A few weeks ago I broke it off with the Italian plumber who lives with his parents and claims “things are complicated in his life right now.”

Oh yes, I would I never want that complicated a life. Ever!

When I merely asked if we were on the same page or not, this was his response: You told me when we first went out that you weren’t looking for anything. Heather, I don’t know what that means in English, but in Italian that means something very specific!

All the while in that condescending ‘this is a learning lesson for you in Italian’ tone.

This isn’t the fuckin riddle of the sphinx here buddy. No play on words either. It all means the same thing, even in English. And in much the same respect, maybe we should discuss the different shades of meaning in the world “complicated.” But nobody goes on a first date, sits down across from the other person, who they’re not completely sure isn’t a serial killer yet and says: I’m shooting for marriage here. That ok?

I mean, right?

Well. Much to my surprise (and I’m always seeming to learn something new in each of these short-lived romances), one is suppose to disclose IMMEDIATELY on the first date that they are looking for something serious if there is any possibility at all in the future that they might possibly want to date the other person. Even if you aren’t sure you like the guy yet, you should cover all your bases so that it doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass later. Silly me. Now, I thought doing so would have the guys running for the hills and never looking back. Well, thank you Mr. Fix-It slash dating guru. I will make sure to work this into my next “first date” and see how it goes.

And all this coming from the man who speaks not one lick of English and never had a problem with my Italian. Suddenly he pulls the lost in translation card.

And my blood starts to boil.

And I start to channel the words of my good friend Daniela:

Always remember in any break up to take the high road.

So I do just that. As he gets angry because I simply said I didn’t think we wanted the same things, I keep calm and focus on not erupting in a bout of hateful, below-the-belt comments.

No, you’re right, there was some misunderstanding here, and it’s better to just clear these things up now.

As he tells me he doesn’t really like the “way I do things,” I say: well, I guess we’re just different you and I. And that’s ok, it’s just better to find these things out right now. 

Now, three weeks later, I’m kicking myself. Mother fucker got off easy. Too easy.

Take the high road.

Bullshit.

take the high road

A couple years ago I read the book Gone Girl. SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t read it. This woman frames her husband for murder because she finds he was cheating on her and she just snapped. So she disappears in this elaborate plot to make it seem like she’s been abducted. The first half of the book makes you think that he murdered her and then surprise, we find that she’s alive and well, brooding over his mistreatment of her. And she explains why she did it. And there was a quote, so brilliantly written I actually took a highlighter (As though I were in 7th grade English again), highlighted it, and wrote notes in the margin. This was the infamous quote:

All the tut-tutters out there will say: She should have just left, bundled up what remained of her dignity. Take the high road! Two wrongs don’t make a right! All those things that spineless women say, confusing their weakness with morality.

Yes. Just, yes. This should be the anthem of mistreated women everywhere, I thought.

This is obviously a slight exaggeration to make my point. I would not frame someone for murder, but I may be nearing the end with the “high road”. We had a good run, but it’s just not working for me anymore.

We can call it a mix of reaching my breaking point and channeling my inner southern Italian. As you know, I have some Calabrese blood running through my veins. Here is the thing with this geographic location: it is your right as a southern Italian woman to be passionate and hot-headed.

I had an American friend who dated a girl from Puglia. She was certifiable, really. But my friend would say, ah, those southern Italian women, they’re just so passionate. What an odd notion. In Italy, a woman flies off the handle and she’s ‘passionate.’ In America that bitch is fuckin nuts. RUN. And never look back. Change your number. Change your name.

But I think Italians in general are just brutally honest. They say what they think, and don’t seem to have any shame in it. I tend to keep a lid on it. I also shy away from making a public scene. But I’ve witnessed many a heated argument in public here to know that if an Italian is mad, they’re getting mad regardless of where they find themselves at the moment. I’ve watched World War III ensue with a couple sitting next to me at a restaurant once, and not one of them would budge from their chair and take it outside. I come from a family where when I was growing up, as soon as one of us would fight with the other, my mom would go around closing all the windows in our house so the neighbors couldn’t hear us. Like nobody knows what happens when you have five people living under the same roof.

I guess the whole point of taking the high road in that awkward break up conversation is so (as Daniela says) you can leave on a high note, never give the guy a reason to say anything bad about you. True. But then again, what do I care? This whole blog thing I’ve got going here…..I figure it like this: if you’re a guy I date and you make it into this blog, you’re pretty much dead to me anyway. No chance of resurrecting what was.

So in an effort to be more “passionate”, I’m attempting this thing. Shedding a little level headedness may do me some good in this country. Let’s see. But may God have mercy on the next man who tells me it’s complicated.

Take the high road