Three coins lighter, it was time for the second part of our trip---the cruise! Fat Fabrizio (one of our new Roman friends) graciously discounted his car service to get us to port.
“Tell [skinny] Fabrizio we love-ah him!” I thought as we said our goodbyes. Though I was excited for our new experience, leaving Rome was a bittersweet parting.
BUT---within a couple hours we were on the Mediterranean and I---a personal mission. Somewhere between the magic of the Trevi fountain and my first breath of salty air, I vowed to get me a sweet vacation kiss before this trip was out.
Now, I don’t care who you are or which direction your moral compass points; most people crave a little fling while on vacation. So, it’s only with slight shame that I declare I’m no exception. The ship was filled with bars, lounges, nightclubs, and many promising opportunities to mix and mingle. Plus we were scheduled for six stops, and we’d surely pick up a few more hotties along the way. This is going to be a piece of cake, I thought.
Amanda and I sat at the bar reviewing pictures from our day in Genoa. We’d been to an aquarium, eaten pounds of delicious pastry and (most importantly) purchased some FABULOUS $7 shoes. There was only one problem---day two had almost ended, and I was still no closer to my aqua-romance.
“Amanda, seriously… where are all the men?”
“Hmm, let’s see,” she replied. “Were you looking for married, gay, man-whore, under age, toothless, wrinkly or just plain creepy?”
It was true. If they weren’t already taken, most of our fellow cruisers were simply not fling material. As I was about to throw in the towel, a strapping Italian man caught my eye. I ran through the usual vitals---cute face, nicely dressed, no wedding ring. Check. This man would do.
Via Amanda, [my bi-lingual buddy] I soon learned that bachelor number one was a 24-year-old, Italian speaking man who worked in his parent’s pizzeria. Thinking I could get by with my Eng-talian, he and I decided to take a walk for some get-to-know-each-other-and-possibly-smooch time.
Under normal circumstances, I’m usually able to scale the language barrier with gestures and context clues, but in this case I was finding it extremely difficult. He was shy and awkward and seemed to ignore everything I was saying. Searching for an explanation, I spotted a forgotten vital that stood to greatly impede our progress: He was wearing a hearing-aid. Now it made sense---he could barely hear me, let alone understand me. Nice Alex convinced me that this could NOT be a deal-breaker; it’d be cruel to exclude a man just because of something like that. Suddenly, bachelor number one stopped me on the deck, looked me in the eye and brokenly solicited one request:
“I no.. umm… mm, love wo-man… ever. Umm, mm, you-ah… teach?” He slid a condom out of his pocket and looked at me with hope in his inexperienced, virginal eyes.
“Voglio restare come amici.” Write that one down girls… it means “let’s just be friends.”