Sunday, September 09, 2007

The language of Love

In 8th grade I became absolutely enamored with the French language and begged my parents to send me to French camp in Hackensack, MN for two weeks. French camp was, for three summers, a completely singular life experience still to this day.

I fell in love, immediately, with one of the counselors. His French name was "Gregoire" and he was simply the most amazing creature I had ever met. He was hot, funny, had crazy glasses, and, most importantly, he paid attention to me. During the first weekend of camp there was a dance, and after what I'm sure was HOURS of contemplation, I asked Greg to dance. The song was 'I Remember You' by Skid Row. Whenever I hear that song I think about Gregoire and our dance.

He and I wrote letters back and forth for awhile, and he sent me his senior picture. Then he went off to college, I went off to high school, and, heartbroken, I was sure I would never love again.

Fortunately, there was no shortage of hot men for me to love in Hackensack. The next year the subject of my adoration was Fabrice Massot, a French man who was, I believe, in his 20s. He was my "Pere"--the head of my family at meal times. He made a killer fondue. He signed his PTTs to me "gros bises" (PTTs were the camp mail system, 'gros bises' means 'many kisses'). I still have his PTTs to me that say "gros bises" in my high school memory box.

Fabrice and I also wrote to each other for awhile but this was before email, so we relied on air mail and the postal system. We stopped writing, and Fabrice was lost to me forever.

The next summer I did not go back to French camp. I'm sure I blamed it on getting a job, or being too busy, or bored with French, but the truth is I think my poor young heart just couldn't take it anymore.

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