I love living here for so many reasons. The unabashed beauty of the city. Its gorgeous and it knows it. The rhythm of its people. They’re all in a hurry to get where they’re going, but take their time when they get there. The magnificence of its gastronomic prestige is pointless to describe in mere words. Life here is full of flavor.
But the hedonist in me loves it for another reason: people are sucking face everywhere you go.
I don’t mind; au contraire, je l’adore. I’m a romantic. I am Fleur Bleue [flɶr blɶ], as the frogs would say. When love is in the air, I long to breathe it in. (My collection of romantic comedy films can rival any video store.) Here, an average person would choke on the fumes. Thank god I’m not average, or I’d have started spritzing people with spray bottles and squeezing balloons between their tightly pressed bodies years ago.
Walking around Paris feels like you’ve mistakenly barged into a breath mint seminar. Each square overflows with couples testing the effectiveness of their products. I just passed an enamored pair who were actually LICKING each other’s tongues in front of Notre Dame. No joke. Licking. Each other’s. Tongues. It looked like a battle between two fat, pink worms. I’m amazed they had enough saliva left to tell me to stop staring.
Flaunting your mutual adoration seems to be a kind of tradition. I think there is an underground, deep-seeded need for couples to hoist their love on to an unsuspecting public. A “We love each other more than you love your significant other” contest, if you will.
I remember the first time I ever witnessed this at the impressionable age of seventeen. I especially remember what popped into my head: “Wow. Looks like he’s trying to eat her face. He must not like his frog’s legs.” (It was my first night in Grenoble and my host family had offered me Cow Brains or Frogs Legs … how very generous of them, non?)
I hear mixed reviews about this from visitors. There are those who fall into the “it’s a free country, spit yourselves out” column. Then, there are the kissing-condemners who secretly fantasize about pulling the fused-heads apart long enough to slap their still-wet faces.
Which one are you?