An open letter to the hostess with the perfect French haircut who made eyes at my boyfriend
A girl is a gun... or is she a croque monsieur?
Do you mind if I call you by a name that is (very likely) not yours? I don’t know why I care to ask. You didn’t care about me one Friday afternoon three months ago.
You could be Jenny or Kaitlin for all I know, but the way your perfectly short hair with those perfectly tousled bangs frames your perfectly glowing, symmetrical face, you exist in my mind as Amélie. And how fitting that you work at the French restaurant—the one that insists you wear ballet flats and an A-line frock of navy blue. C’est parfait. C’est magni-fucking-fique.
You couldn’t have known we were on thin ice. We approached your podium with locked fingers and heart eyes. But the second your elegant neck craned to meet his 6’3, I knew it was game over. Our table for two was now a table for three.
“Did you know her?”
“Why did she look at you like that?”
“I don’t know. I noticed that, too.”
“No one looks at anyone like that without having seen them naked. You’re lying to my face.”
Some version of this exchange looped for an hour over steak tartare and quiche lorraine. And no number of pamplemousse cocktails could blur you from my peripheral vision, the portrait of charm, of je ne sais quoi.
I met a French girl on these Philly streets once. Not an American caricature of French glam like you, Amélie, but a true blue, bonafide Parisian. I asked her what perfume she was wearing, For Her by Narciso Rodriguez, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. I know you smelled it on me that day. A potent swirl of musk and peach and insecurity. Fragrance has the power to invite, and you entered my home with an impish smirk and that goddamn perfect hair.
I have a confession, though, Amélie. I still think about you because I want to be you. I want to be gorgeous and unforgettable, keep people up at night wondering if I’ve slept with their partners. I want to chop my hair to my chin and not mourn ponytails past. Do you give lessons? I’ll trade you a date with my boyfriend.
Should this piece make its way to the eyes of our subject, I’d like to buy you coffee. Seriously. If for no reason other than to hear your order. And for those of you who aren’t yet paid subscribers to this newsletter, might I encourage you to become one for $5/month. You won’t even see it leave your account, but I will be one step closer to creative independence. Merci!