I am emitting pheromones… and a night of Italian punk

There are certain things I have come to realize about myself during my brief stay in Rome: 1) I more of myself than I ever was, and 2) who I was is now gone, and I am not quite sure if I existed.  With that said, let’s talk about today (Just so you are with me, it’s actually Thursday, February 10… Nevermind the posting date if it’s different.) 

Middle-aged Italian men have “ginormous balls.” What I mean by this is they have the amazing ability to dismiss whatever non-verbal social cues, such as the ABW scowl or head-turn (you know, you know what I’m talking about!), one might be displaying, which might mean something along the lines of “Now, really?  Do I look like I want to talk to you?”  Apparently, the sarcasm is completely lost them, or they choose to ignore it, because they always answer what is a truly rhetorical question with “Why, yes, D! You do want to talk to me.”  (Read/go watch and learn, young Italian men! Cat-calling is not the only way: Sheer and dogged questioning, regardless of language barriers – This is how you do it!) 

So, it was that I encountered no less than 4 of the above-mentioned men in a span of what amounted to less than 2 hours…  And what was I doing?  Was I sitting still?  Standing stationary somewhere, looking desperately in need of company?  Nope!  Actually, if you talk to anyone who knows me, I keep a military pace when walking.  It’s double-time, baby, when you’re with me!  Hop to it!  So, I ask you… How, in all that is beloved, did they manage to catch up to me?  (I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with those 3-inch heels I have been marching around in! Thank you, Mudd shoes!)

Now, you might say, “D, why didn’t you just ignore them?”  Well, first, I hate being rude.  Second, the image of myself, a semi-tall Black woman, being chased by a rather short Italian man was too comical for even me, and so I thought it better to spare everyone the scene – Please, don’t get the wrong impression here.  I am far from egotistical.  Actually, I think I am quite ordinary/plain-looking.  So, I have actually chalked this whole Italian-men-chasing-me-thing up to pheromones, exoticism, and a serious need for a more cosmopolitan society.   In the interim, however, does anyone know if there is any kind of “Pheromone-off” spray I can use?  Please, send to Via dei… Oh, forget it!  Do you know about the Italian postal service? (Let me put it this way: It will probably reach here after I am back in the States.)

The Art of Punk

Let’s just continue with sex… I mean, The Sex Pistols, and the rest of Punk movement, which lasted how long?  Um… Is it actually over?  Someone really needs to tell some of the people I know back home… And apparently, some of the people here in Rome too, like the ones at tonight’s exhibition on Punk art (to be followed by an 80s dance party with intermittent moments of punk, doo-woop, and surf music – That’s right…“Surfing U.S.A.”).

My courageous companion, Isobel, to whom I offer many thanks for the invitation to this very entertaining event, looked shell-shocked as we watched the parade of young and old “punk” Italians break out their best dance moves to the Bet-you-can’t-guess-what-beat’s-coming-next music offered up by the brilliant and talented DJ (who I know, for a fact, possesses mad skills, because he exhibited these prior to people actually coming on to the dance floor).  I suppose, however, that I should stick to mentioning the art exhibition.

Well… Hmm…. I am not really sure what I can or should say about the exhibition,… and that about sums it up.  It’s best to leave well enough alone.  No, really – It was less of an exhibition and more of a reason to get together, drink, dance, show yourself, and be a part of the in-scene.  Perhaps that’s the exhibition I should actually talk about. 😉 So, let’s!

There will be a day (perhaps tomorrow) when I will actually devote some time to describing what I call the “peacock” trend of the Italian male.  Italian men are not merely metrosexual… They are something beyond this (I just can’t think of a word.)  I mean it is like taking every single gay male stereotype regarding grooming and tossing in healthy dose of another stereotype, i.e. the high-maintenance, gold-digging ex-girlfriend/boyfriend in the mix (It’s simply not enough to be high maintenance, in my humble opinion, gold-digging is a must!) You know?  Well, we’ll get into that another time.  For now let’s talk about the attendees of tonight’s exhibition.

I love the word “fop” and am quite dismayed that we do not use it more often in the English language to describe men and have now resorted to “metrosexual” (Wait just one minute!….  This is the word I was missing earlier! Aha… “Welcome, to Era of the Italian Fop!”)  Well, my version of the Italian fop was nowhere present at this event.  Isobel, however, made the comment that these men, more than likely, “spent more time in front of the mirror before coming [to the exhibition] than she did” (and the beautiful Isobel is no slouch in putting forth her best self ).

It was hard for me to understand what she meant, however, because all I could see was some sort of cross between a sort of “roll-out-of-the-bed-welcome-back-to-the-90s-grunge-look” meets the still (apparently) popular “emo” look, which was born out of punk but isn’t true punk.  Then again… I am no fashion expert.  

My lack of knowledge, however, was quite okay.  Isobel let me know that I was graced to be in the company of Rome’s trendiest of scenes – I was actually attending a gathering of some of the ‘It’ people of Rome, who the rest of Rome actually looked to, in order to understand the latest trends in fashion.  Ah hah!…  I wondered why their grungified and emo’ed clothing was so highly fragranced in Eau d’Euro…  It was all coming together for me.  Did I mention that this event took place not a stone’s throw away from Via dei Condotti, a rather famously fashionable, always busy, and disgustingly expensive shopping street?  Actually, I make it a point to walk down it whenever I go to the Spanish Steps… just so my two favourite stores, Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange, have some free international advertising. 😉

Speaking of advertising, why is there a free drink stand for Absolut Vodka at, what seems like, every social event (usually they are  lgbqt ) to which I have been over the last few years?  Is it not enough that Italians have to deal with wine?  Must we now add vodka to the mix?  Furthermore, and not saying that this event involved lgbqt people whatsoever (besides myself), but the prevalence of alcoholism in the lgbqt community is an enormous problem, and having free drink stands at any such event only serves to increase it.

Side note: Oh, by the way, my gaydar says “I see gay people…” Now, if I could only find the cats…

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9 thoughts on “I am emitting pheromones… and a night of Italian punk

  1. Dolores Juhas says:

    Really brilliant!! I really enjoyed this article. Very interesting and accurate description of Italian mens. Good choice of words. I was in Italy for few times and totally can see a connection.

  2. April Rivers-Blake says:

    This one is really wonderful, Dee! I especially like the distinction made between “fop” and “metro sexual” followed by your observations. Really very well written and funny!! Love the titles, too. Write on!!

  3. michelle blake says:

    Had mommy read all the posts today…. She was delighted, laughed and cried. All different emotions pouring out of her. I showed her how to post a comment, so I think she will.

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