Gold highlights replace the waning touches of white on Hollywood’s latest version of the ultra-smart black daytime frock. Claudette Colbert, Paramount star in “I Met Him in Paris,” wears the first high-style model, designed by Travis Banton. The dress is short with an original collar effect extending outward at the shoulders. The gold braid, combined with black crepe, stresses a regal note prevalent in this season’s fashions and Miss Colbert’s chic black hat and shoes are in exquisite taste. The finishing touch to the costume is a huge black fox muff, replacing the usual fur scarf favored by many smart women.
Look ahead to 1938. When this striking fall or winter ensemble will be eagerly adapted into the wardrobes of thousands of women who will admire it on Claudette Colbert, Paramount star in “I Met Him In Paris.” The suit is of lightweight green tweed trimmed in leopard. Travis Banton, the designer, adds a clever fur belt to the collarless jumper of the suit and twists the green wool into a peaked turban. Miss Colbert’s gloves and shoes are of darker green antelope.
Melvyn Douglas reminisced with me about I Met Him in Paris many years later. “It was always a delight to work yet again with Claudette. I am only sorry we didn’t do more pictures together. She could hold her own with any of them as a farceur. Her touch was light and natural, and above all, effortless. She was a joy to play with because you didn’t have to carry her, or cover for her. In fact, in some scenes, when I viewed them later, she was carrying me! Those skiing scenes–if she hadn’t been a natural at the sport, they never would have come out so well.
Claudette Colbert - An Illustrated Biography by Lawrence J. Quirk
I remember the day I met him. I was in Paris for the summer, staying with my sister and her family. She had just moved here to be with her husband, and I wanted to see her, and help her settle in.It was a sunny day in the city. He was my sun. I was shopping with my baby nephew, determined to prove to my sister that I was the best auntie out of all our sisters, her sisters in law included. I agreed to buy my nephew a brand new pair of Jordans. I wanted to spoil my little baby rotten. I didn’t have any kids yet, so all my love and affection was centered on my little
nephew. He was my joy. My nephew was a lightning bolt, full of energy and
always on the go. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when he ran into the sneaker
shop excited to get his new shoes.
“Larry!” I yelled after him.
All heads snapped in my direction
except the one I was searching for. I blushed with embarrassment as I chased
down my nephew. When I found him he already had two pairs of sneakers in his
little hands. I bent down to his level to scold him.
“Larry, what did I tell you about
running too far? You have to stay close baby so I don’t lose you. Your mother
will kill me.”
He swung his little arms around my
neck and kissed me on my cheek in apology. My heart melted. He was such a
“Now why do you have two sneakers in
your hands boo? I said we’re getting just one today”
“But Titi, I want both, please,” he
begged and pouted. And I caved.
How could I say no to such an angel
face? I had one of the store assistants bring me both pairs in his size so he
could try them on. As young as he was, he already had good taste. He even got
up to walk around in his new sneakers. Looks like he wasn’t going to take them
off either. The next series of events changed my life forever. I turned around
for nothing more than a second, and by the time I turned back around, my Larry
was gone. He must have ran off as he often did. My frustration flared even
though I tried to reason that he was just testing out his new sneakers.
I yelled after him as I tried to
chase him around the store. But the tight ass jeans I was wearing at the time,
paired with my 4 inch booties slowed me down. When I finally caught up to
him, I found him in the arms of a man. This man was holding my baby to his chest
and I was petrified. He didn’t look dangerous, but at the same token, I had no
idea who this man was.
I called to my nephew again. Both of
their heads snapped up.
“S’il vous plait, laissez-le aller,”
I spoke to the man.
The man didn’t move. So I tried a
“Ne le touche pas,” I said to him. I
wasn’t even sure if the conjugations were correct. French was not my first
language, but I take it he got the gist of what I was trying to say as he
started to put my nephew down.
“Larry, ta mere ne veut pas que je
“Non, c’est ma Titi,” my little baby
“Larry let’s go,” I said as I
approached them to grab my nephew by the hand.
“Yes, let’s go,” said the man. He
surprised me. I didn’t think he spoke English. Even though my little Larry was
bilingual, I foolishly didn’t anticipate anyone else in Paris to be as
“I’m sorry, I wasn’t talking to
you,” I said as I picked my baby up and held him close to me.
“Well, my name Larry too, so which
Larry you talk to?”
His broken English was cute. He was
trying. I looked him up and down and took in his appearance. He was tall. At
least a whole foot taller than me, even in heels. His hair was set in long
twists that hung low beneath his green fedora. When I got to his feet, I
chuckled a little as I noticed that he was wearing the same pair of sneakers as
my little shnuckem.
“What’s so funny belle?”
“Same name, same taste,” I said as I
showed him my baby’s sneakers.
He laughed, and that’s when I saw
his two front teeth sticking out. Cute.
“You buy this for him?” he asked.
“So what you buy
A playful smile
worked on his lips. From what I could make of his eyes under his hat, they
appeared large and dark. Honest and true.
“You buy for Little
Larry, so you buy for Big Larry too”
By now my smile was
full, he filled me, and there was no hiding it.
“Well, Big Larry,
I’m not even buying anything for myself”
“Is ok, I buy for
all of us”
“No thank you,” I
He ignored me and
proceeded to ask my nephew what kind of sneakers he should get me. To my
surprise my nephew picked a pair that I actually would like though I’m not much
of a sneakers girl.
“So we get this for
Titi,” he addressed my baby. And my little traitor nodded in agreement.
“And I get this for
me,” he said lifting his own pair of Jordan True Flights.
We made small talk
until we got to the register. Once there, he started to whip out his card to
make the payment. But I beat him to it and quickly paid the balance with my
card. He smirked at me and I smiled as I handed him the pair of sneakers I just
bought him. That was the first time I met Larry Bourgeois. And it should’ve
been the last. We didn’t even exchange information then.
But the universe
was conspiring against me.
I happened to run
into him again. And this time, his placement in my life was slowly but surely
It was at a
barbecue at my sister’s that I spotted him in the crowd chatting with some
folks. Probably some friends of my sister’s husband. Imagine my surprise. I had
no idea that he somehow knew my family enough to be invited to this party. This
summer in Paris was starting to get interesting. I saw him see me. However, he
never approached me, which surprised me. The last time we met, he seemed to be persistent. He had actually made quite an impression on me that day. And I hope I had done the same to him. I wondered if he
was offended that I had bought him the sneakers. I knew that some men could at
times be insecure about these kinds of things. Though he didn’t strike me as
one of those.
I spent the better half of the night glancing in his direction
and wondering if he would ever come by me. A part of me felt a pang of
rejection when it seemed he would never approach me. Nevertheless, I kept my
cool as I tried to discreetly stare at him. He had switched his twists out for
an afro. I could see his face a bit clearer now, and he looked just as good as when
I first saw him. Maybe even better.
Finally, my prayers
were answered as I saw him make his way towards me. That’s good, I didn’t want
to be the one to approach him first.
“Belle, pourquoi tu
me regardes come ca? I see you look at me all night,” he spoke.
“I was actually
just watching you watch me,” I flirted, attempting to finish what we started in
“I watch you cus I feel you eyes on
I couldn’t help but
smile, he sure was a charmer. But there was something a little different to
him. His eyes darted all over my face. It was like he was seeing me for the
first time all over again. He drank me in, as I did him. And we were full. We were almost caught in a trance until I broke
“My eyes were on
those lovely pair of sneakers of yours”
“Oh this?” he comically kicked his
leg back, “my brother buy this for me”
“Your brother huh?”
He just lied to my face. Trickster.
I smiled, “you sure
it wasn’t a certain young lady who was trying to gain control of her little
nephew by the same name”
“Larry, don’t act
like you don’t know”
He smiled and looked down, “Larry
huh?” he said as he came back up, biting his lip and looking me up and down,
“my brother always get the pretty ones first”
“Your brother?” I
found myself repeating.
“Yeah my twin. I’m
Laurent, he Larry”
I wasn’t quite sure
I believed him yet. I figured he might just be messing with me. But he did look
different. He felt different. I could see a tinge of disappointment
in his eyes as I watched him pull out his phone.
“What are you
“I call my brother since is him you
wanna see,” he winked and I soon found myself walking away, blushing in
It seemed only
moments passed before I saw Larry strolling into the party. Seeing him and his
twin interact further solidified my embarrassment. I couldn’t believe I so
boldly approached his brother thinking he was him. I was full-fledged flirting
with him. But thankfully, Laurent, that’s what he said his name was, seemed to
take it in stride. I saw them whispering as they looked towards me. Laurent
pointed in my direction, and I knew that it wouldn’t be long until Larry, the
real one, would come over. I was right.
“I hear you look
“I see you gave the
sneakers I bought you to your brother,” I countered.
“Never Belle. He
see the one you buy for me, and he make me buy for him. He always want what I
have,” he grabbed my hand, “but I never give something you give me to someone
That was the first
lie he told me.
“Where is my other
I frowned trying to decipher what he
meant. I figured he was talking about his name twin, Little Larry.
“My nephew? Oh,
he’s with his mother”
“Good, cus it look
like you no good with kids”
My eyes grew wide
as I took offense. I slapped him on his chest and he shrunk away laughing. His
smile was so contagious that I found myself reflecting it, hoping that mine was
half as beautiful.
“I say the truth,
you let Larry run all around the store, you almost lose him”
“I would never lose
He smirked and looked straight into
my eyes, “I hope you never do”
At that point I wasn’t sure which
Larry he was speaking of. Little Larry or Big Larry. Though by the look in his
eyes, I bet he was referring to himself.
He asked me to
dance, and so we did.
And we danced until the end of the
summer. Larry brought so much joy into my life. He was a ray of light. I spent
the rest of the summer under him, in so many ways. We went everywhere together.
I was his shadow, and he was my sun. I revolved around him. Everything I did
was Larry induced. He was my world and I wanted to be him. Not just be with
him, be him. He became such a part of
me that even my name became Larry. He was inside me, he managed to crawl into
my skin, and he became all that I am. I couldn’t see anything passed him, and I
didn’t want to. I lost myself in him. Day and night, my thoughts
were consumed with him. I thought about the day my nephew led me into his arms
in the sneaker store and I thanked the heavens that I would stay there
forever. But the heavens wouldn’t do this, and forever ends.
I remember the
first time he cheated on me.
I found out when the girl called his
phone and I picked up thinking nothing much of it. Before I even had the chance
to say hello, she had already called him baby and told him that she needed him
tonight. When she realized it wasn’t Larry, she apologized profusely. I told
her that I was Larry, I am Larry, and that whatever she had to say
to him, she could say to me. I got her to stick around long enough to tell me
what she and Larry were up to. She told me that she did know about me, but that
wasn’t a factor since she had him in her bed at least once a week. Bitch.
I was heartbroken, devastated, torn.
My world shattered as I imagined my love with another woman. How could he do
this to me? He loved me. At least he made me feel like he did. I never imagined
that he would do this to me. I thought we were happy. I was happy. We
weren’t arguing, we weren’t fighting. We were perfect. So why would he do this?
I wondered if he wanted to leave me. I thought about whether I should leave
him. But I didn’t want to. He was my sun.
That night I told Larry that I knew
about her. He didn’t have much to say. It didn’t help that I was riding him at
the time. As I came down on him, and buried him deep inside me, I repeated her
name. His eyes popped open. The lip that was trapped between his teeth came
loose. I leaned forward and took his lips captive with mine.
“Larry? You leaving me for her?”
“I would never leave you Belle,” he
He told me I was his everything and
that he didn’t need anyone else.
I eased off of him and grinded
slowly back down, bringing him to our orgasm.
“Larry I forgive you’” I said as I
rested on his chest, “but never do that to me again. Or else you’ll break me.
And why would you let that happen when I am you?”
He nodded his head in agreement. He
didn’t have much choice.
But it looks like I let him off too
easy. Before long, he was cheating again. A blonde girl this time. I found
out through InstaGram. She direct messaged me. Seems like these bitches just
wanted to gloat. I confronted him about it and he made me feel like she was
nothing and I was everything.
“How you can compare youself to her when you my world baby?” he held me close,
tight, squeezing me, taking my air, and never letting go, “she nothing and you
everything Belle. You everything”
He told me she didn’t matter. And I
loved Larry too much to let him go. I wasn’t willing to lose him over another
I would never lose Larry
And so I gave him my air, and he
made love to me. With my air he breathed into me, he was inside me and he made
me believe him, made me forget. He made me forget me.
But then another bitch became two
other bitches, and then three, and then several other bitches.
My sun had eclipsed.
I was crushed under the weight of my
love for him. My lungs had caved in and I was wheezing. I wasn’t living anymore.
Not even surviving.
I tried to appease myself, telling
myself that all those other girls were sides, and that I was the main, I was
the one. At least he came home to me at night. But soon enough that wasn’t even
I became complacent. I was losing
myself in him. I was barely me. I was
Now here I was sitting in this
apartment all alone, waiting for him to come home when I knew there was a good
chance that he wouldn’t. I shot him a text.
come home tonight please.
I knew he would come. As much as he
loved fucking other bitches. He also knew where his home was.
course I come home to you my love. Always.
I scoffed and threw my phone aside
as I awaited his arrival. A couple hours had passed when I heard his key in the
door. He came in and saw my bags in the hallway. He reacted the way I expected
him to. Nonchalant. I’ve done this before. I’ve tried and failed.
He came in the bedroom and hugged
me. He held me tight and pushed me down onto the bed. He locked me in.
“Baby where you going?”
“I’m leaving you Larry”
“You no leaving me baby”
“I thought you say you love me”
I rolled my eyes. My love for him
was my prison guard, the one he always called on whenever I tried to escape.
“Yes I love you,” I ran my fingers
through his twisted hair; “you’re my Big Larry. I will always love you. I love
you more than I love me sometimes. I love you more than you love yourself. Cus
if you loved yourself, you would never risk losing me”
“So why you leave? For those other
girls? I no leave you for them, so why you leave me for them? I tell you
already, they nothing, you the one. They no do for me what you do”
“If they’re nothing Larry, then why
do you go to them? Clearly they’re giving you something that I’m not giving
you. And that’s funny because I give you everything”
“They not you”
“And who is me? Can you honestly say
that I’m still that girl at the sneaker shop? Whoever she was, you made her and
then broke her. What you see here is all that’s left, and I’m not enough”
He stayed laid up on me as he
stroked my sides. He was using his most potent torture tactic to manipulate me
into staying with him. His touch. It couldn’t
even compare to water boarding, or suffocation. His touch burned me. It killed
“I’m weak for you. You’re my
weakness Big Larry. But I can’t do this anymore. I have to go”
I tugged on his hair to get him off
of me. I got up and straightened myself out.
“How you can leave me when you are
I chuckled at how right he
was. I am Larry.
“I’m leaving you because I’m
“Larry, I’m dying. If I stay, I’ll
He sat up to look at me, confused.
“I want to be me, Larry. Let me
I never give something you give me
to someone else. I remembered when he said that
to me. That was the first lie.
“I gave you all my love, and you
turned around and gave it to all those bitches. I poured into you Larry, and
you poured into those hoes. Now I’m dry. You left me dry. You ruined me Larry.
You broke me. I’m taking back all the love I gave you, and I’m gonna give it to
He stood up and approached me. I
He laughed a little and shook his
head, “who you gon give all that love to, huh?” he chuckled, “Your love is mine
baby. The only other person you gon give this love to is that baby you
carrying,” he said pointing at my stomach.
I stood shocked, immobile. I had no idea he knew. He wasn’t supposed to know. I wasn’t even showing yet.
He smirked because he knew he had
won. He had sealed my fate, and there was no leaving. How could I leave him
when I was with child? It’s always been my dream to have a baby, to have a
family. And during that summer in Paris, I wanted nothing more than to have a
family with Larry. My Big Larry. He was my dream.
“How you leave me, when you pregnant
I turned my back to him, tears
threatening to leave my eyes, head shaking side to side. How could he do this?
Manipulative son of a bitch.
“You think I don’t know?” he
I turned back around to face him. He
was wearing an ugly smirk on his face as he opened his arms, waiting for me to
come back to him.
“My brother tell me. My twin say you
tell him not to tell me. But that’s my brother, and we no have secrets.”
Laurent. I confided in him. He was
my friend. He was my go to when I couldn’t deal with Larry’s bullshit. He was
always there. My rock in times of turmoil. My comfort in the midst of my pain. I
wanted to feel hurt by Laurent’s betrayal but those emotions were overridden by
the fury I felt towards Larry. That pig knew I was pregnant and he still
cheated on me. He still left me home alone, night after night knowing that I
had a baby growing inside of me. See, now I know for sure there was no hope for
us. Not even a baby could save us. I swallowed the lump in my throat as I
readied myself to break him.
“Did he tell you the baby is his?”
The dumbfounded look on Larry’s face
paid my bail.
I grabbed my stuff and left him
stiff as a rod. Laurent was waiting for me downstairs.
I bruised him. I burned him. I did
him like he did me. I betrayed him and left him to dust. He left me dry, I left
him heaving. I am Larry.