When I returned to Ohio from spring break, I had to buckle down and finish my thesis. But at the same time, I kept emailing Mr. Funnel Cake and talking to him online when we had a chance.
Mr. FC was always amused how late I would stay up working, and he would IM me and marvel at the odd hours I was awake. We were talking fairly often by now, and he was even flirting online sometimes, telling me things like how he would volunteer to help me search for a swimsuit if I “needed help.” Gentleman he was, he would sometimes apologise if his quips were “too brash,” and he always sounded sincere.
One night in May ’08, Mr. Funnel Cake said he was searching for someone who would come to Paris with him for a few days during summer break, and he nonchalantly asked me if I was interested. I told him of course I’m interested because I’d never been and I started looking for flights, but didn’t take it too seriously.
The next time Mr. Funnel Cake asked me about Paris he was really keen on me coming, so I just sort of went with it. I still had money from my thesis grant to blow on travel, so I figured why not travel to Paris after graduating? It would be a perfect graduation present to myself.
Mr. Funnel Cake and I made plans and bought tickets, and I found us a hotel with two twin beds to share. (Because we are modest like that.) I admit, I was a little nervous about spending a WHOLE week with Mr. Funnel Cake. We had only met each other five times, after all. What if we ran out of things to talk about?? What if he kissed me and it was horrible and we spent the rest of the week in awkward silence? Who goes on a vacation with a guy they barely know? What would happen???
Come June ’08, I graduated from Ohio State and two weeks later I was flying to France. We met at Charles de Gaulle airport and hugged hello. The first day was wonderful…we walked all around Paris seeing amazing sights, and we went to the Eiffel Tower immediately.
Since we were vacationing together, I had an excuse to take photos of Mr. Funnel Cake and me together.
That said, we both still took secret photos of each other.
Mr. FC snapped me taking photos in Versailles. I’m not the only one taking secret photos!
For some reason, on the first day we only wanted to pay to go up to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Maybe we were cheapskates, but we didn’t feel like waiting in line to go to the top. Mr. Funnel Cake kept flirtatiously poking me the whole day while I tried to take pictures, and in the evening I got really cold in the June weather and I remember hesitantly feeling his hands at the subway and commenting how much warmer he was than me. I was trying to open up and be a little forward, but I still wanted him to make the first move.
First night, though, we went to sleep in our twin beds, which were coincidentally RIGHT next to each other *hint hint* and, as a result of our tense nerves, we both slept awfully that night. I honestly kept dreaming he would reach over and kiss me. I’d wake up and be mortified wondering if it would really happen.
The second day in Paris, after Mr. FC had survived six hours in the Louvre with me, we decided we needed to head back to the Eiffel Tower to take night pictures over the city. We figured, when are we going to be in Paris again?? So we sprung for tickets to the top level of the Eiffel Tower, and we headed there to wait for the sun to set.
Again, it was getting cold as the sun dipped below the horizon. At the tippy top of the tower, I got colder and colder, and Mr. Funnel Cake edged in behind me closer and closer to keep me warm as we watched the sun sinking slowly, until we were wrapped in each other’s arms. When Mr. Funnel Cake said something particularly sarcastic that made me turn my head back and look at him, it was then that I could tell this was it. As the sun set, we both leaned in and shared the most romantic kiss of my entire life.
Photos I took just after the kiss…my heart aglow
This kiss changed everything. After this moment, we were together. Mr. Funnel Cake confessed that he loved me, to which I unromantically responded, “What? Are you crazy??” (I’m a little slow.) We spent the entire week as a couple without a single care in the world, lying in each other’s arms, eating cheese, and drinking wine. It was heaven.
Mr. FC uncorking a bottle in front of the Eiffel Tower on the last night
When we had our painful goodbye at the airport, I felt an earth-shattering loss as I boarded the plane. To this day, I can almost cry just thinking of that day again.
I needed to find a way to be with this man. I didn’t care how, I would do it.
During the next several months, I began my long, arduous journey into the realm of Swiss visas and working permits. I can’t exactly explain what it felt like to be apart from Mr. Funnel Cake, but it felt sort of like there was a ghost by me, or an invisible thread. Quite frankly, it felt genuinely uncomfortable to be so far from him, but five months later when he was coming to Columbus to help move me to Zürich, all felt right with the world. After waiting this long, I was falling in love and was prepared to make every sacrifice to be with Mr. Funnel Cake!
**All photos are personal**