2011 Failures: #1


Paris Exposition: Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tow...Thanksgiving 2011 was one for the record books. My husband and I took an awesome vacation to Paris. If you ever want advice on how to avoid holiday stress, my best recommendation is to travel 3,000 miles away from your family.

And go somewhere where they don’t speak English.

Unfortunately, I had a moment and yelled at a homeless person.

Here’s the story.

Ken is 6’2″ and I’m 5’0″. We are an odd pair and we look very American. This means we get hassled by homeless people wherever we go. When a stranger approaches Ken, it’s no big deal because he is a tall guy. He can take care of himself. When a stranger approaches me, I get nervous and tense. My personal space is unintentionally invaded on a regular basis because people see me as a “gap” in the crowd. When someone violates that gap intentionally, I get pissed off.

So we ran the gauntlet of homeless people in Paris near Pont Neuf and Notre Dame. Honestly, I was sick of being touched, tugged, pulled, and approached. We sat down in a park to have a snack and a woman started walking towards us. I caught her out of the corner of my eye. And I was ready to bark.

As she started shoving a piece of paper in my face, I screamed, “Get out of here.”

And I made a Laurie face. Nose wrinkled. Sour pout. Eyes rolled. Most of you know the look.

The homeless woman stopped. in. her. tracks. and let out the saddest and most repulsed cry I’ve ever heard. It was a moan. A sob. And guess what? She was deaf.

I know there’s a deaf gypsy scam in Paris but I think she was really deaf because that’s my luck.

I yelled at a deaf homeless woman.

And Ken was like, “Hey, whoa, what’s that all about?”

I’m not sure. When you’re sitting in the shadows of Notre Dame cathedral, it’s probably Baby Jesus made flesh. Testing me.

And now I’m going to hell.

I still hold out hope that the woman was part of those gypsy scammers. She did have a sheet of paper in her hand and wanted us to sign a petition.

Regardless, it was my worst moment in 2011. By far.


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