My other-half is himself split into two halves, English and Italian. Half cold, damp drizzle and orderly queues, and half fiery Ferrari and wild hand gestures. People often ask me if he’s more English or Italian. This blog posting is dedicated to him.
He drives like a lunatic and likes his steak still moo-ing (Italian), but takes milk in his tea and says ‘whoops-a-daisy’ when he drops something (English). He says that he can’t multi-task like women can, but will cross three lanes of traffic at eighty km per hour, swear down the phone and light a cigarette at the same time (Italian).
He generally has the table manners of a badly-trained monkey (Italian, sorry) and twice as much body hair (Italian again). His hair is brown, although he insists it is ‘blond’ (English for the colour and Italian for insisting it’s blond), and he has size 46 feet which are even uglier than mine (English). The other day I came home to find him waiting to show me his big toe nail which had rotted off, again (this is the rogue Yeti gene coming out, the one I hope won’t be transmitted to our children). The other morning he was reading and asked me,
‘What’s a ‘bassoon?’
‘I think it’s a large wind instrument,’ I replied. ‘A bit like you.’(English)
He didn’t think this was as funny as I did (Italian).
He thinks it’s normal to have a blocked kitchen drain for six months and to have to tip the washing-up water down the toilet. It gives our house a kind of campsite atmosphere which appeals to his puritan side (English). One of his biggest heroes is Magnum, who he could rival for chest hair (Italian) and dress sense (English). Two Christmases ago he bought me a oven dish from Lidl wrapped in newspaper (English). He has no clue where the iron lives (does any man?).
He whisked me to New York to propose, which he did on one knee at midnight in Washington Square Garden (Italian). He secretly asked my dad for my hand in marriage first (English). He will take me out for dinner to celebrate the tiniest triumph at work (Italian) and will make me a hot water bottle and cup of tea, just how I like it, if I’m feeling poorly (English). He spontaneously offers massages that last forever and asks for nothing in return (I don’t know where this comes from, I just hope it never changes). He gets excited about baked beans (English) despite being a buona forchetta, or ‘good fork’, meaning someone who loves great food (Italian).He likes to keep magazines in the bidet (English – it’s true, us English rarely use the bidet for it’s original purpose).
Every morning in the shower, he sings made-up songs about me (Italian) and then tries to make me dance with him in his bathrobe and slippers in the hallway (eccentric English). He tells me how beautiful I am ten times a day (Italian - this one outweighs almost everything else), and says he really fancies me in my new reading glasses (English). Finally, he regularly whispers two of my favourite phrases into my ear:
‘I love you, baby’ (Italian) and then, ‘Shall I put the kettle on?’ (English).