Paris in the Scary Time


My husband thinks I’m super paranoid. There was this one time, though, when I was JUSTIFIABLY paranoid and I totally saved our lives. No exaggeration. I’m coming back from my lengthy blog sabbatical JUST to tell the specific story that follows, proving once and for all to my husband that I am not paranoid for no reason. I am, in fact, paranoid for extremely good reasons.

Here’s the situation: A couple weeks ago my husband and I went on a super fun trip to London and Paris. One evening in Paris we decided to eat dinner at a restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. We took the subway there and came out near this little park. We needed to figure out which restaurant we should try, so my husband suggested we go sit on a bench in this park and figure it out.

Four things you should know about this park:

  1. I’m sure any tourist who wants to see the Eiffel Tower comes out of this very subway station next to this park.
  2. We arrived there at dusk.
  3. It was kind of deserted.
  4. Except for a group of 20-something-year-old men who were loitering.

Just before we went to sit down, I said to my husband, “There are a bunch of guys around here and it looks weird. I’ve got a bad feeling.”

His response: “Whatever. They’re just guys hanging out.” Which might have been followed by an eye roll.

I trailed behind him and we found a bench. We sat down and he pulled out his iPad, scrolling through, trying to figure out where we should go. While his attention is focused on the iPad, mine is on the five young men that are literally starting to circle our bench like sharks.

I say, “We need to leave right now.”

My husband became annoyed. I had to take the time to explain that these guys were getting closer to us and we needed to vacate the premises immediately (mind you they’re circling WHILE I’m making my case to him).

By some miracle he listens to me…but only walks as far as the edge of the park. He stands there with his back to the park and keeps scrolling through the restaurant descriptions. I tell him I think this is an equally bad idea. He tells me, in no uncertain terms: “I KNOW HOW NOT TO GET MUGGED, OKAY?”

Okay, dude.

I let him be, keeping watch. In less than a minute, this one particular guy from the park approaches him and stops TWO FEET BEHIND HIS BACK and stares at him.

In my head, I’m like, Enough of this bullshit. I scream at my husband, “LEAVE. NOW!”

And get this. He yells back, “I don’t want to start walking in a direction that’s going away from the restaurant. I need to know where I’m going!”

W. T. F.

I scream, this time louder, “WALK NOW!!!!” This time I motion for him to look behind him at the man who is FIVE SECONDS AWAY FROM JUMPING HIM AND STEALING EVERYTHING HE HAS ON HIM.

It FINALLY clicks and he wraps both hands around his iPad and trails behind me as I book it the hell away from this park. Once we’re across the street, I look back and see that a bunch of these guys have strategically placed themselves behind bushes every 15 feet or so, staring out onto the sidewalk at tourists strolling by, trying to figure out which ones are the biggest suckers.

I just have to say that this entire exchange between us took WAY too much of my energy. Did he want a freaking term paper on why we needed to run away from the scary men? I have no idea.

So I’m paranoid, huh? My freaking SUPERPOWER is paranoia. And I saved our asses. You’re welcome.



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