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monalisa

One week ago at this very moment the wife and I were in Paris, living it up on snazzy little coffee drinks and chocolate-covered crepes and ice cream that oozed ungodly flavors of bliss.

It was a wonderful four-day trip. And yet, before we could leave, we were advised to make certain to go to the Louvre and see the one … the only … the amazing … the stunning … the breathtaking … the … the … the … the … THE Mona Lisa.

So that’s what we did. We entered the museum, scanned over about, oh, 30 different paintings of a bloodied and battered Jesus, then finally made our way to the da Vinci area, where everyone comes to see the most famous of paintings. Here, shown in the below two photos, is what we witnessed …

monamona2

To use one word: Stupid. That’s what it was. Really, really, really stupid.

I’m sure many experts would smack me across the mouth and explain why the Mona Lisa is to painting what Bobby Hebert is to USFL quarterbacks. But for me, 37-year-old idiot from New York, it was simply a frenzied room, with flashes exploding left and right in a futile effort to capture a picture of, eh, a picture.

It was very similar to a bunch of people spotting, say, Brat Pitt walking through the city. At first, you’d get really excited. You’d point and wave and call your friend on the cell. You’d keep looking and looking and looking until, finally, you’d come to the sad-yet-honest realization that it’s just Brad Pitt, and he’s just a guy, and guys—like girls, and dogs, and houses, and paintings—only offer so much in-the-flesh excitement.

That’s how I felt about seeing Mona. I stood, leaned, weaved, ducked, all in an effort to snag a good look.

Then I came home and Googled an image of the painting. Saw it much better from here.

** For the record, that’s my wife in the pink shirt in the photo on the right.

Jeff Pearlman is a writer.