Chalk-ed up to Romance.

This is the first of many "why don't we (blank) anymore?" posts. Perhaps with your help, we can bring some of these fabulous things back.  I hope so.  Anyway, here's the first of my woes:

Why don't we make grand romantic gestures anymore? 

Like this one:  One morning during my stay in Paris (Did I mention I lived in Paris for 6 months? No? Well, we'll talk about that later.) I walked outside of my apartment to find a trail of chalk-drawn hearts on the sidewalk. Totally normal, right? Each heart had a little message in it, so being the curious romantic that I am, I decided to follow the trail and see where it lead.  The first:

 "I love you a little..."

By this point I was already secretly plotting how I could construct a tarp over this casual piece of art so the rain could never wash it away, when I spotted the next one:

"I love you a lot..." 

 Are you melting yet?  I was. Hardcore. A few more steps and I found the next:

"Are you starting to see where you're going?"

Okay, now I'm officially intrigued. Where are we going?!  What will we find when we get there?!

Realizing what a strange tourist I looked like, taking pictures of the ground, I moved along quickly, desperate to find the next message in line.  The trail wound through the tiny streets of the left bank, over the Seine on the wooden footbridge Passerelle des Arts, and across the street to the Louvre.  There I stood, in front of the museum famous for some of the most grandiose and romantic masterpieces in the world, staring at amateur chalk-drawn hearts on the ground.  I believe our friend Alanis would have something to say...isn't it ironic?  Don't you think?  Finally it appeared I had found the last message on the sidewalk scavenger hunt.  Pushing tourists out of the way before their white tennis shoes smudged the message, I found the happy ending:

"Tu es la femme de ma vie.  Veux-tu m'√©pouser?"
Translation: "You are the woman of my life.  Will you marry me?"

As Rachel Zoe says, I die!  Only in Paris would one follow a trail of glorified post-it notes a mile to discover a marriage proposal written so beautifully and yet so simply by a mystery writer.  When was the last time you saw something like this on the streets of New York?  Chicago? Anywhere?

So I say it's time to bring the love back.  Let's make grand romantic gestures just because we can!  And sorry fellas, a text message just doesn't cut it.  (Did I mention I was single?)


  1. How wonderfully romantic - I loved reading this! I can't wait to share this with my significant other, hoping he finds it at least somewhat significant. Is it the gentleness and femininity in we women that makes us "googly" over something as such? I don't know too many men who would be as overcome by this as you or I have. So there's another point to make, MEN be more romantic for the females out there who still have faith it exists. I am ready for some grand romantic gestures myself, which honestly could amount to something small. I just want my guy to put some thought into things he does for me. I don't think that is too much to ask. (Btw, I am more than halfway through EL&IC and I absolutely LOVE it! As eager as I am to finish it, I know it will also bring sadness with its closure.)

  2. Not to worry! Foer has another book called "Everything is Illuminated" that's not as good as EL&IC, but is still pretty brilliant. Or, check out his wife's stuff, "The History of Love," and "Man Walks into the Room." She has great style just like her hubby!