Eh, but why avoid the truth, which is so very simple? 😉 I was busy living…
Yeah, that’s right. Living. Can you believe it? It’s something I’ve been strategically avoiding for some time now. Actually, being avoidant had been quite useful while going through that period of… well, how should I put it… difficulty and uncertainty. 😉
Truly, however, benefit can be found in focusing in on yourself, in order to heal and reinforce one’s emotional and psychological foundation.
Gratefully, I have achieved a sense of stability in my new environment. That is, I am attending university, working, and making and spending time with friends. Also, I’ve been learning the ins and outs of what it means to actually ‘live’ in Rome as opposed to the ‘extended visit’ experience I had before.
What is truly wonderful is now I am in a place of balance… and can return to doing the other things that I love, such as writing (blog, etc.) and playing guitar. It’s a nice feeling…
I promised at the end of my last post that I would talk about men, a neverending source of dicussion here in Rome for women as women are for men. Below is an excerpt from my essay “Why Rome…”, which basically sums up my observation of men in Rome. Hope you enjoy it.
Connection isn’t Obligatory
There is a particular occupation of Italian males that I believe must be highly expected and duly ignored. I call it the ‘Sexual Objectification Initiation Program.’ It is like a built-in computer program that is implanted at an early age in the brain of the average Italian male. I will explain in further detail. Just keep reading.
Rome is a city of attraction. Attraction, sexuality, sensuality are a way of life here. Above all, there is an exceptional appreciation of beauty that surpasses issues of race and ethnicity. Really, I have been told, on more than one occasion, that Romans are not racist. Romans merely suffer from an acute case of grand aestheticism.
No, no, really (my Italian friends assure me of this every time they see me), no matter what race you are, if you are perceived as beautiful, then Romans will accept you. Not only that, but they will absolutely let you know about it. (Now, think back to the above-mentioned ‘Program.’)
Roman males, in particular, try to be specific in their feedback and will let you know just where you fall on their personal attraction rating scale, even if they do not know you at all—let’s not worry, for now, about whether or not you have asked for this information. For them, it is seemingly an automatic thought-to-mouth (or foot-in-mouth) experience of the ‘Program,’ which if I had to write its code in Standard English would be something like this:
- If Roman man, then notice all women.
- If woman perceived as young and attractive,
- Then stop mid-action, mid-conversation, mid-anything.
- Ignore intelligent thought.
- Revert to caveman-like utterances, of which the only intelligible words are ciao and bella.
- Ignore woman’s response. Be persistent.
- Repeat process until life on earth ends,
- OR if wife and/or girlfriend present, break process by remaining silent (unless complete ass****).
Until next time… I promise that it will be much, much sooner.
(“Via dei Condotti,” Photography by Diedré M. Blake, 2011)