I have a story for all of you: the dumb fantasy strikes again.
If adventures will not befall a lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.
My best friend’s older sister Jane recently took a trip to Florence with two girl friends. The moment they landed, Jane’s companions took to Tinder, because when in Italy, meet Italian men.
It’s sort of the American way. From what I hear, there’s quite a stereotype about American girls abroad–a stereotype these girls were simultaneously unaware of and perpetuating. Just think about how easy it would be to be a player in a city like Florence or Rome. Women flock to Italy, France, England (really, any European country) to find love. And against the Tuscan backdrop, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re more special than the woman he was spending time with last week. In Europe, new tourists replace last week’s, and so on, so you won’t get enough time with him to find out.
One of Jane’s friends, Alli, matches with this cute Italian guy, so they agree to meet at a bar. Jane and their other friend tagged along for safety reasons.
It turned out, Jane and the Italian guy hit it off. Alli had dated guys like him before and wasn’t interested in repeated patterns. So Jane and M., as we’ll call him, started spending time together.
The Italian guy worked really late nights because he’s an international DJ. (Pause for reaction.) Jane would leave their AirBnB around 2 a.m. to hang out with him after he was off work. She wouldn’t come back until late morning, and never answered her phone while she was with him. The thing with their AirBnB was that there was only one key, and when Jane left, it essentially prevented her friends from leaving and exploring Florence without her. When Jane would come back around noon or something, her friends were pissed–justifiably so. 1. Jane was unreachable and with a complete stranger. 2. How shitty to prevent them from exploring the city. Be more considerate, please.
From Florence, the girls traveled to the Amalfi Coast, and so Jane left M. behind. But they continued to message each other. As of two weeks after their return, they were still chatting every once in a while. With the time difference and M.’s odd hours, it’s hard to talk consistently (at least, that’s what I’m told). I don’t know where they currently stand, but I’m sure Jane is the one putting forth all the effort to keep the connection alive, because what a cute story to tell the kids: We met while I was vacationing in Italy. The dumb fantasy (falling in love with a foreigner) is an ideal meet-cute.
So I leave it up to you. You all know I’m a hopeful romantic. I’d love to believe this story-book beginning leads to something more substantial in the future, but the odds are kind of stacked against them. I’m all for the dumb fantasy, but I’m the first to admit it’s rare. (Ha. I’m the first to deny its rarity, actually.) I already have one friend who met her soon-to-be husband while abroad in Ireland. The chances of that happening more than once in my friend group probably aren’t very high. (Which probably means my study abroad hopes are dashed, but I’m going to keep the faith!)
Maybe my friend Jane met her Mr. Darcy (or Mr. Bingley, in this particular case). But what I’m proud of her for doing–bad/unsafe behavior aside–is how Jane consistently puts herself out there. Sure. She goes through spurts where she doesn’t want to date, but she’s finally in a place in her life where she knows what she wants out of her future: love. That’s a big realization. Even though Jane hasn’t had much luck with men (and I’m afraid M. will be just another one on the list), she’s kept the faith. So I think we should, too.