Retrospective blog, 2011. In the advertised Italian dream everyone is beautiful and earns great salary. Every day I walk past several vineyards and catch the eye of several Italian men as I walk to work. After a stress free day at work, I skip home to my beautiful, crumbling villa. I make pasta sauce with the plumpest tomatoes from the tomatoes growing on the terrace. I wait for my boyfriend to come home and we make passionate love on the table before I can serve him his evening meal. We eat dinner in our rustic kitchen by candlelight. We fall asleep exhausted after drinking wine from the local vineyard, in our bed fitted with dandelion white sheets. We dose off to the sound of sloping rain against the roof of the villa. Apparently….
Again, friends and family will probably assume I’m on holiday, that I’m in a place of untouched charm. Luckily, I didn’t come to Italy with for a Shirley Valentine mission of passion but for work. I’m easily able to dispel the myths of the lifestyle they think I’m leading.
It’s true that every nationality has its own stereotypes, it’s a little unfair and sometimes unjustified, but stereotypes exist for a reason. For British men, it’s the up-tight bumbling twit or the lager lout. Italian men can be categorised as Lothario or lazy-worker. Compared to British men, Italians seem to offer more options. The comments from my female colleagues suggest it’s easier to be distant with Italian men. Especially if you don’t like doing all the housework and cooking, which is possibly the experience of women world-wide. However, there’s the additional chore of doing it to suit the requirements of the head matriarch.
If you want to have sex this evening, you might be waiting a long time. The men spend hours standing on street corners talking to their friends. or sitting in the bar. By the time they’ve arrived home to the freshly made tomato sauce and pasta, you’re already asleep. Then after a few months, they’ve given up trying to be your boyfriend. Especially after the current girlfriend has taken over the mother’s role; the boy tries to chase the next girl. Statistically, Italian couples have the least amount of sex per week. Norwegians topped that pole, my next position will be in Oslo, I don’t mind the cold, and if there’s a good reason to stay indoors…….I’ve always thought it’s because Italians spend so much time talking about it, and promising to do it, that they never actually get round to it. By the time they’ve come close to dating the girl, she’s grown bored and she find someone else to flirt with. There’s the occasional exception to the rule, like the use of ‘the’ for the Ukraine.
If you would like something done today, tomorrow, next week, don’t count on it. I’ll never understand the southern European mentality of tomorrow, next week, and next month. Mr G. Reaper could be driving a green Matiz, and he doesn’t pay attention to calendars. Then there’s the Italian deficit. That’s the gap between the salary an Italian man states he earns, and what he really earns.
Well there’s the good, the bad and the truth. I can verify that Italian men are good dancers. I’ve found a great dance school and oddly, there are more men than women. Also as the youngest girl there, by some thirty years, I’m never without a partner. It’s probably the only thing I’m not left waiting for…