Mae in Paris

Mae in Paris

Let's set the scene...

January 11, 2023 - on my way to work on a rainy morning in Baton Rouge, listening to Vienna by Billy Joel. I just started Maetiques six months ago, and we are just now finding our balance. A few moments into the song I get an idea- Let's do exactly the opposite of what Billy Joel is saying and not slowing down, you crazy child. Paris waits for me! In that moment I was determined it would happen. And if you know me, once my head is set on something, it's happening. It's just that simple. My momma would call that stubbornness, but I call it tenacity. 

If I was going to convince my husband to go to Paris with me, I needed to get my story together and make it convincing, and quick! I get to work, and within minutes I have a blank PowerPoint staring at me. Why did I think this was the best idea? Completely unsure, but I rolled with it. "Why we should go to Paris" was immediately the title page and the rest just flowed. Titled the presentation "Please", titled the email "Pretty Please", and sent it off to him by 9am. By 9:01am he is calling me wondering what the hell happened and if I had completely lost my mind (I did, but I wasn't going to admit that).  

Of course, he begins telling me why it isn't feasible, money, finances, dogs, blah blah blah. He really is the more logical one in our relationship - if it weren't for him, I would be absolutely lost and probably living in the streets of Paris. But I knew in my heart this HAD to happen. Imagine it - Maetiques in Paris, sourcing all of the beautiful French European antiques. Forget that it was only a six-month-old business. Forget that I barely had a following (less than 2,000 at that point). Forget it all. It simply had to happen. So, it happened. 

While booking the tickets, I was so thrilled about this spontaneous trip (and the fact that I convinced my frugal husband to say yes) I didn't look at any dates, and immediately clicked "add to cart", "pay now". It wasn't until later the next day that I realized I booked this spontaneous trip during our friend's wedding - while at their couple's shower (big yikes). You know that feeling when the blood runs from your face and you go limp? Yeah, that was me when they asked what dates we were going to Paris. My palms were sweating uncontrollably until I got back to my computer to rebook the flights. If you have been around for a while, you know this type of behavior is totally on brand for us - joyfully chaotic, but sometimes just pure chaotic. 

Rebook the flights, check. Now onto planning. You might think - Oh, she has an antique business, she knows what she's doing and will order a crate from France to ship home antiques. Ha. No. When I say we winged every ounce of this trip, I genuinely mean it. I didn't even know where the markets would be... I had no earthly idea how I was going to get anything home. Every waking moment was focused on Paris from then on out. I would wake up in the middle of the night adding notes to my phone of things we would need to bring, places to go, and French words to remember. By the way, buy yourself a bag of rubber bands if you plan to buy books so they don't slide in your suitcase (thank you 3am Maegan). Every afternoon from when we booked the flights to the second we left was research research research! 

As we are on the way to the airport, I am anxiously practicing my French numbers with Doug and how to negotiate because I know the second, we land in Paris at 5am, its GO TIME. It was a Sunday, and the markets in Paris are only open on Saturday and Sunday. There was no time to waste! We run to the hotel, drop our bags, and run to the markets. Jet lag couldn't stop us today. There was nothing that could prepare me for what was to come. Nothing. Take your dreams of what an antique market in Paris would look like, multiply it by 1,000 and then multiply it again. 

The abundance of quality antiques was astounding. I have yet to see anything that would ever compare to the Paris markets. We were filling our bags left and right - we would bring 3-4 tote bags in the morning and need to do drop offs mid-day, so we didn't break our shoulders! Poor Doug began wearing the totes around his neck to give his back a break - iconic man, I tell ya. We decided against a crate and simply put everything in our suitcases. Boy, oh boy, was that a journey. We each took multiple suitcases, and it still wasn't enough to bring home everything. We legitimately left clothes and appliances in the hotel room because we can always buy more of those - we couldn't find more French antiques. And guys... The number of books I brought home was absolutely astounding. How we got all of these goodies home without breaking everything is still something I ponder on frequently. I mean, we seriously brought home five alabaster winged victory statues from the Louvre, and they all arrived in the states in one piece! We strained our backs pretty dang good throwing our carry-ons in the overhead bins!  

We are always asked what our favorite memory of that trip was, and there's quite a few, but my favorite will always be our Seine River boat cruise to celebrate Maetiques. In the middle of dinner, I got so emotional looking at Doug with the Paris scenery in the background I busted into tears mid conversation. I am talking water hose streams of tears, so much so the table sitting next to me thought there was something wrong. Nothing was wrong, in fact it was the opposite. Everything was perfect. My husband. Paris. Maetiques. It was what dreams were made of! I have a man who loves me and would do anything for me in front of me, I am in my favorite place in the entire world, and I am chasing my dreams. Just a child that grew up from nothing, in Paris, chasing her dreams. In that moment, I was invincible.

Paris has always been and will continue to be home to me. We are planning another trip for an entire month in 2024, this time we may need to consider an overseas crate! 

So, I guess the moral of the story - listen to Billy Joel, make a PowerPoint for your husband, and throw caution to the wind a little more often. You never know what will happen! 

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