status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
Interesting fact courtesy of Kiwi friend: The word “spinster” referred to women who made their living by spinning wool. Women who married no longer needed to work, but those who never married, span forever… How nice.
Interesting question courtesy of North American friend: How do people in Europe “date”?
It was a question I struggled to answer, namely because I have never really “dated”. The patience required for such activities is beyond me; I want to skip right to the interesting part – no, not THAT part. The part where I find out whether or not the person could potentially be THE ONE.
Because if he’s not THE ONE, there are plenty more exciting things to do with my time; life is short and relationships for relationships’ sake are nothing but a whole lot of bother. Thus, lacking the necessary emotional wherewithal to let things develop in their own sweet time, I instead indulge in a lot of trying to squeeze the unlucky suitor into THE ONE shaped box.
Cue a hefty dose of manipulation with lashings of imagination and a sprinkle of self-delusion…
When I first saw him, my heart went bumpty bump – must be because he’s THE ONE.
There are zero fireworks, but he is kind and dependable and that is what grown-ups want in a relationship – he must be THE ONE.
We have discovered that we were in the same place at the same time five years ago. Can’t possibly be a coincidence – he must be THE ONE!
He’s not shallow and self-centred, he is deep and misunderstood. And nobody likes a challenge more than I do – he must be THE ONE.
I like classical music and living in the country, he likes nightclubs and bright lights. But opposites attract – he must be THE ONE.
There was nothing going on, but one night he had a starring role in one of my dreams – no doubt about it, he’s THE ONE!
But, surprising though it may seem given such promising “signs”, he turns out not to be THE ONE at all, and I am left with a box all bent out of shape and expectations to match.
Since arriving in Italy, that side of my life has been rather more straightforward; Albanians and Italians alike seem to be on the hunt for one thing, and one thing only. Slightly depressing, granted, but at least you know where you stand and can thus pick and choose accordingly.
But a few weeks ago, there was a development…
One night I went out with friends as usual, but this time there appeared at my side a man. I knew this man vaguely, so when he stayed at my side for six long hours I didn’t think a lot of it. Until it happened again the next time I went out, and then the next. Soon we had accumulated about 15 hours of talk-time, and he had started to intrigue me.
He talked about teaching me some dance moves (he’s heavily in to the whole Latino scene), he talked about me visiting him to drink wine in the campagna where he works cultivating ornamental plants, he even offered to take me (the 100m) home on his motorbike. Practically every opinion I hold garners the response ME TOO! and he has taken on the role of protector against the more obtuse”lonely” Albanians who follow me round and round the village like hopeful hyenas tracking an injured wildebeest.
And yet nothing… He has followed up none of his “suggestions” with a possible meeting time, nor has he used the telephone number he now has saved in his mobile phone.
I, on the other hand, have somehow managed to spend most of the last weeks in the pub just in order to enjoy his company. And enough is enough. Rather than trying to rush this to a definite conclusion so I can get on with something else – interested or not interested? THE ONE or not THE ONE? I am going to change the behaviour of a lifetime and simply step away.
I live here. He lives here.
Things can happen in their own sweet time, or not at all.
Either way, it is all good.
This is Status Viatoris, who, if a certain someone ever picks up the phone may be able one day to tell you all about how Italians “date”, isn’t growing-up fun! in Italy.