Last week I made a huge error in judgement.

I made a big mistake, broke a cardinal rule.

In the eyes of the Italian male race, it was bad. Very bad.

Worse than farting or burping in the presence of a man.

It was something that would surely cost me a lay, if it hasn’t already (since I’ve been doing this unknowingly for 5 years).

The kind of thing that would surely make me a topic of conversation among some guy and his friends some day: “Dude, one time I met this girl….”

Let’s just say it was a huge turn off. Right up there in the same stratosphere as not shaving your armpits.

I wore nude pantyhose.

::GASP::

This goes right up there along with wearing white socks, if you remember from my previous post. Now, I thought I was already one step ahead of the game knowing this unspoken no white sock rule, but much to my dismay, wearing nude pantyhose is much more than a fashion faux pas in Italy. It is, in fact, the ultimate female cock block.

And who let me in on this little secret? An Italian guy. Naturally. 

I had never once in five years heard this until this gentleman (who is straight) came along and completely threw me for a loop. When my female colleagues confirmed this as a fashion no no, I took action.

Ok. So I’ll burn them. All of them. Or at least tuck them away until I one day move back to America where I will not be judged for the color of my tights.

And I was always told that it’s a big mistake to go without tights when it’s not the “appropriate” season. In fact, the only sure tale sign that a girl is a foreigner in Milan is if she’s caught bare-legged in the dead of winter, something I’ve refrained from doing since I moved here so as to “fit in.” But apparently if you’re wearing a color that requires nude pantyhose (Like a beige dress would look dumb with black tights), it’s better to just go without rather than risk fashion suicide and/or being the girl no guy wants to touch. What a mind fuck.

Hearing it from the girls was one thing, and I appreciate them letting me in on this. But the fact that guys here notice and take issue with it is a little bizarre to me. What really left me semi speechless was when this same guy re-told a story his friend had told him….He picks up a girl for a date, and she walks out of the house wearing….horror of all horrors…..nude tights! No, he thinks. Why me? 

And the mood for the evening was set…..

This could have been the most gorgeous girl in all of Milan with the nicest rack, but that leg, as nice as it was, covered in those nude tights….NEXT.

This fashion Nazi also expressed his detestation for chipped nail polish. “You either wear it or you don’t,” he said. He couldn’t stand seeing girls at the beach either with chipped toe nail polish.

I went momentarily silent as I sat there and thought about how many dinners I had sat across from this guy with less than perfectly manicured nails. Shit! I mean, is this really what it’s coming down to? Is one slip up on nail polish really the be all end all?

Well, I’m screwed. I clean up nice but I can be quite unkempt at times and only wear a bra like 75% of the time.

I have a real mix of emotion when I think about this. As I said, living here I’m always caught in between trying to blend in and not giving a shit. At first I started to ponder just how many Italian men I’ve turned off on account of my pantyhose. But then the American inside of me just rolled my eyes and added this to the ongoing list of annoying qualities in Italian men.

The American in me would also like to know: why would a guy even care about this? No, not even care. Why would a guy even notice this?

Why indeed.

I’d like the think that where I come from, most men don’t really care what’s on your legs, just what’s in between them. But I grew insanely curious so I posed the question to a couple American guys to see if this was something that was a universal turn off.

One guy responded: “I don’t know what they are. Same color as skin you mean?”

Another: “Depends. Anything can look good if done correctly.”

And yet another said that pantyhose, thigh highs especially, were his biggest turn on. (no color in particular was alluded to. I’m assuming he was impartial to this as anyone with a penis should be).

So. Going on five years here and still single. Could it be the fault of the nude pantyhose? Is that where it all went awry? Could I have already been married by now if it hadn’t been for this little blunder??

I’ll tell ya. It’s issues like this that make the whole “till death do us part” seem more and more like an impossible feat in this country.