The 'David' of all Dates.

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Still reeling from the mornings events didn't stop a smile from surfacing on my face when I received a message from Riccardo late that afternoon. A quick note here: Guys, first tick comes if you actually get in contact with us that same day, even if it is just to say hi. None of this 3day rule bullshit - I am getting closer to 30 and can't be assed playing any dating games anymore.

SO not only did he message straight away but said to let him know when I was free one morning so we could go out for a cup of coffee or tea - yip this would be the second big tick, his first suggestion is not just to go out for a drink. Already this is shaping up to be something of legends, as I have not actually gone on a coffee date with a guy in... God I actually have no idea... maybe ever!

I message him back and say I think I have Tuesday morning free; he responds - within the hour, saying let me know what time and I will pick you up. Hmmm, this is where the girl mind steps in and starts saying, "this seems too good already, surely there is something wrong with him, he won't show, what's the catch?.." Ok guys, I admit, there really is no winning with us - if you don't get in touch promptly you are a jerk, or playing games - BUT if you do, you are far too eager so there is clearly something wrong...

This is where a little bit of my psych mind kicks in: Now is this negative pessimistic thinking or a conditioned response to previous experience. Our mind creates the actual fact. What we put out there is what we receive... all of that stuff. But what if we do continually think positively - which I mostly do, but continue to be let down, what does that say?.. And guys this is where you should be scared, because my mind has already gone to all of the above places and more, and this is before I have even gone out for coffee with the poor lad.

Before I paint myself to be an absolute head case, let's move on to the date.

He picks me up at 10am, we chat, find a park, then walk into what has become my favourite cafe/bar. We both get tea (because he doesn't drink coffee anymore), then he also brings over to huge slices of a dark chocolate cake coated in whippped cream, and some mini doughnut pastry heaven delights. It is at this point that I can say - that I love him! Ha, no, I am not that crazy, but you have to love any man that brings you desserts at 10am, and this is why I also love Italy. I think it is said and done that I have to marry an Italian man, if not for anything other than the love of food!

We sit and chat for a couple of hours, and the conversation is very easy, in fact we get into some deeper topics quite quickly which is a nice shift in the norm - from meeting in a pub, a few beers, talking about what you do and where you've been before you either decide there is no attraction and  make an excuse to leave, or you get really drunk and wake up with them (lets face it, there is very rarely a middle ground these days)..

Ok, so after a couple of hours I assumed the date was wrapping up. He asked what I was doing next and whether I needed a ride anywhere. I said no, it was fine as I was just going to walk into the centre to do some Christmas shopping for the kids. He said "oh, do you not want me to come with you?..." It had not even crossed my mind that he would want to come shopping for kids with me, surely it would normally be a dating faux pas to invite a guy on the first date to come shopping for children's clothes with you... So we walk to the centre, and head into Zara as I just have to get the two boys some jeans, which he helps choose out with me, and also gets all doe-eyed over the children's clothes. (Seriously, what is the catch??)

After we finish this he says, "so do you want to do something else around Florence? Would you like to visit my favourite Church, or have you seen David yet?..." Ha. I am already giddy and laughing inside, this is actually shaping up to be every girl's ideal dream of what a date with an Italian man must be like - and trust me, I have met a few Italian men now, and something tells me that this is not what all of them are like...

I opt for his favourite church, but unfortunately it is closed. So, I am going to see one beautiful man with another at my side (ah life, sometimes you are just not too bad...) We go into the Galleria Academia, and walk around the first room, then go to go into the next - where Riccardo quickly covers my eyes and drags me back to the other room. I was extremely confused as to what was going on, then Riccardo says "you can't see him yet, he has to be the last thing" So I can take it from this that he just stopped me from seeing David at that moment (very romantic). After asking around it turns out you can't get to the other rooms until you go through this - he had it in his mind that there were other rooms you could go into first - but they were on another floor. So he walks me in, still covering my eyes, then stops me in the middle of the room and slowly releases his hands to reveal David standing in all his glory at the opposite end of the room. Oh, I could just pause this moment right here; again I reiterate - a gorgeous Italian man who was covering my eyes and standing so close I could feel his breath on my neck (who at this point I just wanted to turn around and kiss...) releasing his hands to reveal easily the most famous sculpture in the world.




Now here I should get a little cultural rather than just the romantic narrative going on in my head. David is Michelangelo's most famous piece of work, completed between 1501 and 1504. He stands at 17ft tall, and represents the famed biblical hero David. Now all this is fine, but you can type in Michelangelo's David into Wikipedia, and get all of the same facts. I have always wondered what inspires me more - the natural beauty of mother nature's canvas, or works created by man. This solidifies that fact that both do. To stand in front of the perfection of such a sculpture truly is inspiring.  It literally is vision, genuis, dedication and passion standing proudly 17ft tall in front of you, and hence represents what is possible when we follow our calling in life.

So that was my more cultural side - which I actually do have believe it or not (this blog was more to keep my girl friends updated and give them some stories to giggle at from their offices in London, it is by no means a representation that Boys and Sex are all that is on my daily mind.. though these topics do tend to crop up from time to time...) And back to the date.

This really was a beautiful moment, but also very funny. What is that I hear you say? what could be funny about standing in front of David and taking in the scene and ambience? Well it turns out that this gorgeous Italian man also has a sense of humour. Once I had time to soak it all in; he turns to me and whispers that one of his favourite things to do in public is say really inappropriate things within earshot of others to gage their reaction. After which he again turns to me and says in not such a whisper "So, David... it's kind of shit isn't it? What do you think?..." It was all I could do not to lose my shit! And as expected, the group of American girls in front of us, turned around in absolute disgust and we could see them animatedly discussing this comment  as we walked away while I tried not to burst into laughter. Brilliant, but then a small part of me felt bad, because now when these girls think of David, they are always going to remember this statement. But I do like this notion of his - and I have always been one to never take life too seriously; so if you ever happen to be out and hear the most outrageous statement, take a second before reacting because someone could just be messing with you.

After this it is about 2pm, and clearly time to eat again. So we head to a cute little restaurant, very unsuspecting, back near the Santo Spirito area. A risotto, pasta and some wine ordered, and this is about to be the 'David' of all dates. The dishes come out and are bigger than my head! I ordered a simple courgette and parmagiano risotto, which was amazing. Oh Italy... I will never tire of your art, beauty but above all, your food!!

I manage to finish half of my dish, before it is time to walk to the bus stop to collect Francesco - where Riccardo waits with me until the bus arrives. With the yellow bus in sight it finally signals the end of our date, where we kiss on the cheek, and say "ciao ciao".

And if I was writing like in 50 Shades, this is where I would say my inner goddess is all giddy like a school girl, jumping up and down with her poms poms, cartwheeling around and spelling out Riccardo with the most nimble of movements.... However that inner voice which never quite quiets says once again "what's the catch?..." once again.

I have since described this date to my girlfriends, and said that my initial reaction was 'what's the catch', but also announce that clearly this is such a negative thought and I intend to stop thinking like this because it is all going to work out...

Well I am a little out of date with my blog, and it has since been 3 or 4 weeks since this date of all dates. And I would love to describe the rest of the beautiful, fun, perfect dates... but... there have been none. He was always moving to Rome, but said he would be back on the weekends and get in touch... ah, touche mind, you win this time. But never fear, it doesn't quash all my faith in men; it is what it is. On a positive note - this is still the 'David' of all dates and a great story. But perhaps Italian men are best kept a dream. Just like David, I would maybe rather stand and appreciate their beauty, daydreaming about all the possibilities than know all the facts and history and ruin the illusion...



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