I believe the moment you allow someone into your life, they leave an impression on your world, be it positive or negative… it’s YOUR prerogative, how that impact is felt in your life.
I possess a deep affection for Italy, and a sentimental appreciation of the Authentic Italian Experience, be it through cuisine, friendships, or circumstances. Previously, I wrote a story introducing my shy Italian neighbour entitled; A Dance In Piazzale Michelangelo. I detailed a first date, (a dance of sorts) one glorious spring day, atop the famous Florence landmark, Piazzale Michelangelo.
Spring afternoons melted cordially into the tranquility of an Italian summer. We enjoyed idyllic walks down cobbled streets, gelato under starlit skies, afternoon bike rides, outdoor music festivals with friends, scenic drives through the countryside, dinners by candlelight, and moments of shared laughter due to mis-communication, attributed to our limited understanding of one another’s native language.
Now I admit, this all sounds like a script composed for Hollywood. I seized the opportunity to participate in the quintessential Italian Romance, complete with a handsome Italian, designer shoes, dark sunglasses, Armani sweaters, tousled hair blowing in the warm Italian breeze, whilst driving a two-seater-convertable. (what is it they say about things that seem too good to be true???)
Being pragmatic about the relationship, I understood it to be a lovely spring ~ summer romance. The duration, scarcely a whisper past the blooming Wisteria of Florence.
Fast forward to the fall ~ insert reality aka Real-life into this charming Tuscan-Scenario.
Real-life, or at least my experience with it, rarely plays itself out as carefree as on the silver-screen. Picture if you will, as the oscar winning director cues the music, an overpaid, B-list actress, (portraying my cheesy character), runs through a field of sunflowers, wearing a flowing cream dress…. (normally the script would call for a flowing white dress… however, being the proverbial; redheaded, pale-faced, speckled, Irish-Scottish-Canadian~~ the cream-coloured dress would drastically reduces the cameras glare off pasty white skin)
Join me now, as I recount Real-life… no need for imaginary movie scripts here: #1~ I receive a heart wrenching email from a despondent woman. #2~she introduces herself as the Real-life & long-term (4 years) girlfriend of the man in my blog post, A Dance In Piazzale Michelangelo. #3~remarkably, she’s discovered my sentimental pros on this blog, complete with his first name and picture. (ironically, he eagerly granted me permission to use his real name and picture) #4~ he is in fact, the identical, hand holding, bike riding, gelato under the stars, two-timing, snake in the grass. (oops was that my outside voice?) #5~If that wasn’t enough of a shock, she informs me, while he was dating both of us, he was dating two, count em’ TWO other ladies…. that’s a grand total of FOUR women at the same…..blinking…..time!!! How’s that for a healthy dose of Real-life?
Fortunately for me, Mr. Flim-Flam Man, was no longer in my life, had not been for some months……..You’re going to appreciate, and I suspect, see the humour, in the reasons I ended our spring/summer romance. #1~he canceled plans, using ‘flimsy’ last-minute excuses #2~had mysterious ‘business‘ calls at odd hours. (he’s a jeweller for Gods sake, not an international spy) #3~my personal favourite… he was tired 24-7. (no sh#t Sherlock!!)
Initially, I justified these excuses believing it was due to our language barrier, our age difference, our culture differences, his overbearing Italian mother, his brothers impending divorce…..blah-blah-blah. After two months, his theatrics became all together too much drama for me! Output vs Input, simply did not compute. We parted on friendly terms.
Little did I know how much drama was actually going on behind those charming, a.k.a., ‘exhausted‘ eyes, he cleverly concealed with designer sunglasses…..
Fast-Forward to Real-life… I emailed him with this blunt decree; “NEVER contact me EVER…don’t call me, text me, email me, or so much as glance in my direction!!! (did I mention I have the blood of the Irish coursing through my veins?) Personally I think he got off lucky with me… I’m a reasonable woman, I let the little reptile live…. as far as I know he’s still able to father children. Unless of course, one of the other woman dealt him a deserving sentence.
I have passing thoughts; Whatever became of the woman who contacted me? Did she forgive him? Was she so invested in the relationship, she overlooked his infidelities, remaining with him in the misguided belief he would miraculously change? I’ll never know what she decided, that’s her dance now, her Real-life.
My current Real-life Authentic Italian Experiences is SUBLIME, it continues in full Technicolor. Remaining filled with; star-lit-nights, double-scooped gelato savoured on sunlit afternoons, bike rides over cobbled streets, and sunsets in Piazzale Michelangelo, solo, or shared with friends. The reality of this beautiful city is all I require, Florence prevails larger and louder than any romantic movie could ever portray, real or imagined.
There’s an old saying I used to quote to my kids… “be careful what you wish for…. you may just get it”
I wished for an Authentic Italian Experience. Can’t complain when you get exactly what you wish for now, can you? I’ll refine my wishes from now on, be a little more specific in the asking…..
***(If you reread my two stories on “Dancing”… You’ll note I’ve changed the “characters” real name, and deleted his picture. Mainly to protect the privacy of the woman who emailed me…. I do not wish cause her further pain or embarrassment)***