Diaries Magazine

On the 6.

By Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
On the 6.
These past few days in Paris have been absolutely gorgeous. For those of you who are here, have you been just relishing in every second of this uncharacteristically warm weather and sunshine? It's nicer now than it was over the summer! These are the kind of days that need to be enjoyed and taken advantage of, because the rain will be a-comin'. Not allowing current events and random accusations hold me down, I have been appreciating the beauty that is autumn in Paris.
Yesterday I was treated to an impromptu lunch by one of my favorite bloggers Finding Noon. She must have picked up on the fact that I was having one of those days. It's a rare occasion that I don't want to be alone, but yesterday was just one of those days. I really needed some company. For part of the afternoon, she kindly let me hang around her lovely abode where we eventually did a small lunch al fresco on this gorgeous autumn afternoon. Sprinkled with fallen golden and cherry-colored Japanese maple leaves, on her terrace that overlooks her building's communal garden (that no one is allowed to enter), we were ladies who lunched. So rive gauche.
After overstaying my welcome I'm sure, I got going and after a transfer or two, found myself on the metro line 6 heading back home. It's always when I'm bit out of it, and perhaps a little down and out that I have the oddest interactions - and always with strangers. The metro stopped at Invalides and a older gentleman wearing a wrinkled navy blue cotton button down, khakis and fashioning an official badge that he was an official agent for a publication that I have never heard of, hopped on board. Standing several inches in front of the fold down seat by the door that I was sitting on, he was unnecessarily hovering over me in this hardly packed train car. 
"Mesdames, Messieurs, bonjour, here I have a 2013 calendar with pictures, beautiful photos of the cutest, fluffiest baby animals that you have ever seen in your life," he announced to us passengers without a single drop of emotion. "It's important to have a calendar especially with the busy year of 2013 fast approaching. Act now, act now."
"Act now, Act now", when said in complete monotone doesn't exactly trigger a sense of urgency. He then held it up and flipped through the pages, giving us an upside down view of the fluffiest animals we had ever seen...in our lives. The poor guy, while I didn't think he himself cared about the damn calendar or the animals either, he really wanted us to acknowledge him. Sadly, he wasn't getting much feedback from this tough crowd of Parisian commuters. Feeling bad, I discreetly pulled out my wallet to see if I had enough change to purchase one. I was in no way committing, I was just checking to see if I had money.
Because he was only a few inches away, the act of reaching for my wallet caught his attention in which he stopped his commanding and convincing pitch that simply no consumer could refuse, and held his hand out to collect.
A little presumptuous, but okay.
"Mademoiselle, are you interested in purchasing a calendar?" he asked inching in closer.
"Sure," I responded, "How much?"
"We except donations," he said with a shrug, "Give as much as you can."
Hmm, okay. Flicking through my coin purse with my pointer finger, I saw that I had a 2 euro piece as well as a bunch of loose change. Not wanting to give him 2 euro as I had to pick up bread for dinner, I handed him 75 centimes. For a metro calendar, I thought that was a fair donation.
Well tell that to monsieur. Snap.
"75 centimes?" he said with a loud chuckle while staring down at what he clearly thought was an insulting offer, "The calendars themselves cost a euro to produce! You try getting a baby kitten to pose like that for 75 centimes, ha!" With that he flashed me the month of July which demonstrated two kittens snuggling in a picnic basket in a field...presumably in July.
He did have a point, they were pretty cute and I know that my cat Charlotte would certainly not have worked for 75 centimes. That wouldn't have even covered her union fees. I really didn't want to give up my 2 euro piece, but like a sucker I forked it over and now have the stupid animal calendar.
When Séb came home, he found the baby animal calendar hanging proudly on the fridge, displaying the month of January that boasts two little polar bears kissing in the snow. As a peace-treaty for neglecting to pick up a baguette, a bottle of Bordeaux was open, breathing and ready for consumption next to the empty bread basket. I explained the story while he flipped through the calendar and then it hit him!
"Isn't that the weird newspaper that is sold in the metro for people looking for a purpose in life?" Séb asked while holding up the September centerfold of a leggy giraffe in the jungle. Those are their target readers? Really? People searching for the point of their lives. Well no wonder he found me. Mystery solved and now I have a baby animal calendar to remind me of it for the next 14 months. Oy vey.

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