Wednesday, October 6, 2010

C'est pour moi: A French Tug of War

So picture this, it's about 7:30 pm and I'm walking out of a boulangerie with my dinner in a bag. It's getting dark and the drizzling rain is threatening to become more than just that. Sans my umbrella, I'm trekking quickly, barely dodging people on the narrow sidewalk, and straight ahead is an old man in a tan suit shuffling along with his eyes glued to the ground. Attempting to slow down and turn sideways to avoid him but BAM! I run into him hard and my purse and apologies spill out.

It takes me a couple steps to gather myself and close my purse when I turn back around to make sure nothing fell out. There I see my blue French portfolio folder underneath his shiny brown dress shoe. I bend down to grab it and start wiping off his wet foot-mark, when he grabs hold and starts cleaning it too.

Aww how cute, I thought. "Pas de problème," I assured him, no worries! But then he begins tugging at it and repeating "C'est pour moi, c'est pour moi!" Okay, I thought, this is a joke. Just tell him it's yours. "Non, monsieur, c'est pour ma classe de français"and I'm reassuring him that really, it's no big deal, I'll take the folder now. But he REFUSES to let go and his tugging is getting increasingly more violent.

Time seems to slow and drag with my increase in heartbeat (uhm why am i SO dramatic?!). I look around nervously to see if anyone can help this angry old man understand that this folder really is not his. We go back and forth for minutes and it induces him to open up the portfolio where we see typed print, clearly my last written assignment. He reacts like he had written the piece himself.

Okay, he is clinically insane, I think. Mental disorder, for sure. Did a split second cost-risk analysis in my mind (rain, panic, it's only for French class, I like my face the way it is) and decided, girl, it's not worth it! Let the old man have the folder and live another day. So after what feels like an hour (and in reality was probably no more than two minutes), I apologize for taking "his" folder.

I walk away completely in a daze with my heart still pounding like crazy. Did that really just happen? I turn around and see him fading away in the rain with a hint of blue between his hands..

WTH how do I explain this to my teacher?! Really, "Sorry Professor, a psycho old French man stole my homework?" What a joke! How do I turn this into a rational explanation? Did I still have stuff saved on my computer? Why did you let him have it, Yomna? You are such a pushover!

In the height of this mental assault on myself I open up my purse, and there it is. My blue French portfolio folder. In my purse. NO WAY.

WAY!! He was right, it was his folder. I was the crazy one. Mental disorder, for sure. We had the same exact blue portfolio and mine never actually fell out of my purse. No words can explain exactly how I felt at that moment. I kind of just stood there for a second in the rain as a hundred different things ran through my mind. How did this crazy of a coincidence just happen? Who upstairs is laughing right now? How could we have had the same folder, inside and out? Why didn't I notice him holding it when I first saw him? Poor guy omg, did I even apologize? Go back and apologize!!

But he was gone and for a few seconds I even had myself convinced that it never even happened. Moral of the day: even the young'ins be crazy sometimes. Forgive me old man, I love you!


  1. OMG! So, I was reading this and getting so angry at how some random stranger would just take your folder. And then I kept reading and just started laughing. I felt like that could have totally happened to me, lol. So then, I show this to my mom and she starts getting mad also. Then she reads on and just starts shaking her head and plainly says, "Yomna." And now, I am translating this into english, "It's good that he didn't hit her." Lol.

  2. Dingbat. This could have ended very badly.

  3. this was a ridiculous story. it could've been a scene in a movie or some short film or something. crazy!