We happened on some bathroom scales in a pharmacie in a village where I’d stopped to buy some indigestion tablets (I’m sure the irony isn’t lost on you). We both weighed in, memorized the number of kilos and stepped outside to convert the kilos to pounds using our phones.
To our surprise, we hadn’t packed on as many pounds as we had feared despite my increasingly prominent muffin top and Jimmy’s new belly.
With a gain of only three or four pounds each, we felt liberated to continue to stuff down pastries, croissants, baguettes with butter and jam or cheese, three course lunches with midday wine (as well as an evening aperitif and dinner) and calorific desserts with creme anglaise – a thick cream-colored sweet soup that makes absolutely anything taste better.
Us: “No we didn’t. We changed them both online to 53H and J.”
BA Rep: “Let me see if 53H is available.” It had better be Buster.
Jimmy and I stared at each other no longer with anger, surprise or even exasperation but with resignation. Five long minutes passed. One of us was facing a nine-hour flight jammed up against the window, trapped in our seat by two strangers.
BA Rep: “You’re Lynn?”
BA Rep: Puzzled.
BA Rep: “Oh I see. There’s someone else on board with the same last name sitting in 42K. You’re sitting together in 53H and J.
Me: Standing on tiptoe to peer over the high counter and whispering to Jimmy, “It says that right there on our tickets.”
Jimmy: “I know that. I booked them.”
Me: Standing six inches shorter than himself and back down on my heels, “I wish I had realized that sooner.”
Jimmy had been waiting patiently for the BA Rep to realize his mistake. I’d been imagining an attack of claustrophobia in my seat. Panic was the precursor to another trip.
My reward? After a long haul flight and jet lag followed by two straight days of driving through France – a melt-in-your-mouth croissant, sweet crêpes smaller than a saucer and as thin as your hankie and a perfectly brewed café au lait.
Yes, my friends, we’re in France now looking for somewhere to live, as if 48 United States hadn’t enough to offer.
“I’ll probably die before we find somewhere.”
Don’t worry. that was just a comment on our indecisiveness, not Jimmy’s longevity.