Lightning flashed. The air was charged with electricity and the hair on my arms and nape of the neck tingled.
It was 1967 in Toulouse, France. I was an American who didn't speak French. I'd met a former Holiday on Ice ice skater who spoke English. He had invited me to have a drink with him and his former girl friend and skating partner on Place Wilson.
He and I were sitting at the outside cafe enjoying our drinks and waiting for her, when I spotted this gorgeous blonde walking along. I'm a male, so I watched.
To my surprise, the blonde walked up to us, gave the French air kisses to my friend and then looked quizzically at me and offered her hand. "Hi. I'm Claudine." That's when lightning flashed.
Was it love at first sight or lust at first sight. I'm not sure.
My friend had said that she was pretty. She was -- and then some. Her French accented English was enchanting.
We had a nice chat and set a date to do it again the following week. At that meeting, she said that she was being laid off work and was losing her small studio apartment.
She had said that she was a good cook. I did some quick math. Groceries for two would be cheaper than my eating out all of the time. Since I had a 3-bedroom apartment, I offered her shelter in exchange for her cooking and cleaning.
It took a month of persistent begging before the lightning's electricity reached her and she agreed to be my girl friend. I brought her back to the states with me, we got married and we're still together after all these years.
But, it seems like only yesterday that the lightning flashed.