Do you all remember that little-played David Bowie song about how everything is easy when you're a boy?
I don't think he ever lived in Italy.
Sure, boys are prized possessions and mama's love their bambinos and are more than happy to have them at home for the rest of their lives...but if they ever want to actually get out and live their own lives...wow, there are some challenges, especially in the "amore" department. Girls here are great at playing the boy-girl games. They seem to be the ones in charge...or so the guys I've spoken with tell me.
Here's the secret to getting things done/making things happen, if you are female and are dealing with a guy: be cute. I don't mean you have to look like Punky Brewster or anything, more like: smile, giggle, play the girl. Really. The guys seem to be trained to respond to that. They might snap out of it if the interaction goes on too long, but when you are trying to get directions, find a good restaurant, cross the street, buy stamps (or even shoes) it puts the ball in your court.
Girls 'round these parts do not make things easy for the guys, ever. If they are "interested" in a guy they used subtle hints not understood by this here tactless wonder. Use your blatant American smiles, winks, and jokes to your advantage. Girls are trained early on to push the boys' buttons to the limits and then somehow in some secret Italian girl way, not take it too far. I am unschooled in such teachings. I very squarely fit into the role of unsubtle American woman.
Yes, there is such a role. The Sicilian tour guide we had even said he has given up on Italian girls and will wait for an American girl to hit on him. See, in Italy, it is expected for the guy to put himself out there for all the rejection and/or wine and dine and win the girl. Apparently, in his Sicilio/Italian opinion, American girls are the ones who are trying to catch the attention of American boys and do most of the work in the relationship.
Don't be offended, that was just one man's opinion. He has obviously not observed ALL American relationships, but popular movies, TV, and his short observations in the states have made him come to that conclusion. Let's face it ladies, in this day and age of empowered females, we aren't exactly taught to sit around 'til the boys call us.
And before you all drop all your boyfriends and husbands to go find an Italian boyfriend to buy you chocolates and flowers? Remember this: (as told to me by the Canadian guide who has lived in Italy for 9+ years)
The "Latin lovers" are in for the chase. Once he as you, the chase is over, and they get bored very quickly.
A con to every pro...turn, turn, turn.
So, it is Friday, my last night in Rome. I am not displeased. Rome is a very big city with more big city problems than I want to deal with. I avoided getting "accosted" by "this" much; was involved with helping MJ and a busload of us NOT get pick pocketed; observed what a purse snatching looks like in real life; but had loads of fun nonetheless. I really hope I can come back and revisit some day, there is far too much to see in just 7 days.
Most of you are just waking up...as Andy said not too long ago, I am on the wrong side of the world right now, but will soon be traveling back in time to be nearer you all once again.