June 5, 2009

It's Easy Being Green

I work for a living. I know, hard to imagine that I can find time for a job. But I do. Work for a nice, big company, with lots of people in it. Used to be a lot fewer people, but then we executed a merger. We got hugely enormous and became genuinely multinational in the process. This is cool, because it means that sometimes I get to go to Paris. And I like to go to Paris. Not just for the food, either, though that's certainly a draw.

On my first trip to Paris, the folks on my team wanted to get to know each other. So we did a personality analysis.

As our consultants explained, each of us is a blend of three colors, one of which is usually dominant. If you're mostly blue, you are heavily analytical, always thinking about the future, and generally staring at your bellybutton because you are so inwardly focused. If you are red, you are driving and driving and driving - though you may not always know toward what, and that "what" may sometimes be a big giant cliff. And if you are green, you are the Chatty Cathy of the group, the social butterfly, the networker. And you are always late, because the person you are talking to right now is incredibly important. This pisses off the blue people, who are always on time because they are insanely precise, as well as the red people, who never wait for anyone.

This will come as a complete shock, of course, but I am mostly green. I am also always late.

On Wednesday after work, I walked into my hotel and found an American friend in the lobby, waiting for her French boss, who was joining her for dinner. I kept her company while she waited. Of course, he was late. He is green. She is green, too, so we understood. And when he arrived, apologizing, we explained that there was no need because all of us are green.

At which point, green social beast that he is, he invited me to dinner with them. For which, huge thanks.

We spent 45 green minutes on the sofa getting to know each other before we realized that if we didn't leave we'd never find an open restaurant. Then we chatted at the table without even looking at the menus for at least 20 green minutes more before we realized that if we didn't order we wouldn't eat before midnight.

Everything was late. None of us cared. We were too busy enjoying being green together.

The food wasn't bad, either. At the aptly named Spicy restaurant, we enjoyed intriguingly spiced dishes along with a chilled bottle of red wine (and J-P, if you read this please share what type of wine it was because I loved it and I cannot remember). Oh, but the best part - aside from the green conversation - was the dessert. It was called Spicy Coffee. And with that, I learned a new food word - degustation. For Spicy Coffee was a bit more than that. Along with our teeny tiny cups of French coffee, we each enjoyed a degustation of two insanely fabulous desserts. One was a small, cannoli-like pirouette cookie filled with an appropriately green pistachio cream. The other - it was ooh-la-la good! On the top, chopped spiced fruit - maybe apple? Then a thick layer of a smooth custard akin to vanilla pudding, only richer. And then, at the bottom, a layer of perfectly spiced and saturated gingerbread. Together in one bite, they blended perfectly. Rather like our conversation that evening. Fabulous!

We closed the restaurant. Then our newest French friend suggested we see the Eiffel Tower at night, so we did ... and, not realizing that our green natures had brought us to the Tower after midnight, we missed the last subway train back to the hotel. So we chatted and walked and chatted some more. Crossed the Champs Elysees, all bright lights and cars and dramatic presence. Chatted a bit more. And finally made it back to the hotel at 2:00 a.m.

Being green is a bit like being blonde: you just have more fun. Though one might occasionally appreciate just a little more sleep.

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