That time when I was in Paris for New Years Eve…

A few years ago, my sister wanted to visit Europe for the first time. She tried to find a friend to go with her--another available friend who could frolic over Christmas break when she had one week of vacation between Christmas and New Years. 

She couldn’t find anyone. People were visiting family or they were short of funds.

My parents, concerned with her going by herself to foreign countries, asked me if I would go with her. I lived in Europe in my twenties for a year and a half and was somewhatly still fluent French. 

But we were poor. 

My husband was still in grad school. We lived a simple life on his small stipend, and I stayed home with our three kids. And Christmas was a family day. 

When my parents offered to for pay my airline ticket, my husband agreed to let me go. All we had to pay for was lodging (we stayed at hostels), food, and travel within the country.

So we were off! 

We scheduled our itinerary to be in Paris for New Years eve! How exciting, right? To be in the city of Love, to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up.

Yeah, it would’ve been exciting, a once-in-a-lifetime, surreal experience if only… 

Well, you see earlier that day we went shopping on the Rue de Trivoli at a perfume shop. I sniffed and I sniffed and smelled sensual scents that made the hairs on my arms stand on end. I even bought more perfume than what I could ever wear in a lifetime (which is one bottle). 

By that evening, my head throbbed and my eyes blurred. I came down with a migraine. 

You see, I have a sensitive nose, and if I inhale too many strong scents, I will end up with a headache the size of Texas. 

So while everyone else was heading down to the Champs de Mars, holding sparklers and drinking way too much…uh, I guess wine, it is France after all, I was in our room with the lights off, with a pillow over my head to muffle any sounds, downing Motrin so I wouldn’t throw up. 

So I still tell people we were in Paris for New Years. I just don’t tell them I was in my room.


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