LONDON, England— Daughter Wiley text messages me all the time, in Umbria and in Maine. The other day, after half a dozen back and forths she typed: “2much2text. Call me?&rdquo
She lives in London and goes to college there. Graduating soon! Anyway, she had lots of stored up tales to tell on that phone call and this one was one of my favorites. “You know babbo (dad) &rdquo she said, “is it me or is London crawling with Italians?” I sense she is right. I hear Italian on the streets of down town London constantly whenever we are there. And I know three mid twenties — early thirties people from our tiny Panicale alone, who live in London. Had to agree.
She said that waiting for her musician boy friend to finish a set, she had been hit on by Italians both the previous two nights of the weekend. She was wondering what the odds of that were and was kind of amused by the attention she was getting from the lost Italians of London. Especially by the one that waited till her girlfriend Cass got up to go to the “loo” and then plunked himself down beside her announcing “I am an Italian boy. Are you a Spanish girl?” In my mind, he is doing this with a Steve Martin “We are two Wild and Crazy Guys&rdquo kind of delivery.
But he lost interest when he found out she was merely An American Girl. Even one that speaks quite a bit of Italian and spends a lot of time there in Umbria. I guess she may have a bit of a Latin look, now that he mentions it. They quickly ran out of things to talk about. Her not being Spanish and all. So she was happy for him to finish wearing out his welcome and be on his way. It was late and time to say good night. So he did a cursory “Buona Notte” and she, without thinking, immediately responded with what we have always said around our house when someone tucks you in and says ” A domaini” or “Sogni d’oro” or “Buona notte”, which is “Ti voglio molto bene”. No thinking. Worse. No taking it back. There it was: “I love you Very much.” To a perfectly strange stranger you’re trying to get rid of. She’s a good actress and it was so out of left field that she could play it for broad comedy or irony. And he did keep going, but his wide eyed, fade away response was “Molto?”