The OGs In African American Female Group Travel Experiences
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Sorry ladies, I cannot share the real name of this one due to the nature of his job. For this story, we will call him Francesco, a VERY common Italian name.
I must start this story with the old saying “be careful what you which for”!
Because of a conversation with a close friend, I began communications with the lawyer about a week ago by email. We exchanged photos and a few lines before agreeing to a telephone conversation. During the phone conversation, I learn that Francessco lives in a picturesque little seaside town about 60 miles outside of Rome. He does not normally come to the city during the week unless it is for business but because of his excitement about meeting me, he asked for a dinner date at 8:30pm on Thursday. I agreed to the date without checking my social calendar, something I normally never do. As you guessed, there was a conflict for Thursday evening. A dear friend, Bella Chealsea will be singing that night, a performance I could not miss. I called Francessco Wednesday morning to ask if our date could be moved to earlier in the evening. He accommodated my request and asked if I also want him to attend the concert with me. I hesitated on my answer for two reasons, the first being the uncertainty of the date. If I found myself uninterested in him at dinner, I could cut my losses and continue on with my night dateless and maybe meet someone else. The second reason was the location of the concert venue, which is a few blocks of Roberto’s (Green Pants) home AND he knew of the event. There was an outside chance that he could just stop by. We are not exclusive but have been dating long enough that he saw me out with someone else would be a bit uncomfortable for both of us. So my answer to Francessco is a coy “let see how the date goes”.
At 7:50, my phone rings and it is Francessco waiting downstairs for our 8:00 date. Lord help me, can just one of these guys be late for a date…dang! I tell him I will be down at 8:00, which could not possibly happen because I am not even close to being ready. The rush is on to get ready. At 8:20, ten minutes before the original date-time, I am on the elevator descending to lobby thinking please don’t let him look like a hobbit. As I opened the elevator door, I peek around the corner in hopes of getting a first look without him seeing me. This way if he was is… hmmmm let’s just say “less than desirable”, the initial shock would be over and he will not see the disappointment/horror on my face. Slowly I peeked out the large glass windows and to my surprise looking at me was the owner of the biggest smile that was directed at me. As we both walk towards opposite sides of the glass door (both smiling), I could feel the excitement mounting, he was indeed better looking than I had expected and from the smile on his face, he was not disappointed either.
Due to his car being parted two blocks away, he had been standing in the cold for 30 minutes but did not seem to have minded one bit once he saw me.
“Hi, I am sorry about the delay”, I say with a smile. His reply with a captivating smile that has a twinkle of boyish charm “ it does not matter, the important thing is that you are here”. My heart melds! He talks my hand into his cold hand (from waiting outside) and we walk towards his car. As we turn the corner, I could see blinking taillights of a car double-parked and almost blocking half of the street. I thought OMG NO, but yes, he had left his car parked in the middle of the street while standing waiting for me in the cold, something that would have never happen in the states. He gets a gold star for patience. His car, a Black BMW sports coup.
After a short drive, we are in the neighboring zone of Testaccio. Tastaccio is one of the less famous zones in Rome. For locals, it is known for its quirky sights, great markets, and most importantly amazing food. During our drive, I was told that we would be going to a restaurant known for having the BEST pizza in Rome.
Finding parking in Rome can be an adventure on its own. After living here for over a month, I now know why many people use public transportation, of course, the almost $9 a gallon for gas may have something to do with it also. After circling the block a few times, Francessco finally creates his own packing space by double parking once again. As he turns on his blinking hazard lights I make a mental note that either he is very foolish, wealthy or well-connected as it did not even seem to faze him that his car could be ticketed or towed.
The line for the restaurant is around the block. I know this will be good pizza as it is Italians, not tourists waiting in the cold. My mouth is watering! As we approach the line, I comment on how long it may take for us to get a table. Francessco garbs my hand and we walk past the line and right in the front door. As I look back, I can see people giving us the “who the Fu%k to they think they look”, I felt a little guilty but must admit a part of me was loving it! After a very brief wait, we are escorted to a table. As I start taking off my coat, Francessco reaches to help me. He gets another gold star for being a gentleman.
The pizza is o-mazing! During dinner, we talked about an array of topics from Italian family values to American politics. About every third or fourth sentence of his comments are sprinkled with compliments about my beauty or intelligence. Who needs dolce (dessert) when this man is sooo freakin’ sweet. So sweet, that he is invited to join be later at Chelsea’s concert.
We arrive at the concert venue just before 10pm. I do a quick eye search around the room looking for “Green Pants”. He is nowhere to be found. Whew, no drama for the evening … or so I thought. While looking around the room, I noticed Sharon (see the "Oh Know she didn’t story" under files) sitting with mutual friends near the stage. It has been some weeks since the Sharon/Green Pants incident and I now consider it as water under the bridge and have made attempts to still be friends. On many levels, I really do like her. Plus, I think she learned her lesson and we should be fine for the evening. BOY WAS I WRONG!! More about that later.
Chelsea brought down the house that night. I was in tears as there in nothing like watching someone’s dreams come true. As I watch her sing, I think back to 2009 when she first visited Italy on my Bella Italia tour. Like me, it was love on the first step on Italian soil. From that day she has dreamt of moving to Italy and work as a singer. She moved here in September and tonight was her debut performance. Dreams do come true! She was incredible! To check out her music visit www.facebook.com/pages/Chelsea-Comeau-Music/114382665258874
Francessco commented often on how he was touched by my love and support of my friend. It is very Italian, for family and friends are first here. The night was going beautiful until he tried to kiss me. Sorry dude, but you don’t have it like than yet!
He tried again and I pushed him away more forcefully (is this another Hound?). I must explain that Italian women play this little cat and mouse game with men, where they flirt then push them away, flirt and push them away. The men love it, but it also makes it hard for them to understand when I say no… I mean hell NO! I think he got the message the weight of my last push. This seemed to upset him and he jumped up and started dancing with…. yep, you guessed it SHARON, who had been dancing alone in front of us. I knew immediately this was not about her but his attempt to make me jealous. So, you know me, I got up and started dancing with someone also, only my dance was a lot more….hmmm let just say seductive. The poor guy I was dancing with must have thought he hit the jackpot! LOL When the song ended, Francessco was pissed. I am not sure which upset him more, the fact that his little act did not work OR that I had one-upped him. He grabbed his drink off the table and walked out the door. He made sure to look back to see if I was looking at him. I gave a chuckle to myself and decided to just wait for him to return. They always do!
Within seconds, Sharon had flopped herself down next to me. I look at her like she was crazy to have come close to me so soon. “Why you did that”, she asked. “What you are talking about”, I asked. “You disrespected him”; she had the NERVES to say. I could feel my temperature rising. Stay cool Fleace! Then she when too far with her next comment… “I am going to TELL you proper protocol”. I am thinking WTF, YOU are going to tell ME about "proper protocol" At that point, the gloves were off! “Look you can’t tell me anything, he started dancing with you and I danced with someone else!” “Yes, but he was not dancing that close to me, you were dancing too close to the other guy” “Oh really… he started it and I finished it. I set my rules not him or you” “If he did not want me dancing with other men, he should not be dancing with YOU” “Well, in my country if your male friends see your girlfriend is dancing alone, it is okay for him to dance with her. He was just being nice to me” Well, in my country, you don’t dance with my man or my date without asking me first. Not doing THAT will get your ass kicked. He was not trying to be nice, he was trying to make me jealous and you allowed him to use you". Of course, some of my anger is residual from the “Green Pants” incident. Just as I was really going to let her have it, Francessco returns. Now, I am REALLY upset because he is going to think we were fight about him. DAMN!!! Sharon, attempts to pull me on the dance floor to dance with her but I pull away!
Francessco looks at me, he can tell I am pissed off to the highest level of pisstivity (sorry, got that one from my grandmother lol). Not directly at him because at this point he means nothing to me but he played his part in the drama and now he is an open target. My next step must be carefully played. Without showing any emotions, I sit and say nothing waiting on his next move. After a minute or so of awkward silence, he asked: “why you dance like that with him”. My reply in a cool tone “because you dance with her” pointing to Sharon. “But, I did not dance with her like you danced with him” I nonchalantly hunch my shoulders and say “you dance with other women, I dance with other men… the way I want to” then I motion to get up. He stops me, and says “I’m sorry, I wanted to make you jealous because you push me away, I like you, I want to kiss you” “and, this is how you show it by dancing with another woman” “I am sorry, she means nothing to me, I’m sorry, please forgive me” and then he gets down on his knees in front of everyone and says "please, please forgive me".
Chelsea is watching from the stage. OMG, I am embarrassed... yet a little flatter. I reach for him and ask him to get up. Okay, okay… I forgive you! He shoots me the biggest smile. How could I not forgive a man willing to get on his knees in public to beg for forgiveness?
The evening ends with him asking for a date for Saturday night. This is just the beginning!
Lord help me because I have a feeling this man will drive me crazy and/or inspire a novel before it is over!
Once again… be careful what you wish for!
Your Italy Specialist
NO ONE DOES ITALY LIKE USE!
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