Friday, February 19, 2010

Il Giorno Degli Ragazzi

A Writer's Love Story:

I met the new love of my life yesterday when I wandered into a cartoleria shop. I picked out a funky embossed journal that looks like alligator hide with tints of bronze and teal while he gave me piccola lessons in Italian, told me where he could be found in San Lorenzo, and asked me about where I was from and what I was doing in Florence. Because of my evidently writerly lot in life, words, using them (most of the time) properly, and good communication are of the utmost importance to me. For this fact, I am loathe to engage in any sort of Italian-heavy conversation that may render me with a fish-inspired “O” shaped mouth and puzzled eyebrows. But he spoke little English, and I was willing to absolutely mangle all of the few words and phrases in Italian I do know for him.

His name is Antonio (of course), and he makes handmade leather journals, which is an impossibly perfect fit for someone who goes through journals like tissues. I think it’s perfectly poetic—the leather journal man and the writer.

Though it may have just been a journal-needing incensed crush on a vendor, seduced by the intoxicating smell of leather permeating the air and my senses, it brought up a valid moral to this tiny, unserious love story: You should want to push your boundaries for someone, potentially make a fool of yourself, and not be afraid of it. Be better. Try.


Short Skirt, and A Leather Jacket:

I have discovered the beauty of people falling in love with you. I have also discovered that my naturally blonde hair and big blue eyes get me even further here than at home. (Dear Mom and Dad: Thanks for having those dominant genes and getting together. It's getting me far in life. Or, at least, discounts.)

So I may or may not have used someone else’s feelings and my fleeting yet called-upon considerable charm at my disposal to buy a leather jacket today for a price that was nearly robbery.

“You have boyfriend?” the store owner asked me, as he pounded calculator buttons to show me what he was willing to give me the coat for.

Si.” (It is always easier to say yes.) The number on the calculator stayed low. I handed him the cash.

“And if you want change boys, then you come back, si?”

Moral of this buttery, smooth, silk-lined encounter? Be generous in love. Not just Love love, but in any sort of love: platonic, familial, beast-ly, co-workery, child-friendly, waiterly, etc.


Young, Foolish Love:

Two twenty-something...

...(all of Italy seems to consist of twenty-something, attractive men. It is a Single Girl’s Paradise, if you’re in the market for that sort of thing. If you are down on your man luck and feel as if you have wined, dined, rejected and been rejected your way through your entire dating pool, I cordially invite you to Italy and will guarantee you a handsome, semi-sane, well-dressed, disgustingly romantic date by the end of your third week here,)... are rough-housing in the middle of the San Lorenzo market. One jumps on another’s back, and the packhorse stumbles toward me, a hand outstretched. “She is my girlfriend, come to save me,” he says with a roguish grin. Love should be just a little bit outrageous, and not too serious about itself.


The Hottie Barista (little to no English, adorable crush, amazing jeans,) at the corner bar has started giving me discounts. Thank god, because his cappuccinos heavy on the whipped cream and sugar are pretty much the only thing keeping me alive right now.

Italy is a million and one (and I have finally discovered the adjective for them--) beautiful men. I like them as long as I can get away from them.

Story of my life.

Conversely, however, I am learning a lot from them.


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