The next person that tells me the best way to learn Italian is to get an Italian boyfriend, is gonna get smacked.
The first 40 times I heard this, I laughed it off, pretending each time that it was somehow funny or original.
Don’t get me wrong- Italian men are beautiful. They wear beautiful clothes, they use beautiful words, they make you feel beautiful.
“Ciao, bella” is a phrase normally used to say goodbye to friends, or dropped by vendors trying to sell you something. But my favorite line so far has been from a man in cafe: “Sei troppo bella…” “You are too beautiful.” I mean, how do you walk away from that??
But I am willing to bet you cold hard cash that on the first date, a would-be Italian beau will ask you “Do you cook?”
This usually gets an icy “Yes.”
And I’ll go double or nothing that they follow up with “What do you cook?”
That’s it. In my head, it’s over. There will be no more passeggiatas or pizzas. I’m done.
This is probably a perfectly innocent question, but I refuse to be judged based on my cooking abilities. There is some cultural difference that makes this simple culinary inquiry sound like a loaded question to me. And it happens every time.
EVERY TIME. This is not an exaggeration. Every freaking time.
So, I’ve developed the perfect answer:
“Eggs. I cook eggs. For breakfast.”
Then I wait for the thinly veiled look of horror to cross their face.
Breakfast in Italy is a cappuccino and cornetto (a small pastry). It is a light meal, meant to tide you over until lunch. You certainly do not eat “an American breakfast,” and you most certainly do not have eggs in the morning! Madonna!
With that answer, I’ve effectively severed ties for both of us. A double-cheek kiss goodbye and we can go our separate ways, shaking our heads.
I’ll never learn Italian at this rate.
But all joking aside here is a real guide with tips on how to learn Italian.