And I’m not talking about meeting my fiancée’s parents - luckily, I have met them - but my own parents. Granted, I’ve already met them too, but it had been a while, especially during a weekday for lunch. They’d been away in Normandy and had brought back sweets for us, which is always the best way to make me come anywhere.
There was a trick though: after lunch, we were slated to go see a sound and light show about the works of symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. Over the past few weeks, I’d seen a bunch of friends post pictures of it on Instagram - it became a thing in Paris - but I a) hate doing like everybody else as a rule, b) wouldn’t necessarily go for a painting show, no matter how good they say it is, c) enjoy Klimt, but maybe not to the point of going to see only his work.
It was that or the sweets were gone, though. So I agreed.
We had an hour for lunch - they gave you time slots to get in, even though it was an open warehouse. Which should have been enough, but the waitress was new. And it quickly became clear that she and the chef didn’t get along. Eventually, it was him who served us, all the while moaning about “that girl” who’d let us order stuff that “wasn’t even supposed to be on the lunch menu”. But we didn’t know that, because the girl didn’t know that. Or forgot it, either way.
This meant we didn’t have time for dessert, which was ironic since I was here for sweets. But my parents did give me their Normandy gift - Marcel Proust’s famously inspiring madeleines - and off we went to attend the show. We’re a punctual bunch, I couldn’t argue.
It lasted an hour and it was a pretty elaborate animated show based off the works of Klimt, Egon Schiele and Hundertwasser (who I knew mostly as an architect - and rightfully so). For some reason, they let us in before the end of the previous loop, so we got to see the last part first. Which is always a great start. Then on to the beginning, until we reached the point we’d already seen. We stayed for another 5 minutes because my father “wanted to see if the second time would feel any different”.
Me: OK, can we go for desserts now?
Mother: OK. Let’s take some of your madeleines.
Me: Are you kidding?!
Father, to my mother: He’s not the sharing type, honey.
Me: Not with sweets, I’m not!
You can have my rice anytime.