Sometimes When I Look at Him… I’m Surprised at Who I See

I never expected for anything meaningful to develop between The Italian and me. He was supposed to be my temporary post-breakup distraction… a little healthy rebound. But, he’s become so much more than that, and after a few bumps and hurdles and some compromising, I think we’ve landed in a really good spot… a place where I’m truly happy in a relationship, for the first time in a long time.

It’s no secret that when we dated a few years ago, I considered him to be the typical “suave Italian douchebag”, but the truth is that we never really got to know each other… and of course, we’ve both done a lot of growing up these past few years. I find that the more I’ve gotten to know him over the past five months, the more surprised I am at how much I really like him, and the more I can see a future with him. For example, tonight we had to drop his car off with the mechanic so they can look at it tomorrow morning. We did the typical thing, drove separately to the shop, left his car, and drove home together… and on the way home, as he’s driving my Jeep and I’ve got my hand on his thigh and we’re just catching up with each other, it felt so… domestic, and natural… and there was a point when he said something funny and I looked at him and had this moment where I could see us in that exact same way thirty years from now.

It surprises me that I’m thinking this way about him, but I am, and it feels different than other relationships I’ve had. It wasn’t love at first text like with Andy, or the intensely overwhelming love that I had for Y. Instead, it’s been this slow and steady build, and I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical in the beginning- thinking there was only one layer to him and if I didn’t know he was “the one” right away then he couldn’t be but, now that I’m seeing who he really is, how he treats me, how much he cares about me, how he thinks… I feel differently. I see so much more in him than I used to. I don’t even mind his crazy work schedule most of the time anymore, because we’ve come to a level of understanding about it.

I’m really, genuinely, happy with him.

A few random facts about The Italian:

1) While he was born in Italy, he is not actually Italian by blood. His parents are Hungarian and Romanian and he went to school in all three countries. Therefore, he speaks four languages: Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, and English.

2) This also explains why he is not as dark or as hairy as most people from southern Italy.

3) For several weeks I meant to ask him what his eldest brother’s name is. I figured this is something I should know since they are so close and he speaks of him all the time. I was prepared to make notes in my phone so I could remember the pronunciation and spelling. As it turns out, his brother’s name is… George.

4) His sister-in-law’s name is Flower. BAHAHAHA. (He looked at me quizzically when I said “really? Is it really? Like F.L.O.W.E.R? Like a rose kind of flower?”).

5) He says his niece is ugly like one of those kids in the horror movies. After lecturing him on how cruel it was to think that way, I became worried for our potential future spawn.

6) Years ago, I used to hate the way The Italian snuggled. He always wanted to be so close he would literally snuggle me right off the side of the bed. He’s since backed-off a bit and is officially the best snuggler ever.

7) He happens to be the one who shared in my most embarrassing moment- when I broke my bed. When we dated the first time, I had this cheap Ikea bed… you know, the one with the slats instead of a box spring? Well the slats on one side weren’t measured properly. They were slightly short and would slip off of the frame of the bed. When this would happen, I would have to carefully roll out of bed, lift the mattress, and slide them back on. Well, one night The Italian was snuggling me waaayyy over to the edge of the bed- as he liked to do- and the slats fell off. I didn’t want to wake him so I half-slept uncomfortably the rest of the night. In the morning, he rolled out the other side of the bed and I tried to roll out my side, but we’d been pretty much sleeping on the pressboard frame all night, and it snapped under my weight. I nearly died of embarrassment. I do not ever intend to remind him of this story.

8) He still wears those designer tighty-whitey’s. I used to think he was the only man of my generation to wear briefs. As it turns out, they’re making a comeback. Who knew?

9) He’s funny, and not just in a sarcastic way! He actually has a really great sense of humour that I don’t recall witnessing before. Every time he really makes me laugh, I feel such gratitude for it.

Damn Expensive Coffee

I’m in the best mood today! I had an aha! moment this morning… it was about understanding how the opposite sex show that they care. You know, you read it in all of the magazines: When a woman wants to show she cares, she tells him so. When a man wants to show he cares, he does something practical for her.

When The Italian and I were still in our fooling around stage, he was so frugal that I really thought that was going to be a deal breaker when we started dating. He made this comment about how he didn’t mind paying for dates but he didn’t want it to be expected (a fair stance for men, but he was pretty head-strong about it). He told me a story about a blind date who picked Starbucks as their meeting place, and he wanted her to pay for her own “damn expensive coffee” before he got there, so he waited for her to text and say “you’re late so I ordered” before he went in. The first time we had dinner together, he insisted that I pay. He did it jokingly and I knew it was a test, so I teased him for it, but I paid and I told him I was happy to do it.

Now when we go for dinner, he insists on paying. When he goes grocery shopping, he asks if I need anything. When a Chinook rolls through and the snow melts, he trades me car’s so that he can clean mine for me. I’ve never asked him to do any of those things.

And this morning… he surprised me with Starbucks.

P.S. I realize I haven’t been blogging about The Italian much… but sometimes it’s nice to just live it. If you want the day to day updates, you should really be following @IntrigueMe on Twitter.

P.P.S. Check out my recent interview on myTreat!