From as far back as I can remember, I had this idea in my mind that I would meet and marry a distinguished italian business man. I could see him in my teenage dreams, tall, slender, dark features, hair not too long but not too short, eyes that would make any woman melt, italian accent, tailored suit, and just…perfect. I knew exactly what he looked like and what type of profession he had. Perhaps my “dream” summoned this man to me, because a year ago – I met him. We did not get married.
I was waiting for a connecting flight somewhere in the middle east after a two week vacation with girlfriends. Exhausted and irritated at the 30 hour journey home, and just generally pissed the fuck off, I looked up from my phone and there he was.
6’1″, dark brown hair, green eyes, with a UC Berkeley sweatshirt. There weren’t too many Americans in the airport so I was more focused on his sweatshirt than his good looks. We exchanged glances as I wondered “what’s he doing here?” and quickly went back to surfing the internet. Ten minutes later as we waited in the gate area, I heard someone say in a very thick italian accent “excuse me”. I looked up, and there he was again, Mr. Berkeley. He proceeded to start random conversation filled with mild flirting, but I was in no mood. Again, I was focused on this 30 hour trip home. So I let off one word answers in hopes he’d quickly leave me alone. I even took out my iPad and pretended to be so busy doing something as he complimented my smile. After a couple uncomfortable minutes – away he went. One of my travel companians quickly chastised me for being so rude to “the cutest guy in the airport”. Granted, that wasn’t saying much considering who he was up against, but I couldn’t deny that he was handsome. She reminded me of the fact that I’ve been asking for an italian businessman husband for years and voila! one just fell in my lap and I was a complete bitch to him. I laughed, and realized she was right. I agreed that if he came back I’d be nicer but I was positive he wouldn’t.
Five minutes later, there he was asking if he could sit down again. We chatted, walked to board the flight together as I learned that he moved from Italy to the Middle East for work years ago and travels to and from Europe often for his company…he was a true Italian businessman. As fate would have it, of over 300 seats on the plane, his seat was the seat directly behind mine, next to my friend of course. Long story short we ended up having a date on the plane, wine and movie included. We held hands under a blanket as we slept on the way to London. If nothing else I assumed it’d make a great story to tell one day about the stranger on the plane I shared a few plastic cups of cheap wine with.
We exchanged contact info and within one week we were talking everyday, all day, up to six hours a day on skype. It was fun, exciting, passionate, and the most cliche romance story you’ve ever heard of. A month later he sent me a plane ticket to meet him in London. Four days with the man on the plane who by now I’d spoken to everyday all day for over a month. He was almost too good to be true, cute, romantic, more than financially comfortable, a love song of the day was in my inbox every morning, he sent me gifts in the mail, flowers to my job, we’d fall asleep on the phone together. It was great. I can’t say I was in love but I definitely was loving our “relationship”. Sure, he lived 9,000 miles away but that wasn’t really a concern at the time.
Next thing I knew I was in a hotel bar waiting for my new “boyfriend” to arrive. It was going to be the first time we’d seen each other since our date in the skies six weeks prior. He appeared, we hugged, kissed, and like two giddy school children proceeded to hold hands and stare at each other in amazement that ‘our trip’ was finally here. We spent the weekend shopping, having dinner in five star restaurants and exploring the city like two lovers that you’d look at and say “get a room”!
And then we had sex.
We’d had variations of ‘phone/text sex’ prior so I had an idea of his style etc but umm…how can I put this….it was…meh. Not the mind blowing passionate explosion I’d thought up in my mind. Sure, there were some good moments, but more than that there were lots of moans for the sake of moaning and not having an awkward unbearable silence. I remember staring at the ceiling thinking…is this it? Obviously not a good sign but I chalked it up to first time awkwardness/nervousness and just knew things would get better.
The next day we continued to explore the city and I realized what I thought were just cute quirks, was full blown obsessive compulsive disorder. He had to plan everything. We had a full conversation about how many ounces of pasta we’d eat for dinner..dinner that was happening one month later. Yes, I am serious, and yes this was a serious conversation. He’d sweat from anxiety if things weren’t ‘just so’. The fact that my phone email said 2,638 unread drove him absolutely insane. One of the first things he did when we got to the hotel room was remove my airline luggage tag from my suitcase because ‘the trip is over, you must remove it’. Spending four days together with someone in a country where neither of you live well show you a lot about them…particularly when they are anxious about any and everything. I added that to my mental notepad of things to be aware of and did my best to enjoy our time together. He’d already booked a ticket for me to come and visit him three weeks later so I decided that our second time together would be better, the sex, the OCD, it all would get better….let’s all raise a glass to wishful thinking.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my italian love affair… #NoSexintheCity