Continuing my week of reflections on my recent trip to Paris, I was just thinking about how hard it is not to get involved in other people’s private moments while in Paris. So many people there are on special trips, as opposed to ordinary life, and it’s all just out there on display. However much you feel like you are intruding, there’s nowhere else really to go.
Or, maybe that’s just me.
The moment that I’m thinking of in particular happened over by Notre Dame. The wife and I had grabbed ice cream over in the Latin Quarter after another dinner there and decided to go sit over by Notre Dame. We happened to look over to our left and noticed a guy bend down on one knee in front of some girl. There was, of course, a ring. The girl became very excited and there was some hugging and kissing after the guy stood back up. Obviously, the couple was suddenly engaged. My wife clapped (the couple was about ten feet away).
For me, it just felt kind of weird. I felt like I was intruding, particularly in commenting on their impending nuptials, but what else was I going to do? They were just ten feet from us.
Incidentally, Notre Dame strikes me as a curious place to propose marriage. Also, I noticed that the entire time after the proposal until they got in their car that the girl spent more time looking at her ring than at the guy. She barely seemed to notice he was there anymore. That seems normal, but still funny.
What should I have done? Turned away? Stopped watching? (I couldn’t). With all the people on trips in Paris and having special moments, there really isn’t much choice when being out and about except getting involved in some minor way. I guess that’s just something you deal with there.
Another incidentally, the ice cream was very good.