September 2004 (v7 i1)
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An accidental rendezvous
The time I went on a date with my French professor
by Kristin Hillery, Managing Editor

It all started with a cheesy e-mail I sent Professor Philippe Romain about a week before the final exam that said how much I had enjoyed taking his class and thanked him for being such a wonderful teacher — you know, the last effort e-mail you send when your grade is borderline between an A and a B.

I was surprised to get a reply from him later that day that thanked me in return for being such a fantastique student. I wrote back to thank him for thanking me.

Philippe and I continued to e-mail each other for the next couple of days. He told me all about the places he had traveled and what it was like growing up in France. I told him that I thought his life was very interesting, and I asked him if he'd like to have lunch with me some time so I could hear more, not expecting him to actually agree.

His response to my invitation was full of happy emoticons and exclamation points. We decided to meet at noon the next day at the Texadelphia on the Drag.

I arrived on time, but he wasn't there yet. I was staring at the giant menu on the wall for a few minutes when I suddenly smelled cologne and felt a warm hand on my shoulder.

"Hello, Kristin. You look beautiful," Philippe said when I turned around. His hair was gelled, and he was wearing a hideous gold necklace. His shirt was only buttoned three-quarters of the way up. "This must be how he dresses outside of the classroom," I thought as I glanced at the puff of chest hair sticking out of his shirt.

Now, I specifically chose Texadelphia for the reason that there would not be an awkward how-are-we-splitting-up-the-bill situation since there are no waiters. But as soon as I placed my order and opened my purse to get money out, Philippe handed the cashier his credit card and ordered a chicken cheese steak without missing a beat.

"Oh, you don't have to —"

"It's my pleasure," he said with a wink.

We sat down at a booth in the corner of the restaurant, and besides the fact that he was staring at my chest for most of the meal, we had a meaningful hour-long conversation.

When the time came to leave, I thanked Philippe for lunch, said goodbye, and we walked out of the restaurant together.

"Well, my car's parked over there. I'll see you on Thursday," I told him. He walked with me down the street, not saying a word until we reached my car.

I laughed nervously because he was standing very close to me. "Do you need a ride home or something?"

"No." His eyes were focused on my lips.

It was at that moment that I realized that I had just gone on a date with my French professor, and he wanted to kiss me goodbye. I could feel my face turning bright red as I thought about how inappropriately hot the situation was and what I was going to do about it.

"Well, see ya," I choked out. I was so frazzled by what had just happened that I keyed my car as I tried to unlock it and dropped my purse on the ground when I finally got the door open. I watched Philippe in my rearview mirror as I peeled out onto Guadalupe and drove home.

I have no idea what might have happened if I had invited Philippe back to my place that afternoon, but I probably wouldn't have ended up getting a B in his class.
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