Yesterday, I took Big Fry to a birthday party in the exclusive Parisian suburb of Neuilly. Let’s just say providing pony rides at your kid’s birthday party in this city means your parents have some serious euros to spare and some serious real estate too. I was told by the birthday boy’s mother that they “live in a little red brick house.” Yep, it’s red and made of bricks, but definitely not little! This city-house took up the whole block and had a “garden” large enough for 5 ponies, 12 kids, their moms and siblings . Anyway...
As Big Fry and I were walking back to the car, we walked by a boulangerie and out comes a very (American) looking man with a white poodle and holding a baguette and a little boy’s hand. I took not un, not deux, but three looks at the Monsieur and the words were out of my mouth before I had a chance to stop them, “Are you Adam the lifeguard from the Hidden Valley Club in Hometown, USA?”
It was. Of all the places in the world to run into somebody from your ancient past, do you expect to do it in Paris? It’s a petite world after all . Adam the lifeguard knew me when I was La Teenager. How wierd is that? Now he’s in town for 2 years with his wife Amy, son Andrew, dog Dag, and he looks like he’s trying very hard to become more French than the French with his poodle dog and baguette. Gotta give him an “A” for effort. And since I’ve been doing a little Mommy profiling lately, Adam gave me the idea to do some Daddy profiling too...
Papa du jour: The American Dad
Natural habitat: Paris´ 7th, 8th, 16th & 17th arrondissements, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Western suburbs
Hangouts: Any English speaking pub hoping to catch a baseball or football game on TV (preferably the Superbowl or World Series) transmitted via satellite from the US. Starbucks too.
Uniform : Winter: Levi's jeans, Nike running shoes, LL Bean polar fleece jacket, college alumni sweatshirt; Summer: khaki shorts, Crocs, Ray Bans, college alumni t-shirt
How to spot him: He’s the Dad who actually plays with his kids at the park instead of sitting on a bench watching the kids play. He usually brings a soccer ball, football, or baseball + bat to the park. He’s also the only business man walking down the street holding a cup of coffee and eating a muffin from Starbucks.
Raison d´Etre : To teach his kids how to play American sports just in case the expat contract ends unexpectedly and the family is shipped back to the US in a hurry. His kids will then seamlessly fit into PE class.
Profession: Diplomat, Lawyer, Consultant, IT or Insurance exec
Vacations: The US – gotta take the kids to see the Yankees play live – “I’m sick of this satellite stuff!”
First name: Brian, Jason, Kevin, or Brad
Reading Material : Sports Illustrated (purchased at WH Smith for 3 times the US cover price!), The International Herald Tribune, NY Times