Goodbye Paris

What would you do in the City of Light?

The Secret to Convincing Your Wife to Go To Paris

Eiffel Toweer

Photo by danorbi (Creative Commons)

When you spend three grand on plane tickets to Europe for your eighty-five year old Grandma’s destination wedding, you might as well spread the cost out and make it a longer visit. Also, since I don’t have a real job I thought, “Now is finally time to do the Tim Ferriss thing and live abroad!”

Unfortunately, as hard as it is to believe, Talia isn’t always keen on the idea of traveling to a foreign country with a bad exchange rate where we don’t know anyone with a one-year old infant. Her reasoning baffles me.

However, since I wanted my wife to agree to this crazy adventure, I chose Paris on the slim probability that her favorite city would sway her to my side.

The secret to convincing your wife of a crazy idea is to let her convince herself.

“That’s a crazy idea!” she said when I first suggested Paris. “What about my sister’s wedding? What about Marston? What about my job? What about the potted plants?”

“The plants are dead. They adore babies into France. You can quit your job. And we’ll be back in time for your sister’s wedding. Let’s go to Paris.”

“I just think it’s a bad plan. Why can’t we just move to Atlanta? This seems like just another of your ideas.”

A few days later, though, we were at a party and she brought up Paris on her own.

“How long do you think you’ll stay in XXXXX?” someone asked about XXXXX, the painfully small town at the foothills of the Appalachians where we live. Our town is most famous for being the largest producer of chickens in the country. I love the trees and the hills, but there’s only so many times you can get stuck behind a semi-truck towering with cages filled with thousands of pitiful chickens heading to the slaughterhouse. Worse than the smell is the knowledge you’re looking at tonight’s dinner.

“We’re actually planning on going to Paris for a few months,” said my darling wife. This might have knocked me to the floor if it hadn’t already happened so many times in our happy marriage.

“Paris? Why Paris?” someone asked.

“Well, our plants are dead. I want to quit my job. And my sister isn’t getting married until June. Plus, I understand they adore babies in Paris.”

“Why not, then?” someone said encouragingly.

“Exactly,” I said, kissing my bride on the forehead. “Why not?”

Were we actually going to Paris?

Or did we concoct  the whole plan as an excuse to brag at parties? Who knows? But the one thing that saved our Paris trip from good intentions and no follow through was Grandma. Grandma’s nuptials were pending and somehow we had to make it to Europe.

There’s nothing like an octogenarian’s destination wedding to force your hand into a half-baked excursion, and so in January less than two months before we had planned to depart, and with much groaning, rolling in ashes, and tearing of robes, we finally purchased our plane tickets and were immediately bankrupt.

Bankrupt, yes, but going to Paris.

We squealed in joy at the thought of Paris: the Louvre! Notre Dame! croissants! cafés! thousands of cafés! and those frowning, seductive French! What an adventure! Then, we remembered the state of our finances and fell into depression once more.

For better or worse, it was set: Florence by way of Paris. Bliss by way of Bankruptcy.

  • Talia

    I’d take bankruptcy and bliss with you any day Joseph Bunting. 48 hours and counting!

  • Stacey

    So many things are worth more than money! I can assure you, after living abroad for the past ten years (with MANY a financial struggle) it is SO worth it!!

    Also, there is nothing about your job that isn’t real Joe. I like to say, it’s not a “traditional” job. I’d encourage you to change that in your post right now. There are enough people in the world thinking that we don’t have “real” jobs, let’s not help them continue that line of thinking.

    Mostly!! Have the best time!!!

  • Joe – so you think it was you that convinced her? How little you know of the way of women…

    • Haha! Not at all, Bernard. I said, “The secret to convincing your wife is to let her convince herself.” I ain’t no fool. ;)

  • “We’re actually planning on going to Paris for a few months,” said my darling wife.

    This in my favorite line in the whole story. It is where the plot turns. Talia is full of adventure. I wonder what she will find to do in Paris?
    All the best to all three of you. A story and book to remember. (Then you have to be a speaker at Story Line with Donald Miller)
    Living an adventure. Making it happen. Time to stop driving behind chickens.