The Latino Love Factor: how an Italian husband gets out of the doghouse.

Ok, so you already know it’s going to involve food, right? I mean, there’s no point in me holding that punch line for later… OBVIOUSLY it will have to do with food. What I think you’re underestimating however, is the Latino Love Factor. Shall I explain?

Ok, first of all… here’s the situation…

I’ve been a bit down lately, in one of the inevitable waves of homesickness that strikes almost every expat at some point. I think mine tends to follow the weather trends. (Sun, where are you?).

And my dear husband made the critical mistake of coming home yesterday for lunch in a foul and grumpy mood, which I have very little tolerance for on the best of days… much more so when I am already feeling down. I need positive optimism! Not grumpiness!

So… I calmly (read: emotionally) and firmly (read: violently) explained to him that his negative attitude would not only not be tolerated in my house, but that reparations must be made in the form of expressed effort to cheer me up.

Yes, that’s right – I’m a demanding lady. But don’t worry; he loves to suffer for me. It’s part of the Latino Love Factor. Have you not noticed this phenomenon?

Think about it: In the US, when you see graffiti on the side of the highway, what does it usually say? ‘Damn the man‘, ‘F°$/” you‘, and other anarchical messages. (I’m not making this up).

However, here in Italia, the land of Latino Lovers… these teenage boys running around with spray-paint cans have nothing but love in their hearts. The messages involve a girl 99% of the time, and usually some sort of sweeping statement like –

“You are my oxygen, and I cannot breathe without you! Kitty, ti amissimo!”


Dang, Kitty, have sex with the poor thing. He might not make it.

Now, my husband is not particularly stereotypical in that manner… he is not a big demonstrator of excessive emotion. Which is why I was not holding my breath for any grand gestures that evening when he came back home after my directive to ‘show effort’.

He sequestered me in my office, and instructed me to stay put.

As smells started wafting from the kitchen, I thought I had guessed his entire master plan… to cook dinner. Which, while very nice, is not what I would classify as ‘showing effort’. We cook dinner together every night.

However! My skepticism received its first blow when I exited my office to find the dining room lit with dozens of little tea light candles… oooh la la.

Then came the grand presentation – he pulled the tray out of the oven, and I thought… hmm… zucchini. Great, thanks, honey. It took me a full two minutes of staring at it (and him puppy-facing me) to realize that he had arranged the zucchini into our initials… E+M (a graphic which we used frequently in our wedding decorations).

E+M zucchini love

E+M zucchini love

While this may not constitute ‘a grand gesture’ for some men… I’ll take it. Plus, it made me giggle.

The rest of my evening with my Latino Lover is not appropriate to discuss… at least not yet. I don’t know you that well.

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