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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How to Meet an Italian

After reading Cyndi’s post on how she met her “Italian”, I decided to piggyback on her idea and chronicle how I met mine. If you go back to my December 2004 archives you’ll be able to read about how we were married in Las Vegas but not about how we met. I guess it’s time to fill in the blanks.

I had separated from my fiancé Michael and was feeling super depressed. We tried for months to work out our differences but to no avail. A wonderful friend of mine, Miriam, decided to take on the job of cheering me up and invited me to a BBQ, she and her friends were having on Alki Beach in Seattle. It was early August and the weather was gorgeous, warm and breezy. Part of me just did not feel like mingling but to appease Miriam, I went anyway. We stopped off at a gourmet grocery store and picked up some cheese, bread, fruit and olives to nibble on as we sat out looking at Puget Sound. Not long after we began snacking, several of her friends and a few acquaintances came over, planted themselves on our beach towel and began chatting with us. One of these acquaintances was Demetrio.

According to my DH (dear husband), he and his friend Marco saw me coming to join the group.

Marco says “She looks nice; I am going to go over and talk to her.”

Deme replies “No, no you stay here and I will go over, talk to her and get her phone number for you.”

Long story short, Deme gets my vitals and reveals nothing to Marco.

At the time, I like Cyndi was planning a trip to Italy. After Deme sat down on my beach towel and revealed he was Italian, at first I thought he was Greek or Russian and that his name was Dimitrio, we began to talk about books, movies, and his time in Ireland, my childhood on Guam. He surprised me when he knew where Guam was, how deep the Marianas Trench was and so on and so forth. I knew he was going to be an interesting conversational partner and for the first time in months I was really enjoying the company of another man. He offered me his sweater as the sun began to set; I think he wanted to have a reason to see me again and to retrieve the sweater.

“Would you like to borrow my sweater” he asks.

“Keep it for as long as you like but if I get cold, I might have to ask for it back.” He adds jokingly.

I being a total brick at the time; did not get the fact this was joke. I had taken the sweater, put it around my shoulders, but when I hear him say he might want it back, I innocently replied,

“Oh don’t worry about it, I don’t want you getting cold. Maybe you should just keep it.” (Can you think of a more idiotic thing to say?)

Soon the sun set, I started shivering and we decided to go home. Before I left I gave Deme my email address and the very next day I received a note, saying that he wanted to see me again and would be in touch right after a short business trip. The rest they say is history.

A funny after note: On our first date, dinner and a movie, I almost re-thought the whole thing as I saw him strolling towards me. Gold chain around his neck and wrist, Prada loafers, paisley pants and rolling his own cigarette, I questioned myself. “What have I gotten into?”

A second funny after note: Two months after we met, I asked Deme to help me with a Labor Day BBQ I was having for friends at my house. He came over apron in hand was ready to tear up my kitchen. We planed an Italian menu and set out to feed about 8 people, as he began to prepare the basil, I glanced over his shoulder and said

“Oh that is a beautiful chiffonade".

Deme then stopped what he was doing, put down this knife, took the towel off this shoulder, turned to me wide-eyed and said incredulously,

“It’s been a long time since a girl has said “chiffonade” to me.”

I think this is the moment that we knew; we could work together in the kitchen and in life.

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At 10:46 AM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Gina - that's such a lovely storey. Funny enough, I can picture everything having lived in Seattle area myself.

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous island girl said...

What a great story! I bet you both have a nice chuckle whenever you use the word "chiffonade" or hear it.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Tina said...

I loved that story. If it's okay, I am officially going to put a link to your blog on my blog because I am always checking it anyway and hey I'm a Seattle girl too! (Hopefully soon to be in Italy)...


At 11:39 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

Wonderful story Gina! It is easy to mistake jokes, I did this often when I first met Danilo. Glad it all worked out for you in the end, even if you did give him back his sweater!

At 7:06 AM, Blogger traveller one said...

Oh a lovely story and such a lovely word "Chiffonade"! Love it!

At 7:31 AM, Blogger american girl in italy said...

Cute! hehe A match made in kitchen. :OD

At 10:23 AM, Blogger H. (aka. NC_State_Gal) said...

How sweet. That is a great story on how you two met :).

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Great story...That def tells me you were made for each other, coming from someone who had no idea what a chiffonade was. Someday, I'll post one of our Big Misunderstandings When We First Met involving techno music and a Carabiniere.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

how cute! it's neat to hear how everyone met their Italians! I can just imagine the first date and seeing him walk up...how funny!


At 8:11 PM, Anonymous paz said...

Love your story and your additional funny notes. ;-)


At 9:36 AM, Blogger Sara said...

Nice story. I remember you telling me about the chiffonade after it happened.

On a similar note: When I saw that Chris did the "soap meld" (in which the smaller piece of soap is squished and incorporated seamlessly into the new, bigger piece of soap), I knew there was something there too. However, I knew that I wanted to marry Chris when he told me I broke up with him for "the stupidest reason ever."

What happened to Marco?


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