The first time…

Prince was wrong when he sang, “The first time ain’t the greatest.” My first time was earth-shattering and unforgettable. The year was 1996 and I eagerly awaited this milestone event. I stood in front of the object of my desire. I tilted my head back and took in the brown awning shading the front of the store.

I pulled open the heavy glass door and breathed deeply. A yeasty aroma greeted me. Sparkling glass cases filled the room and displayed an assortment of heavenly treats. I scanned the various shapes and sizes of delights and then I saw it.

My life-long dream was going to come true. Would reality live up to fantasy? For the first time in my life, I was going to eat a croissant from a boulangerie in Paris. Oh, la, la. 


When I dreamed of a boulangerie and obtaining a croissant, I had not realized that so many other dreamy-worthy objects would vie for my attention. Commitment was not something that I feared or avoided. However, for a moment, I paused briefly second guessing my desire for a croissant. Maybe the decadent pain au chocolate would be a better match for me, I thought. Perhaps just a plump, golden baguette would satisfy my desire. Non! I would not stray but would stick with my fantasy croissant.

Using my best Babbel French, I said, “Je voudrais un croissant, s’il vous plait.”

The shopkeeper pulled a piece of tissue paper from a box, gently lifted a flakey croissant from the tray, and placed it in a crinkly paper wrapper.

“Voila!” said the dark-haired shop keeper efficiently handing me my treasure. “Ce sera un Euro.”

After exchanging my Euro and a sincere “Merci” for the glistening treasure, I found a simple wooden chair just outside the boulangerie and sat down. With the croissant perched in its paper sleeve, I moved in for a taste. As my mouth met the croissant, small flakes fell to my lap. The croissant melted in my mouth. Buttery-bliss covered my tongue. Moans of ecstasy involuntarily escaped my lips. I returned again and again for more, debating between going slow to savor the moment or to consume my love hungrily. Too soon, it was over. 

Wearing a satisfied sigh, I smiled, brushed the croissant flakes off my lap, and stood up. My fantasy was fulfilled beyond my expectations. Ah, Paris! What other delights await me? I cannot wait to discover my next fantasy food. But as far as French croissants, all I can say is the Sinead O’Connor was right when she sang: “Nothing compares to you.”

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