The Italian ego

I’d like to expand a bit on my last post. I implied that my friends, the musicians and artists, were not as stable or reliable but I realized that I was missing a very key point, and that is the ego. I know a lot of guys that are artistic and making a very good living at it. But their inflated, or should I say fragile ego’s often get in the way.

The ego is a delicate subject. When you put yourself out there in the world you must have tough skin. I know this all too well because I have put myself out there many times and have felt the sting of disapproval cut through my ego like a knife. It can tear us apart in a jealous rage and rob us of what truly matters in life.

Italian men seem to be the at the top of the heap when it comes to fragile egos. How many guys do you know that drive a fancy car and work out at the gym everyday? Self confidence is very attractive, and being fit is also a plus, but when a man feels the need to change wives on a regular basis or have a woman half his age I have to wonder what the real issues are? Are Italian men so incredibly insecure that they need to find a woman half their age to prove their verilty? Or are they trying to keep pace with that Casanova reputation that was carved in stone centuries ago?

At 30 and 40, I have been lucky enough to attract younger men. Great for my ego, yes, but apart from that I’m not sure that I could see myself trying to keep up with a guy 10+ years younger than me. I think the extra effort to keep up would be exhausting (remember, I am lazy). I know that being with younger people makes you feel younger, but I don’t really have a desire to be younger than my 44 years. I’m quite comfortable with my age. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle of being too old to worry about impressing anyone and young enough to still rock out if I feel like it.

I recently read that Heather Locklear keeps her young looks because she stays out of the sun and sleeps on her back! I’m sorry, but a day at the beach is never going to skip me by just so I can look younger and neither is a good nights rest with my face smashed up against a comfy pillow. If I had her money I could also afford weekly facials at the spa and a personal trainer that looked like Brad Pitt.

I remember the first time my husband came to the airport to pick me. I prayed that he didn’t have some fancy sports car that I wouldn’t be allowed to eat gelato (for the record, Italians don’t seem to eat in their cars as much as Americans). It’s not that I don’t like fancy or fast cars, but my experience has been that the more ripples he has in his stomach, the more leather he has in his car and the more gel he has in his hair usually is an indication that he will hog the bathroom mirror, use all the hot water and not let me eat gelato in the car! Which equals not good husband material for me, haha.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be spending my date nights on the bus either. But if my husband thought leather seats were going to impress me then he has never sat in them wearing a short skirt on a cold night…

About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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11 Responses to The Italian ego

  1. CarrieLyn says:

    Ah yes, but what kind of car was it? You can’t leave that out!

    I’m so glad that I stumbled across your blog via Pink Italy… I’m enjoying it very much.

    • Hi CarrieLyn,
      Thanks for climbing on board my blog ship!
      FYI: The car was his sister’s Ford Focus, and when my husband is home we share a very old FIAT Panda with his mom and rent cars for long trips.

  2. riccardo says:

    You now should now in Italy nobody never, ever eats in its own car. Who does it is considered as dirty as a pig !!! Even on mountains with a freezing temperature in winter people eat outside cars. Especially ice creams are strictly forbidden.

    Wrong ? Right ? I don’t know, but we must recognize it’s better to travel into a clean car rather than into a dirty one

    • Thanks for the reply Riccardo. I often wondered what the official opinion was amongst Italians on this topic. Americans love to eat in their cars…it’s just a way of life there because we travel much longer distances than Europeans.
      I think a meal is better appreciated and digested if eaten at a proper table, however, if I am in a hurry to get somewhere I won’t starve for the sake of the car!

  3. riccardo says:

    I think that the origin of this behaviour become to the fact that cars in Italy started to be sold from the sixties. They were always considered as status symbol of the reached prosperity rather than a tools to be used. Often, people used it only on Sundays to show them to friends in main squares. Unfortunately for our health, this mentality changed and now we italians use cars even to go to the bathroom but ancient costumes from the past like never eat in cars remain as you noted. Another aspect could be even that car was usually the place of the male while house of the woman and both tend to be Hyperprotective on their properties in iTaly ( see son, daughter etc) Ciao thank for your writing that keeps me trained in English !!

  4. Katja says:

    Leather seats in a short skirt on a cold night are bad, but at least they warm up quite quickly. Far worse is vinyl seats in a short skirt on a baking hot summer’s day. If they don’t get nasty and slimy with sweat, then you end up leaving a few layers of skin behind as you peel yourself free and climb out of the car. Ouch!

    I quite enjoy *looking* at Italian men, but, as you say, there’s nothing worse than having to share a bathroom with someone who hogs the mirror. Oh, and because he’s Italian the mirror will be set too low for a tall European girl like me anyway! I think I’ll stick to my slightly rough-around-the-edges fellow Englishmen. Or maybe a nice, tall Scandinavian. Hmmm. 😉

  5. Enrico says:

    What about eating on the couch? when i moved to Canada i started to eat in front of the TV every night!! some kind of revenge i guess… but some old style italians in Toronto still put plastic covers on the forniture just to avoid spills of piece of food from the canadian-born grand children.
    Buying a car just after the war was a rare event and they made sure it lasted for looong time… I personally hate when my son eat in my brand new car as i like to drive on a clean seat, but after the TV, dishwasher, dryer, etc the human race came up with a wonderful, inexpensive and handy vacuum cleaner!!! summer is hot in Italy and eating in the car with the AC on is a must for me!!! 😉

  6. Ah, Enrico, I was born and raised in Canada and we had fancy TV trays, haha. But honestly, I am a bit old-fashioned myself and not only do I insist on eating at a proper table the TV is NOT to be switched on until after the meal is finished!
    However, my Italian MIL never sits at the table to eat with me, she puts everything in a bowl and eats it in her bed in front of the TV…disgusting! I am always taking dirty plates out of her room and finding dried up orange peels under her bed, makes me want to vomit. But I know it’s not me because she does the same thing when my husband is home too.

  7. riccardo says:

    You must be really in love with your husband to accept this situation…..I don’t believe any italian woman would live such nightmare . I’m surprised and hope it’s only a temporary accomodation. Best wishes

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