Remember when I told you about those grand romantic gestures by Italians?

Well I’ve become the subject of them lately.

And…guilty as charged… I actually like it.

Who am I??

When me and the boy were working together and first started dating, I didn’t want anyone in the office to know. I would have rather died than admit I was seeing someone from work. It would have just added more fuel to the already churning rumor mill.

But he is Italian and oozing with feelings so it was hard for him to keep a lid on it, despite my threats.

So in his “subtle” attempts to be romantic, he would leave me a croissant at my desk in the morning with a little note if he arrived before me, or would come talk to the guy next to me and slip a Baci chocolate on my desk behind his back (the ones with the love messages inside the wrapper). Even now when we meet for lunch, he always pulls a Baci chocolate out of his pocket at the end.

A few weeks ago I popped home to the States really quick for a visit with the family and more importantly to celebrate the wedding of my very best friend since the 1st grade.

A weekend of L.O.V.E…. all around

And I was leaving my new boyfriend for eleven whole days.

And so the comments from the peanut gallery started:

 

Are you gonna miss your new boyfriend??

 

Is he coming with you???

 

Once you get there, you’ll wish he was there with you.

 

No. No. And no. Everyone relax. I have changed quite a bit in these past few months with the arrival of my new beau, yes. I’m a (dare I say it) believer in love (ew). But I have not lost all sense of self.

So everyone just calm the hell down.

 And anyways, it wasn’t as if I had really left him. By day four, I was being riddled with pictures and videos from his adventures back in Italy without me. Pictures on the Vespa outside Castello Sant’Angelo in Rome. Videos from him to my family he had yet to meet. Pictures from the sunglasses shop asking for advice on which pair to buy.

So this is what people in relationships do.

Was I annoyed? NOPE. Every other person I had dated and left behind for a few days of R&R never left me with a sense of security. It was more me wondering what they were doing. Or who they were doing. So this was quite alright for me.

By day 5 and 6, however, things started to get weird. He hadn’t been feeling well and all of a sudden he was MIA.

I sat at the island in my kitchen and said to my mom, He’s dead. I know it. I waited so long to find this guy, it figures the universe would play this sick joke and go and kill him on me. 

Then when I finally heard from him, he was repeating bizarre questions he had already asked me the day before. I got flashbacks to the guy who blew me off for the wedding 5 years ago because “his cat was sick”. Ok, so if the universe doesn’t kill him, they’re just going to make him crazy. Great.

That night my brother and his girlfriend Lorea ate dinner at my parents’ house then left to hang out with friends. My cousin came over after and we were sitting around the fire pit in the backyard with my Mom making s’mores.

At around 11PM, Lorea came walking out into the backyard. I said, what are you doing back here?

And she handed me this:

Italian chocolate

 

He’s here.

 

And there, appearing in my backyard with my brother, was the boy.

(Cue the eye rolls. It’s ok, feelings of nausea are completely normal right now.)

Coming off a 20-hour travel adventure because he got home Monday night and got this crazy idea to just book a ticket and come to Rhode Island, he stood there just as dazed and confused as I was.

 

It all began like this:

 

text from Italians

text from Italians

And so….

plane ticket

No prior planning that went into this, not even a former trip to the US or out of Europe for that matter. Just cleared it with my brother first, made sure he had a ride from Boston to Cranston, then got on a flight at 10AM the next day.

For the record, he’s a crazy son of a bitch. And I love it. And here he was standing in my kitchen in Cranston, Rhode Island:

Italian boy

At this point my mother was scrambling to get out her English to Italian phrase books and showing Fil we have means to make espresso in the morning with an abundance of Lavazza coffee.

The funny thing about this is that I hate surprises. I remember when my boyfriend in college drove down from MA to RI to surprise me after work during winter break and I. Was. Pissed. He even arrived bearing gifts.

How dare he.

My brother even said to me the next day: I know how you are. And I thought, this could go either really well or really really bad. And if it goes really bad, it was all Lorea’s idea.

But actually, I was really happy. It’s nice to show the person you care about where you’re from and who your family and friends are.

So, a brief recap of Fil’s first USA experience:

He had his first American breakfast (eggs, homefries and hash), described as “quite heavy.”

American breakfast

 

He ate his first chowdahhhh as well as his first lobstah roll:

 

Rhode Island Chowder

 

Attended his first American wedding:

 

American wedding

 

Saw a Providence waterfire:

 

Providence Waterfires

 

Met the family:

 

Meet the family

 

Went paddle boarding in EG:

 

Paddleboard East Greenwich

 

And of course, we took one of those obnoxious sunset photos that becomes your Facebook cover pic. Naturally.

 

sunset Rhode Island

Other things he managed to cross off the list, but went undocumented photo-wise:

Ate Calvitto’s pizza strips on Scarborough beach which he described as “not as bad as I expected.”

Experienced that good ole’ American air conditioning that left him with a cold his first night there.

Drank my mom’s crappy American coffee. By choice.

All in all, it was a fabulous time spent at home and seriously, one of the best surprises ever.

The only thing we did not do was eat hot wieners. I don’t think the Italian tummy is ready for that just yet.

But we’re working on it…