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What’s it like being with an American?

 

The 4th of July, the only time it was socially acceptable to drape myself in the American flag

Our blogger roundtable discussions are back and this time instead of focusing on our thoughts on all-things Italy, we thought why not touch on a fun subject, namely what’s it like for our respective partners to date someone like us, in Italy? Since obviously we aren’t all American, nor all dating Italians – it will be pretty funny to see what everyone comes up with – bring on the clichés and stereotypes ;-). Don’t forget to add your own partner’s experiences by commenting!

I can honestly say that never have felt more ‘American’ than when I have lived in Italy. The most annoying thing is, even if I speak Italian really well, everyone knows the second I open my mouth I am from the states. On a side note the boyfriend gets comments like ‘Are you sure your French? – You speak Italian without an accent!’ Also being that I originally hail from Texas, that adds a whole other element of preconceived stereotypes from just about everyone. I think you can imagine the George Bush jokes, is your dad a cowboy, and the list goes on, after all who hasn’t seen the film Varsity Blues? For me personally, I don’t mind – it’s actually kind of fun to talk about where you’re from and let people come up with their own conclusions about you – it comes with the territory!

Anyone from San Antonio,Texas will recognize this boot ;-) 

Though I live in Italy and have been here since eight years more or less [I actually forget from time to time] my partner hails from France as I mentioned above and has also made Florence, Italy his home for six years, he must love it as much as I go because the salaries & benefits are much less than he would get back home. The fact that he’s not Italian is actually wonderful for me because he gets what it is like to leave his country and knows how to put his adult pants on [not bought by mamma, mind you], probably even more than me, I am a very very lucky girl! 

The funny thing is whenever we meet people, the first question they ask us is what language we communicate in. Fair enough, I can see where it could be a little weird to people that our most comfortable common language is indeed Italian, but the truth is we regularly intermingle English and now French, for outsiders that must seem crazy but to us it just feels natural. Plus, on a positive note, our dog is now becoming tri-lingual!

Being that I am a blogger and so ‘out in the open’ per se, I can only imagine what it must be like for him to be with an American, and oh yeah – an American whose job it is to be social online.

So without further ado, let’s see his 11-point perspective on what its like to be with a Tuscan Texan, and yes please, gladly commence the BBQ jokes ;-).

1. Being with an American means that day drinking becomes pretty much always ok because as they like to say in The USA ‘its five o’clock somewhere’, though I will say that it feels more normal to have a glass of wine or three at lunch in Italy unless we are referring to the very American ‘Brunch’, which we all know is the best excuse to drink at breakfast. 

2. Being with an American means that you have to accept an authentic certificate of full native Texaness being hung in your kitchen. Of course that being said, a certain Frenchman *cough cough also now has a certificate from Dublin saying he has poured the perfect pint of Guiness hung in that same kitchen. 

3. Being with an American means that Halloween and Thanksgiving are now as important as Christmas, ‘Oh you think its silly to dress up? - just embrace it and draw the line at themed costumes for your new puppy. 

No costume? No worries! Just throw on a wig and something black and call it a day!

Thanksgiving is one holiday that you absolutely can’t get out of, and honestly why would you?

4. Being with an American means that you better be prepared for all of the slightly inappropriate and random comments from colleagues. Yes everyone thinks we are super horny and a little wild and if you are also from Texan, tack on religious and over excited and being related to Chuck Norris. Plus everyone says hello to each other in the streets right? 

5. Being with an American means that Mexican food is now considered a food group, and anytime you come across an even slightly good avocado, you buy it – even if its 3 euros a pop ;-). Same goes with cheddar, peanut butter, and maple syrup. 

You can bet this isn’t made with extra-virgin olive oil ;-) 

6. Being with an American means that being on time isn’t really a suggestion but more a rule. Anything over 10-15 minutes late with no prior notice is a big no-no and can be met with a curt “really?”

7. Being with an American means that you have to be prepared to hear long-winded speeches about respecting the rules, not cutting in line, occasional political rants, and the occasional importance of ‘community’. 

8. Being with an American means putting up with conversations about how you couldn’t possibly have had as much fun in university or youth as the said American has. Oh you didn’t participate in-house parties and drinking out of red-plastic cups, oh and did we mention beer pong? If you want to stifle the conversation than just bring up how much you paid for college compared to them. 

9. Being with an American means being forced to take pictures like this

10. Being with an American means making sure to pack your red bull. Being with [this] American means embracing passion on all levels, from being ready to leave for a weekend exploring Tuscany at any given moment, watching a symbolic ceremony and carrying spare candles in your man bag to well, anything else. Go Go Go is the mantra and ‘one day life will be a lot calmer’ sounds like a distant future, a bit like the magical world of Narnia.

11. Being with an American means that many people in the USA, or at least where I am from, will ask you lots of personal things that where you are from might not be as socially acceptable. Like ‘when are you guys getting married, do you go to church, what do you think of Americans, and other various ‘fun’ topics of conversation. Learn to love it and when in doubt, just make something up! 

In addressing this hilarious subject, I am joined by these bloggers all writing from their own unique perspectives:

M. Elizabeth Evans of 'Surviving Italy'

M. Elizabeth Evan of ‘Surviving Italy‘ – an American expat trapped between two worlds with her badass husband, his chest hair, and their poodle. She is a writer and partner of House Of Ossimori. Her award-winning blog Surviving In Italy, aims to honestly portray her life in Italy, the sober times, the drunken times, the yelling, food, family, and on occasion her obsession with the majestic Capybara. She’s also terrible at writing Bios. Someone do it for her next time, okay? Her post on what it’s like to be with an American here. 

Rick Zullo - Ricks RomeRick Zullo of ‘Rick’s Rome – an American expat living in Rome. Born in Chicago and raised in Florida, he came to the Caput Mundi in 2010 and forgot to go back. When he’s not exploring his adoptive hometown or writing for his blog, he spends his time teaching the world English, one Roman at a time. Rick is also the author of the silly little eBook, “Live Like an Italian,” available on Amazon. Read his post about Italian girls dating American men here. 

Minitaly

‘M’ is a 30-something (something low) American Texpat, living and working in her husband’s tiny hometown in the province of Reggio Emilia. Her blog, Married to Italy, is home to her rants and raves and serves as her therapeutic search for hilarity amongst the chaos. (Read her article here)

Rochelle Del BorrelloRochelle Del Borrello is an Australian journalist by trade, something she has thankfully left behind to write, photograph and taste life in Sicily, an experience she shares on her blog Unwilling Expat. Rochelle is currently hating people’s obsession with the Selfie, Geordie Shore and the confusing world of Italian politics and liking Stromae, The Voice Italy, Springtime in Sicily and collaborating with other certifiable Expats in Italy. Her awesome post here!

ginabaxGina is a 26 year old California native whose unhealthy love of cheese, wine and gossip has made her a perfect transplant to Italy. She blogs about life in Florence, tour guiding for college students abroad, traveling and her dog Gorgonzola. When she’s not busy writing down all the crazy stuff that happens to her, she’s listening to Snoop Dog and trying to figure out how to open an In-N-Out Burger in Italy. Her post on what it’s like to date an American  

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  1. So you’re married to a foreigner … an Italian perspective | Unwilling Expat

    […] Georgette is an American social media strategist, copywriter, blogger and a certifiable ‘Tuscan Texan’ living and breathing all things Florence. Social inside and out, she lives in the moment and eats way too much pasta. She blogs about life in Italy, travel around Europe {and the world}.  Check out her blog, Girl in Florence. Here are thoughts on this weeks topic: What’s it like being with an American.  […]

  2. rickzullo.com

    He has some great insights! Some of them never really occurred to me, and yet….so true!! Great stuff, looks like you guys have a lot of fun together. So when are you getting married? ;)

  3. Judy Cicalese

    Enjoy reading your blog—here in the States (Connecticut)–going to Levanto in October and especially enjoyed that one—–which was passed on to all the Italian relatives here.

  4. unwillingexpat

    Great post Georgette! It’s interesting how you say you feel ‘more American’ in Italy, perhaps because Italy is such a monocultural society foreigners really tend to stick out. I know since living here I strangely miss typically ‘Australian’ holidays, customs and foods which I once felt were mundane. Hummm strange things happen when you become an Expat!

    • GirlinFlorence

      I think its just reminded to me much more, especially in a city like Florence which is iterally swimming in tourists and international students. I think you are right in that you often ‘miss’ things more when they are not readily available.. its just one of those strange flukes!

  5. Gil

    Another great post. Never really got so much info about being an American in Florence. My daughter did her Junior year in Florence and i did hear some complaining. Most of it was about the bureaucracy and not finding familiar products in the stores. On the other hand, after she was there a few months the little old ladies waiting at bus stops that were changed asked her what family she was from when she went to explain that the bus stop has been moved two blocks over for construction. How’s that for a bad sentence!!!!! They thought she was a native because of her use of the language.

  6. Cindy

    I love hearing Europeans think Americans are wild;). Anyway, I thought this post was great, but what its like to be with you seems very tame…. Frenchie is hooked on you I think! Can’t wait to hear what’s its like to date a European, ahem, French italophile(if that’s a word?)!

    • GirlinFlorence

      haha Cindy, well we’ve only been together less than a year so maybe you have a point there ;-). Plus he’s the kind of guy that goes with the flow, I am very lucky! I really need to plan a post touching on what people think when they meet us, we get all sorts of crazy comments. “Oh you’re in Italy but with a Frenchy? Where will you have kids? Why are you here?” the list is endless.

      • Cindy

        Also have to add, if you are like me, you might blend into the culture more than others. I’m half Cuban, and consider myself Latina-so I am quite the sucker for the laid back Meditteranean lifestyle and maybe the cultural traits that drew my Greek boy and I together:). Sadly, running late is one of my own traits and have found my Florentine friends run MUCH more on time than me…. what’s the rush;)?? AND I don’t see anything wrong with dropping everything to go on last minute trips with you!

        • GirlinFlorence

          I’m half Mexican but somehow the time factor never has really changed. I am totally cool with people being late but when they don’t let me know and I end up sitting along for half an hour, I am not such a pleasant gal. Florentines however, as you say, are pretty on time, unless they are my friends (kidding). As for dropping everything and going with me, it takes a strong man not to constantly complain about being ‘on the go’ and giving up lazy weekends. Sadly I know this from personal experience ;-)


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