where he drank a bottle of wine and took a four-hour nap.
Oh I am getting mad all over again about wasting those frequent flier miles.