Alla Prossima Bella…

I answered, “Oui.” First, because I’m a bit flustered with street flirting, and second because French is the closest I come to another language. The gentleman in question is young, of the Italian variety and a good enough liar to make a woman of a certain age feel good for an hour.

GrandBear 2 and I have been exploring Milan. Her parents are at the F1 race so I ask GrandBear 2 how she feels about seeing the sights and the shoes. We are headed into Milan Fashion Week and I want to find the famous runway screens dotted about the city. Seems the fashion higher-ups in Milan don’t allow mere mortals into the shows. Instead, the shows are on screens for all to see. Scrumptious!

We’ve been walking a while, got a little lost, tried some gelato (to die–another story) and we need a break. I perch on a concrete something facing a fountain, as one does in Italia.

“Ciao,” comes a voice behind me.

“Ciao,” say I. He is neither threatening nor handsome enough to render me mute–which happens by the way to widows out of the dating scene. It goes like this:

“Hello,” says Handsome Man.

“I’m fine thank you. How are you,” says sweaty-palmed me. One would never guess there was a time in life I could have taught flirtation as an art.

GrandBear 2 squeals. She has newly discovered her voice. He smiles. He’s younger, no ring, well-dressed (another conversation American men). The mind says, “Do men wear rings in Italy? Who knows. Go with the flow for once you uptight shrew.”

He rattles off something and it must be the sheer blankness registered on my face. He says, “Ah American?”

“Si,” say I. I am trying.

“You are daughter is very beautiful,” Imitating his Italian inflection there, get it? He is looking at GrandBear 2.

“Ooh you’re good,” I laugh. His face is quizzical. Okay, I’ll play.

“She is my granddaughter.”

“Nooooo.” He puts a hand to his chest. I am laughing.


“No, no Bella. You must have daughter who this is her daughter. No.”

“Yes,” say I, thinking how little it takes to make me happy some days. “This is her daughter.”

“Where is this daughter?” I feel for Middle Chicken–imagine his level of flirtation with the baby’s actual mother.

“She is at F1.”

He is set off. A paragraph or three about F1, what I assume are famous racers and all manner of car paraphernalia spew out all at once. I nod. I may not speak the language but Duchess Dolls are always polite, non? Wrong language, no?

“You bringa this daughter to me. This is not true. After the race.”

“I will,” I promise, getting up. He takes my hand. Wait, am I being punked?

“Alla prosimma, Bella,” and brings his lips to my hand.

I say, “Grazie,” because that would be the appropriate answer from a high-class chick from America. Pfft.


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