I’m engaged! Check out these Flickr photos. I didn’t mention it on my blog before, but I’m in Paris for vacation (my first time here) and I had been planning to pop the question for quite a while now. My apologies to the many friends — even close ones — who I didn’t tell. I wanted absolute air-tight secrecy! Special apologies to those of you whom I flat-out lied to when you asked me if I was going to propose on this trip. Nancy is an absolute gem. I love her so much, and I have never felt so loved and cared for. That’s what life is all about. We are having a great time celebrating, mainly by walking around and sitting in cafes all day talking. We are both very good at this.
Our engagement made yesterday an extraordinary day all by itself, but that was only the beginning. Later on in the evening, we watched France beat Brazil in the World Cup in a cafe with some new French friends (new friends mainly because we offered our enthusiastic American support for the French team, which they graciously accepted), then joined the throngs of people who rushed to the Champs Elysèes to celebrate. I had always read about the U.S. forces marching down the Champs Elysèes in August 1944 when Paris was liberated from the Nazis and could only imagine what that must have been like. This party went on until about 2am. Even before the match last night, we had been seeing people driving through the streets of Paris waving large (i mean, really large) flags of their respective countries, beeping and yelling out the window. World Cup fever has been a real bonus of this trip. We are definitely going to be watching France vs. Portugal in the semi-finals on Wednesday night — can’t wait.
All the stereotypes of the French have proven to be outright wrong. Both Nancy and I have been speaking French whenever possible (though we’re both a bit rusty) and everyone we’ve met has been really kind despite our limited vocabularies. A simple bonjour upon entering a shop or restaurant before asking for something, merci when appropriate, and au revoir when leaving is generally sufficient. The stereotype of French snobbery and aloofness is really just them leaving you alone to think, eat, drink, or whatever. I love Paris.
Now, back to the woman I love. . . .