Shortly before I turned 9 years old, my family moved to Paris, France. There, I became fluent in French, developed a taste for Camembert cheese, and fell in love with a couple exotic French men. Well, boys, actually - they were all my same age. The most memorable of my French crushes is named Robin Lecat. Oh, how I loved Robin. (Please don't mentally pronounce it Robin like Robin Hood. It is Robin like Chopin - like Robe-ahn.) He had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a typically French horrible sense of style. (They say the height of fashion is in France. But I certainly didn't see any of that in my elementary school La Sante des Carrierres.)
Just to illustrate how deep my feelings were for Robin, allow me to share this picture I drew. I am clearly not an artist. But at one point, I wanted to learn how to draw. I studied Robin's face and then tried to draw it. It doesn't look a thing like him...other than the eye color. Spot on.
I dreamed of Robin joining the church and marrying me. (Me dreaming of marrying people was a prominent theme of my youth, as you will see.) I didn't think too much about the logistics of the country in which we would spend our lives together, because at the time France was home for me. I didn't really miss America, although I missed things about it. Like peanut butter. Anyway, we didn't have a language barrier, so in my mind, there was nothing stopping our eternal bliss. And that smile...oh, it was enough to melt any girl's heart.
Of course, after my 2-year crush, we moved back to America and Robin left my life forever. But not my memory. No, no. I will never forget Robin and his beautiful smile...and his blue sweatshirt with the red sleeves.