I didn’t return to Paris until after the turn of the century. My sister had been having a tough year, and there was an alumni event she wanted to attend at the American University of Paris. She’d attended the school—at the time a 2-year institution—in the mid-80s, back when bombs were going off.
Alison was willing to do all the legwork to set up the trip and make it affordable, so I agreed to go. A plus was that she had a much better command of French than I do, given her years living in Paris and Montreal.
Astoundingly, I had a great time at the alumni events. One night there was a cocktail party on a boat docked on the Seine, and we met a women who’d grown up in the same town as our mother. Another night there was a big dinner, and we sat with some fascinating people, including a German ambassador to France and a woman who taught school in Beirut.
After dinner, there was dancing in the grottolike cellar of the old building. For some reason, I remember “It’s Raining Men” starting up just about the time we got downstairs. When I hear that song now (which doesn’t happen that often), I think of that Paris night, of dancing in that fabulous space until way late, of trying to find a cab afterward and becoming more than a little concerned that that was not going to happen (and how would we get back to the hotel?), and of that young guy my sister made a date with for later in the week…
Here’s the original Weather Girls cut. This one’s for you, Sewa Yoleme.