Sunbathing Topless is Stressful!

Dan seemed to be a perfect match for me. He loved to drink wine, eat good food, had no kids and was big into traveling. Neither of us were fans of cooking so if we weren’t eating out at the finest restaurants, we were ordering in expensive Italian. His condo by the beach was immaculately clean, his Mercedes was big and comfy and he dressed impeccably every day, but he didn’t have a job, so where was the money coming from…?

During the first week I didn’t ask, well, I guess I should say, didn’t care. It was just nice to be spoiled and have someone to hang out with.  With no friends, life was lonely therefore he couldn’t have appeared at a better time.  All of the women I had met while venturing out alone were gold diggers with plastic and silicone parts and right out of an episode of the real ex housewives of Fort Lauderdale. Plus if my flight attendant job went well, I would be busy flying all over the world anyway, in my mind, he was temporary. On top of that, like clockwork, I was dating someone who had no idea about passion or how to take care of a woman.

It had been 2 weeks since my last flight so hanging out with him seem to pass the time when finally, they needed me. We were heading to Nice, France I and would be gone for about a week, which meant the pilots and I would stay in a hotel and hang out until it was time to fly back. What’s even better is that it was against the law in Europe, unlike America for the jet company to rent the plane out while we waited. This meant we could chill by the pool having cocktails at noon or stay up all night at the club without having to worry about being called in for a flight. Not being a savvy traveler yet, still more of an unpolished, typical AmearKIN, I had not bothered to learn any French, not a word, which certainly explained the dirty looks and bad service I’d received.

Going out alone was not something I was used too and when I saw someone eating by themselves I would always feel sorry for them. So for the first few days I made sure to eat with the pilots but I could tell that they wanted to ditch me after to so they could venture out alone.  It was time for me to put my big girl pants on and head out solo and I’ll tell you what, it’s the best feeling in the world. The first night I told people that I was at the club with a friend and that she was off dancing with someone. The second night I said I was meeting people there but by night 3, I was a pro. Going out alone is awesome and to this day, I do it all the time. Although I look back now and wonder how I am still alive. I was a big drinker and would get wasted all the time which made me a target. Years after I stopped flying the movie Taken came on and it really scared the heck out of me. I was that dumb girl telling cab drivers, strangers and other drunk people that I was there alone, or what hotel I was in, just stupid things you don’t do, ever! My angels were working overtime those first 3 years of traveling on the jets.

The hotel we stayed in had this amazing pool on the roof with a bar, waiters and an incredible view. As I was sunning it up, there were women all around me topless, as if it was no big deal. Of course to them it wasn’t, but back in the States, it was unheard of and even though it was common in France, it felt very shameful to me. Plus the owner of the jet company was with us, he had his pilot’s license and would often fill in on our trips so I couldn’t imagine him or the other one seeing me half-naked, it just felt wrong. Then one day there was a middle-aged, French woman with 3 kids hanging out. She was topless and her young kids were climbing all over her, bare breasts and all, how could that be? Most children in America would die if they saw their mother’s breasts, let alone hug her with them exposed, yet it was no big deal to these children. That was it, I decided it was time, I was tired of tan lines, all I had to do was keep an eye on the entrance so if my crew happened to appear, I could just cover up or flip over. I’ll tell you what, it was awful, I felt exposed, naked, embarrassed, weird and like everyone was staring at me. Half the women at that pool were topless so if they could do it, I could too! I was so proud of myself thst I set the timer on my camera and took a photo, lol.

topless sunbathing

I was just getting used to the idea of an all over tan, even dozing off a bit completely forgetting to watch for the other crew when I heard a man’s voice say, “Miss Grant”! OH EM GEE, my hands had never moved so fast!!! I covered up my size B parts then flipped over faster than lighting. I could hear the waiter chuckle a bit as he proceeded to let me know that an admirer wished to send over a bottle of wine and a selection of cheeses and did I care to have it sent to my room or would I prefer to enjoy it at the pool??? Exactly why I didn’t want to take my top off to begin with!!!!

Here I was in a strange Country, seemingly alone and some weirdo at the pool was watching me. He didn’t know who the person was just that the front desk called, described what I looked like and told him my name. No way was I going to stay there, I politely requested he send it to my room, grabbed my clothes, scanned the pool to see if anyone was looking in my direction and ran to my room keeping an eye out to make sure no one followed…..To make things worse, my cell was not international so there was no way to call for help if someone did attack me. With only 2 more days to go before flying back, I sat in my room contemplating whether I should just stay in until we left or be brave enough to head back out again….


Drunk Go Kartng in Cannes France…

The very thought of what was about to happen would only be one you would read about in a book or see in a movie, but it happened and it was the first of so many more, all over the world…..for years!
In my mind, I didn’t comprehend any of it! Rushing your passport so you can take the wealthy across the ocean on a private jet and now waiting for your car to arrive, with a driver….in Nice France, who does that? I was 30, it was 2002 and I had never been out of the Country before and maybe had visited 5 states

in the US.

My driver was amazing. He was French, had a full head of silver grayish hair, a thin scarf and a suit. It was obvious that I hadn’t had many drivers so he thought it would be nice for us to take the scenic route. Our conversation was incredible and he would chime in from time to time to make sure that I saw this historical building or that famous monument, it was a dream.

When he asked me about my schooling, I was a bit embarrassed. I had to drop out of college my senior year, move home and attend Indiana University NW, which was an extension near my hometown. But then I decided to follow my college sweetheart to Georgia and then to chase another boyfriend to Orlando, so I never quite finished. Once I started heading south though, I was in and out of colleges trying to somehow earn enough credits to one day graduate.

For whatever reason I blurted all of that out! Laurent pulled over, turned around, paused for a moment and said, “You’re in the School of Life now, those credits mean nothing here”. He winked, turned the corner and in we went to a real live Boulangerie to have a café and a French pastry with his long time friend who owned the bakery.

As we hugged goodbye, I jokingly said “I promise to write about you in my book one day”, I teared up a bit and I think he did too.

The wonder and awe of the drive quickly faded as I turned around to see masses of people getting into giant luxury busses and I was supposed to meet the client in all if that, with no cell phone, or as they say in Europe, ‘mobile’.

Panic set in as I can hear Mom in my head worried because I was in a strange country where I didn’t speak the language and had no phone….. I’m tough right, or at least I told myself that as I cruised past the people heading towards the entrance and then there he was, easy peasy. Froggie handed me a T-shirt to wear with company information on it while explaining to me why I was there as we boarded one of the busses. Turns out he sponsored the whole event for hundreds of people and we were headed to the best part of the day.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. He rented a huge indoor go kart track where the food and endless bottles of wine were all chilling on huge beds of ice decorated with shellfish, sushi, appetizers, the works. Wait, so why am I hear again….to help he said and while you’re doing that, eat and drink as much as you like while riding super fast go karts all night for free! Now I practically grew up in an arcade walking distance where I grew up in Merrillville Indiana and we never played anything for free, I was in heaven.

When I say super fast, I mean those babies could fly and everyone was ramming into each other. He t-boned my kart hard on a curve and I swear my neck snapped. I was mad and although I wasn’t the fighting drunk anymore, I was competitive and he would pay for that. 3 glasses of wine later and I was Richard Petty on a mission, I got him too, swear I heard his neck snap.

It had to be about midnight and there were a handful of us left cleaning up and saying good night, including the boss. The establishment owner called us a cab and then insisted we wait outside as he needed to close up for the night. The first car showed up which seemed like hours later and only had room for everyone but him and I so the driver called in another for us. We were cool with that, Froggie was just telling me a story about his young daughter anyway.

When the van pulled up full of people, I was devastated. We were drunk, tired and had now been waiting a good hour for a ride and the one that showed up, had no room. Within a blink of an eye, my guide, the man who was supposed to be looking out for me, opened the door, squeezed into the back seat, threw me a $100 bill and yelled, “Call another taxi”. Call another taxi???? And go where????? I was staying in Nice, a good 40 minute drive and a $100 bill was not going to cut it, I was in Cannes France, it’s expensive there!!!!!!!!

Oh wait, there’s more!!! I had no phone, it was dark, I was alone and there were no cars to be seen ANYWHERE!! WTF?????? And then I remembered that the Captain had written down his hotel information just in case I needed it. They screamed back over the loud music that they would send another cab as I watched their taillights slowly fade down the hill. It wasn’t long before my ride came and good thing because I was fuming mad and couldn’t wait to get a hold of him.

Anyone within an ear shot of that hotel had to of heard me beat on his door while yelling his name. This went on for a good 2 minutes while his assistant, who had the adjoining room tried to brush me off through the door saying to go home. That wasn’t happening and they knew it so in I went! There were a million things I wanted to say but I was representing this jet company and really wanted them to call me again so thank goodness something grabbed a hold of me and shook me back to my senses.

He was standing as far from the door in the room as possible kind of laughing but also trying to be serious because he knew he was wrong and I was really upset. I went nose to nose and just said, “What if that was your daughter left there?” After that we sat up for hours drinking wine and getting to know each other and both promised to keep all of this from the pilots.

The next day everyone boarded the plane as we head to our 3rd stop, Amsterdam. The pilots and I greet the guests at the top of the stairs so it was crucial for me to keep it professional in order for them not to suspect a thing. Froggie kept trying to break my zone as I strolled up and down the aisle serving drinks and dinner, but I maintained. As we landed, he slyly handed me a piece of paper with his hotel address on it with a note that said, ‘party with us tonight, be there at 8…’

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