In an effort to de-clutter my life, I’ve been going through my closets and pulling out the papers I put aside for ‘later’ because I ‘might need them some day’ or I still ‘have special feelings associated with them.’ Included in these boxes of precious junk I found old university applications from 2002, dreams I’d written down in elementary school, awards and ribbons from high school speech meets, astronomy notes from college, Romanian vocabulary from that one time I felt like teaching myself Romanian, a list of fancy names that the middle school me wanted to name my kids (including Savannah Noel and Augusta Belle), my 5th grade diary (I had a crush on you, Logan!) and then, the item that brought a groan to my lips: my account of the date I had with Giorgio*.
September of 2009 found me living in Florence, Italy, studying to get my certificate to teach English as a foreign language. The course was almost over, and I was standing in front of my last class, of which Giorgio was a student. To celebrate the end of the course, the teachers went out to an apertivo bar with the classes to celebrate. Giorgio and I started talking, and when he heard of my love of roller blading, he offered to take me the following night. Here, I offer you the play-by-play of my date with an Italian hunk.
7:15 Giorgio picks me up at my apartment. He immediately and suavely takes my arm.
7:45 We arrive at the park with the roller rink. His arm is already around my waist. The rink is closed and looks like it has been closed for at least 10 years. Suspicious?
8:10 Back to the car. He’s squeezing my love handles and suggesting that we go out for dinner.
8:20 He tells me that he only brought 10 euros on this outing (about $13), so would I mind paying for my own dinner? First kiss. Me: “We’re in public!” Giorgio: “It’s OK. Nobody knows us.”
9:20 We leave for the most romantic overlook of the city, the Piazzo Michelangelo. It’s gorgeous. The whole city is lit up in front of us, and couples are everywhere. He kisses me in front of a church. He kisses me for about 15 minutes. I’m bored. He’s not a good kisser. He thinks he’s fantastic. I stand there trying not to yawn. He tries to put his hand up my shirt. I remove it. “Don’t worry,” he whispers in that sexy Italian accent. He tries twice more. I stop him. “Why are you being difficult?”
10:00 I’m ready for the night to be over. I get a text from my friends in the city centre. Awesome. I suggest that we go join them.
11:00 We arrive at the bar Amadeus. I tell Giorgio that it’s too hot to walk with his arm around my waist. “But I like to squeeze you.” I jump into conversation with my fellow teachers and friends with enthusiasm and relief, giving them the details of my evening so far while Giorgio’s in the bathroom. John gallantly offers to keep me safe. We spend a couple of hours as a group.
1:30 Giorgio hasn’t given up on kissing. I tell him, “You know you’re kissing someone who’s sleeping.” “I’ll wake you up,” he replies. “It’s my Italian charm.”
2:00 I’ve had enough. “I’m going to bed.” “Am I coming, too?” “NO.” Giorgio is very confused. “Why??!” There are many reasons. 1. I met you YESTERDAY. 2. If you make love as badly as you kiss, no thanks. 3. You didn’t even pay for my $7 pasta dinner. I didn’t give any of these reasons aloud. The one I said was, “Because I’m a virgin, and I’ll get married a virgin.” He stares at me in bafflement. “Then why did you kiss me?”
Good Question, Giorgio. Why DID I kiss you? Part of it was the man: Italian, tall, dark, very handsome. Part of it was the location: Florence in the fall. Part of it was jealousy: My youngest sister, on her first trip to Europe, had been kissed by an Italian. This was my 4th trip. I couldn’t let her be the only one to have that experience.
If I could have done the whole evening over, I would have suggested that we join my friends as soon as the roller blading activity didn’t work out. I would never have let him kiss me, and I would have told him off a lot earlier. After I refused him he gave me a lecture on why sex is good. My guess is that he attends the classes with the new teachers every month, and that he’s been very successful at convincing young American ladies to sleep with him.
Struck out this time, Giorgio. P.S. You’re kind of a pig. (Still hot, though.)