Halley Knigge (Griffin)

Write. Share. Communicate.


On Tuesday morning the boy I’ve been missing for five months finally made it to Gare du Nord. I’ve been looking forward to his arrival since I returned to Paris in January, and I’ve been counting down the days since there were more than 150 left to go.

Somewhere around the middle of last week, though, I started to get really scared. Five months is a long time to go without seeing, kicking or hugging the person you’re supposedly in a relationship with. A lot can change in five months. What if I didn’t even like this guy anymore once I saw him? What if the three weeks drag on and on and I end up starting a countdown to his departure?

In addition to the fears, there was a bit of wistfulness. Yes I was excited to once again have a real-life boyfriend instead of some pretend one I only talk to over Skype, but Tuesday was bringing with it the end of an era. No more am I virtually single in Paris, free to go out when I want, come home (or not) when I want, dance with whomever I want and still come home to talk to someone who really likes me. As hard as long distance is, we had a pretty good rhythm going.

Not only is my entire faux single gal routine completely down the toilet, but so is my I’m a nanny, frolicking around Paris, buying baguettes and studying political science thing. Conner arrived Tuesday. Classes at Sciences Po ended Wednesday. My brother and a friend arrive next Tuesday. Finals end the following Friday. I say goodbye to the nanny family two days after my brother leaves and then I’m on vacation. Goodbye Parisian routine.

As apprehensive as I was about the reunion, I still woke up two hours early on Tuesday and couldn’t get back to sleep or eat breakfast. I brought my iPod to chill me out on the way to the train station and as I waited for his train to arrive from Ashford (there was something complicated about his ticket, and he ended up flying in and out of Gatwick Airport in England) I felt like I’d just graduated from the I miss my boyfriend club to the I’m about to finally see my boyfriend club.

Leaning against the railing next to me was another girl my age, also of medium-length brown hair and wearing a black Zara cardigan that matched my grey one. She was also holding a twin iPod to mine, right down to the black skin. Curious, I peeked over to see what she was listening to, and by some bizarre coincidence we were both listening to “Fidelity” by <a href=" http://www.myspace.com/reginaspektor
“target=”_blank”>Regina Spektor. Apparently cardigans and a soundtrack of Regina Spektor are the standard for girls meeting their long lost boyfriends at Parisian train stations.

When the train finally arrived and my twin en attente and I had both leapt into our respective boyfriends’ arms, everything was finally okay. I wasn’t suddenly repulsed by this tall boy from Seattle, and the thrill of actual physical contact was enough to banish any nostalgia for my pseudo-single life in Paris. Plus, he brought me the new Vogue américaine, and though my initial response was Did my mom send this with you? he gets all the points.

With a living, breathing boyfriend and the latest Vogue, my life should have been complete – except for the itty bitty fact of the inevitable cosmic collision that is bound to happen when one’s French exes and current copain are all flung into the same not-quite-big-enough city centre. I’ve lived blissfully free of awkward ex encounters for months, but apparently having your current boyfriend visit is just a magnet for all the old ones to start reappearing.

Last night was Ladies night at Le Queen, so Rachael, Anna, <a href=" http://www.pouipouidesign.net/
“target=”_blank”>Marie and I got ourselves completely swanked out to avoid any trouble with the bouncers for arriving with a guy. We dressed C all in black, styled his hair into a euro fauxhawk and gave him cigarettes to smoke in line. We figured euro-ed out and clad in hot pants and high heels, slinky silver dresses, leather pants and satin blouses we’d have no trouble getting in as a group.

The bouncers were unusually friendly and we hurried to check our bags and make a high-heeled dash for the dance floor. The five of us were happily dancing in the fog and flashing lights to Britney Spears’ “Hit me baby one more time,” when somebody grabbed me from behind. Anyone remember Rubens? I can honestly say that I haven’t had many more awkward moments than being spun around during a Britney dance session and kissed by a guy I used to date in front of the one I’m currently dating. Rachael was alarmed, Conner was disturbed and I was beet red. I left poor C to dance with the girls and went to settle things with Ru. Apparently he’d been a bit more invested in “us” than I had, and was carrying around a bitter tirade for the day we saw each other again. I no longer have your number. I deleted you from my mobile. It was all I could do to keep from rolling my eyes – seriously? This is not the kind of conversation I expect to have with anyone past the age of thirteen. I guess that’s what I get for fraternizing with boys who wear tighter jeans than I do – how thankful am I to be back on the arm of my baggy-panted Seattle boyfriend.

Author: Halley (Griffin) Knigge

Storyteller and adventurer with a focus on new and social media. Ten years of award-winning writing and editing experience, eight years working professionally to share compelling stories through brand journalism, three years as an airline spokesperson, two years as a Tacoma Arts Commissioner and 30+ years of learning something new every day.

5 thoughts on “

  1. Hey Halley! I went to check out the Sound to Narrows last week and it was weird not seeing you there…I think that “Sound to Narrows” and “Halley” just go together. Anyway, hope you’re having a great time with Conner, and I’m excited to see you when you finally get back!Annette

  2. I’m so sorry we didn’t get to meet at the Paris Bloggers’ Picnic last Saturday! For some reason there are quite a few people I didn’t run into, but I honestly don’t think I mingled enough. But I’ve been to visit your blog a few times, and I’m finally crawling out of my shell to leave you a comment! Hope you’re enjoying your last few weeks in Paris and your time with your boyfriend… I know about those awkward ex encounters — YIKES! But it makes for a good story to tell — and at least it’s all behind you now.Bonne continuation !

  3. Hi tacoma girl, i leave for NY in 2 day.. any advice ?

  4. ali says you’re like carrie from sex and the city and she wants to live your life. Anyways… I’ll see you tuesday sis, I know your all sorts of excited.-Ben

  5. Hi! I just randomly found your blog and it’s crazy becuase I just spent the last 6 months in Paris at Sciences-Po….petit monde!

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