"Papi" is a French expression for "Grandpa". "Nou" reminded me of "nounours" = teddy bear. So when I saw the pseudonym "Papinou" I conjured up the image of "Grandpa teddy bear". The photo supported this image - blue eyes, nice smile, a certain gentleness. I discovered Papinou via Meetic, the largest French internet dating site. Or rather he discovered me. He "flashed" me. Huh? What does THAT mean? "Vous avez reçu un flash."
After some head scratching, I figured that "flash" was Meetic-speak for "wink" in eHarmony-speak. It's called sending a "smile" (sourire) in eDarling-speak. I'm learning a whole new language!
Meetic is big on pseudonyms and short on personality profiles. It also seems to focus on physical appearance - with specific questions regarding weight, silhouette, and style of dress. For "style" I had to choose between BCBG (huh?), branché (trendy), business, bohème, classique, ethnique, décontracté, rock, sportif, or other. Only in France! Another question: which of your body parts is the most attractive? And what are you looking for in him? Pecs? abdominals? hands? feet? butt? etc. To be fair, eyes and smile are also included in the list, as is "the most beautiful is not on the list".
Anyway, besides age, pleasant photos, a non-smoker who likes restaurant and cinema, plus "flash", I didn't have much else to go on when it came to Papinou's description. And after several emails back and forth, we finally met for coffee after my return to Paris.
He seemed surprised to see that I resembled the photo in my profile. Apparently, lots of people don't resemble their photos? He made lots of disparaging remarks about botox and liars. Lots of disparaging remarks about a lot of things. And he was too eager to hold hands and tutoie. Not my cup of tea! So much for my initiation into online dating . . .