Positano, Italy, is all about “the wedding.” This town loves its brides, and it loves its lace. It's kind of bizarre to inhabit a town that, besides for its beauty and tourist economy, is known for its white linen and lace. Most of the town’s windows are draped in the frilly white cloth, and I saw no less than 14 brides this week. On top of that, it seems like everyone’s here on their honeymoon. Everyone except me of course.
I wondered what it’d be like to grow up in such a town where the promise of romance is everywhere. I can’t say that I grew up with a vision of the proverbial white wedding as the be-all, end-all of life goals. I wonder if things might’ve been different had I grown up here instead of Michigan.
So I decided I had to get to the bottom of it. Was I right in thinking that “the wedding,” something akin to the romantic ideal, was what Positano’s people held most dear? As part of my investigation, I needed to find some Italian men from this town, guys who’d been raised among all the fine linen and lace. Was I going to find lovers, fighters, romantics or pragmatists?
The first Positano native I spoke to was Nicolo. Once we or really he was able to get past the fact that I’m in my 30s and not yet married, had in fact never been married and was traveling alone, he told me he had just broken up with a woman who was turning 30 and wanted to get married. At 33, Nicolo says he's still young and not ready to settle down. Then he turned the conversation back to me, asking, "Why you not married? What do you do about love? Do you have man just for love?”
"Do you mean a guy just for sex?" I asked him. "Do you call it love—the sex part, the in-and-out part?”
Yes, they call it love, he said. His friend Salvatore, 29 and single, reassured me, "Well, the woman don't really need the love (aka sex); she can make the love (sex) on her own, and it's so beautiful."
Of course, I reminded him that he too can “make the love” with himself. But he shook his head and said, No, this (as he engaged in the universal up-and-down motion for masturbation) is ugly. The man is ugly, but the woman, bellissima!"
Another friend, 34-year-old Giovanni, said it was especially beautiful when the woman uses "the vibratour." He then asked if I liked it too.
Mind you, I hadn't told anyone what I do for a living, and I certainly didn't plan to now. We had already moved beyond the subject of being a single woman in town to the love thing, so to play the sex card this late in the conversation felt like the worst kind of timing. I had learned quite a bit anyway, so there really was no need.
At some point, I steered the conversation over to the topic of Italian tomatoes, which are truly orgasmic by the way. All agreed and each of us then proceeded to devour another slice of pizza with said tomatoes. Truly divine.
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