This is the second story in a four-part series
about the 15th anniversary trip my
artist wife and I took to Paris.

The day had arrived. We were visiting the Louvre on this crisp, rainy day in Paris. 

However, we had the small issue of her forgetting her membership at home – on a completely separate continent – to iron out first. Fortunately, the Friends of the Louvre Society has an office near the entrance. They replace lost or forgotten membership cards for a small fee.

With a fresh duplicata membership we beelined toward the entrance.

Despite ironing out that first wrinkle, this day would bring an ironic twist.

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My relationship with art should be no surprise to anyone at this point, especially if you have read The Van Gogh Visit. I enjoy seeing a piece of art and then moving on. I don’t take time to absorb it. That’s not my style.

The Louvre poses a major problem to my style, however. To speed-see everything would still take months, if not years. 

So, when my artist wife and I visited, we had a list of must-see pieces. Hers had two pieces on it — the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory of Samothrace

Was she attempting to break my 17-minute museum-visit record set in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum?

If that was the case, the joke was on her. My record would be safe. The sheer, massive size of the Louvre would negate that attempt. It would take anyone 17 minutes simply to walk to the Mona Lisa from the entrance, let alone wait in line to see the famous da Vinci portrait, and then walk back out.

We took care of her list first, and immediately she darted for the closest exit

So, there I stood watching her walk down the stairs toward the exit as she made her escape from the Louvre.

My view as I stood there watching my wife escape the Louvre.

I would later learn that her attempt at a speedy exit didn’t exactly go swimmingly as evidenced by the text I received after she returned to our hotel room: “Btw, getting OUT of the Louvre is a gong show.”

Nonetheless, following her departure and before her text, there I was, jaw dropped, as I watched her walk away into a throng of museum guests. 

“What do I do now?” I thought.

Of course, I had my list of ancient artifacts I kind of wanted to see. And I was standing amidst a giant hallway of art that was clearly important for one reason or another. 

So, I did what any sane person who was married to an artist would do.

I took my artist wife’s duplicata membership card on a tour, which, to me, was just as good as her taking the tour herself. 

After all, with her photo on the card, it was just like her taking selfies.

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