"You use only a fork, not a fork and a spoon," he replied with a tone akin to what I would expect him to use if I had done something utterly ridiculous. Just when I was about to protest he added that spoons with spaghetti were so 'American'. I don't know why, but this sentiment makes me completely uncomfortable. I loathe it. There is absolutely no rational explanation for how defensive I become when I hear such a comment, but alas, I do. I had no other option other than to put the spoons away.
So I made my way through the spaghetti dinner. It is not as easy as one thinks this fork only thing. Dinner took me a lot longer than it should have - although he may suggest instead that it was my constant whining about the impracticality of fork only spaghetti eating that added the greatest amount of time. However, I am the one telling this story so we shall instead go with my version of the details.
Fast forward a year later. I am out having dinner again with this friend. It was a wonderful warm evening and we were enjoying catching up on the latest developments in both of our lives. The wine was finished and we were ready for coffee. I ordered my customary after dinner cappuccino.
"Dawn, do me a favour and please do not do such a thing in Italy." I had no clue what he meant. "Cappuccinos are for breakfast, only tourists do such a thing after lunch."
Bloody hell. That sounded ridiculous to me, so I held firm. I lingered over my cappuccino while he downed his espresso. For some reason I felt that I had won that one - and frankly speaking, I like to win.
A few days later I was having lunch with a colleague and ordered a cappuccino. "Dawn!" he said. "How can you do such a thing?" It was then that it hit me - my colleague was also Italian. "That is fattening right after lunch." I pretended to enjoy my cappuccino while at the same time pondering if I had completely negated the benefits of the salad I had consumed for lunch instead of the quiche I really wanted - all for the stupid cappuccino.
A few days later my friend texted me a link to one of the top Italian news sources. The article was actually a summary of the top things North Americans do in Italy that make them snicker at us. At the top of the list was cappuccino.
Yeah. Well, I think you can guess the sort of affect that had on me. Turns out I didn't 'win' that one after all...
(A new one from Canadian band Hedley 'Anything' - warning, has quite a few F-bombs in it!)