-My Mom, 10 years ago.
My Mom knows me well. I DO have this problem, where it’s like… I know the fire is hot (or a situation is fucked up) but I can’t resist reaching in and touching the flame (ie. seeing how much more fucked up the situation can get).
Throw some alcohol into the mix and you get stories like this:
A few years ago I was working for a company that sold packaged tours to high school students. You know the ones I am talking about: “Go to Europe for Spring Break! See ten countries in ten days and barely remember anything!”. One of the few perks of this job was that every season we got to go on a free trip. The upside: free European travel. The catch: you had to travel with high school students. This meant that you were literally tagging along (as a twenty-something) on a bunch of random teen’s Senior Class trip. Um, can you say awkward?
It was on one of these trips that I ended up late one night in a bar, in Italy with 45 drunk teenagers.
I was sitting at a table by myself, sampling the bar’sGrappa selection when I saw the 18-year old approach. I don’t remember his name. I think it was something like Chet or Chase or Bud or Buddy or Skip or Skipper. What I do remember was that he was part of our tour group, he had a very thick Bill Compton-like Southern accent and said y’all a lot. He also didn’t seem to know much about Canadians (earlier that day he had approached me to ask me what it was like “living in a country without electricity” Jesus! What are they teaching these kids?!). Just as I was starting to get a bit of a buzz happening, the 18 year sauntered up to me and slurred,
“Um, are you aware that I’m 24?”
“That’s no problem. I’m 18”
“Actually, it is kind of a problem–”
“Do y’all have a boyfriend?”
“What? Um. Yes. Yes, I do”
“What’s his name?”
“Y’all have Mexicans up there?”
“Y’all dating a Mexican?!”
“Yes. I mean no. I mean….Raul is Argentinean”
(Yes. Raul. My hot, proudly Argentinean boyfriend. Engineer by day, soccer player by night. All around stand-up guy who enjoys long walks & sex on the beach. Apparently, all that 60 proof Grappa had made Raul REAL. I figured defending Raul was a better option than bringing up the fact that I’d recently been sleeping with a Spanish guy, an Indian Guy and a Jamaican. Hey, when it comes to being a slut, I’m an equal opportunist). Then, as if he was reading my mind he asked:
“Are y’all a VIRGIN?”
(at this point I nearly spit out my drink)
“I’m 24. What do you think?”
“Well, I’m definitely not a virgin. I’ve banged tons of chicks! All kinds of hot chicks! And not just from my own town! I’ve had so much sex its INSANE y’all”
(The great thing about being 24 vs. 18: your radar for bullshit is acute. This guy’s sexual experience was about as likely as me actually being able to do advanced calculus. In other words: don’t count on it.)
“That’s…nice. Umm, Good for you???”
“Are y’all a Republican?”
(This seemed even more ridiculous than the Virgin question. I started to laugh hysterically)
“Are you serious?”
“Do y’all love George Bush? He’s my idol. I hope to be like him when I grow up. I love how he’s all about not changing stuff”
“You need to stop talking”
Unfortunately, the 18 year old took this pause in the conversation as a cue to lay one on me. Before, I knew it this kid had grabbed me and was pressing his lips against mine. Luckily there was no tongue. (Oh god, what if there had been tongue?!). I pulled away, grabbed the remaining shot off of the table, poured it down my gullet and said,
“This never happened”
& walked away.
Italy is a magical place where everything is sexy. You’re sexy. The people around you are sexy. The food is sexy. The buildings are sexy. Even the people who normally wouldn’t be sexy, seem sexy. I love Italy. The only problem is sometimes all this sexy backfires. Like when teenagers start to find you attractive.
Goodbye Florence. Buon giorno Cougartown.
To counteract my R-Kelly moment, I decided to spend the rest of the night making eyes at our 40-year old tour guide who suddenly looked really, really good. Apparently I was also wearing a pair ofItaly Goggles that night (and apparently I was in the one bar completely devoid of anyone age-appropriate)
The next day, our tour group was visiting a Florentine Leather factory -a required stop on the trip (because what high schooler DOESN’T want to visit a leather factory. I mean REALLY. I’m rolling my eyes right now just as I’m sure everyone else was that day). I was standing with my co-worker (& traveling companion) by a giant purse display, when the 18-year old came up to talk to us. He was holding a leather belt.
“Do y’all like this belt Simone?”
“Sure. Its nice”
“Cuz I want to make sure y’all like it. It’s important to me”
“Um, buy whatever you like”
When the kid was out of earshot, my co-worker (who had yet to be filled in about the events of the previous night) said to me:
“Why is he asking you about his belt? There is something reallyoff about that kid. The other day he asked me if we had electricity in Canada”
At this point, we look across the room to see 18-year old winking at us.
me: “Yeah, I’m not really sure what his deal is”
her: “Americans are weird”
me: “Oh yeah…Totally….
*insert awkward shoe gazing here*