Thursday, April 27, 2006

Week of Wet: Cent'Anni *

I once visited Argentina for three weeks. Without a doubt, these were some of the loveliest people I'd ever seen. At least as a 22-year-old.

So, at that time, if a woman smiled at a guy on the street in Buenos Aires, he took it as an invitation. An invitation. And followed her home. I found that out the hard way. I can still see him tapping his keys on the glass door of the apartment building were I was staying. He was really cute. It was really creepy.

There are a lot of people of Italian descent in Buenos Aires.

Raol Bova is Italian, really cute, and only partially wet in this very cool b/w.

Why do guys get the "wrong ideas?"
How can they know what we're thinking?

Encore! *Cent' anni (pronounced djen-dahn by most) is an Italian phrase that's used often to toast to someone's health. It means "one hundred years," and kinda means "hope you live to be a hundred." Or, depending on who you're toasting, it could mean "you're probably gonna live to be a hundred and outlive us all, you old coot."

Encore due! Raol's a cutie, but I don't think he does Italian as well as Nathan Kamp. Check out Nathan in the March blog: "On the Cusp of the Duke." Did I mention the 2-part ExtraView with Nathan Kamp is coming up May 9 and 16 on Romance: B(u)y the Book?

Encore tre! Check out my blog on CosmoChix and remember: CosmoChick Emma Holly's here to guestblog May 2!


Julie in Ohio said...

OMG, Michelle. I bow down before thee, and may all other lesser Goddesses bow down.
Where do you find these beautiful guys? Raol can come knocking on my door anytime. LOL

In answer to your question, why do guys get the wrong ideas? I think it has to do with the drool coming off of our chin.

Vivi Anna said...

Personally I think guys get the wrong idea because they chose to. Then later they can use it as an excuse for their lewd behavior. "Oh, well you led me on." or "You came on to me baby."

A smile is not an invitation, accepting a drink is not an invitation...saying "Hey, would you like to come over and we can f*&^." is an invitation!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my all-time favorite images. I absolutley love it. Although I've only seen it turned the other direction, laying down sort of. I have have a sig-tag made from this image. Mmmmmm ... love this guy.

Why do guys get the "wrong ideas"? This question has been on my mind since the age of 12. WHY?? They take everything as an invitation, I mean hell - who wouldn't want them always? A friendly laugh, a chance one second eye contact, even just a simple hello smile. It used to drive me crazy. I want to be friends and hang out, he wants to have sex.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

As always, Vivi, just like Strunk and White in their famous writing tome, "Elements of Style," you are nothing if not vigorous and concise. :)

You are too, too kind, JulieO. And too good for my ego! Yes. Someone told me there's nothing that makes a guy find a woman more attractive than his realizing you're attracted to him. While drool on chins might be repellant to some men, I entirely get your point well made. :)

Yeah, Raol's a cutie. I always find myself attracted most to the guys with dark looks; prob cause I'm Italian. But now in the Midwest, I see so many Norwegians/Swedes, it's hard not to get used to that standard of beauty.

Anyway, the thing was about the ARgentina thing, everyone there, but me I guess, understood that anonymous smile = invitation. It was agreed upon in the culture. Not right or wrong, just understood. So hard to fight that. Look how long it took it took for this country to get over the barbaric, "well, she musta been askin for it," or "she got what she deserved" mindset about women who were raped. I remember being a kid and being shocked the first time I read a woman successfully sued her husband for raping her. I was like, "but he's her husband. How can he rape her?" But I was surrounded by a very old-fashioned idea of what roles women and men played.

Reading romance has been so empowering to me: I've learned varying ways women can embrace their sexuality w/o giving up self-respect. Or can be soft and nurturing, but not taken advantage of by her partner.

Making sure guys don't get the wrong idea is sometimes up to us, and that's a sucky lesson to learn, cause we have to protect ourselves. But I can teach my daughter to protect herself better than I was taught. And I can teach my son to read the signs and respect girls and women. Though I'll have to keep reminding him, cause he's a guy, and already at 8 he forgets.

Mary Stella said...

I don't know whether they always get the wrong idea -- or their hope is definitely springing eternal. *g* "She smiled. That's my cue to see if she's really interested."

As long as they can figure it out before getting too obnoxious.

I've never been to Argentina, but I'd be in trouble. I smile at strangers just because. On the other hand, given my recent lack-of-dating-history, maybe I SHOULD go to Argentina. *g*

Rach said...

First, OMG!! He is INCREDIBLE!!

Second, my friends and I have a theory on the whole misunderstanding/not getting it guy thing. Guys are dense and girls are vague. Guys have to be hit over the head with something in order to "get" it. Women often don't "hit them" hard enough for them to "get" it. So, maybe the guys are overcompensating?

As for the Argentine, well, he and his ilk probably just believe they are god's gift.

Julie in Ohio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stacy~ said...

Wow. Raol, it is nice to meet you. Very nice. I don't know where Michelle found you, but I'm ever so glad she did. (Does that sound like an invitation??)

I admit that I was a little (a lot?) dense when it came to this kind of attention because up until recently (last few years) I never had much of a problem. Nobody was RSVPing LOL. But now I get it a bit from married men. I'm not a flirtatious person by nature, but I think I do feel more comfortable around married men and some of them respond to a smile with a suggestive comment. Sorry guy, it's not gonna happen. Then it happened with a friend of mine -I told him I was going on a cruise and he wanted to come with me. I believe what he said he would "show me a real good time". Uh huh. Well, needless to say, he did not go with me, and it took awhile, but we have gotten past the weirdness and now he knows that when we go out to lunch together or whatever it's not an invite to go to a motel for a nooner. It just boggles my mind that he would even think that. Maybe I'm more naive or more trusting than I should be, I don't know.

Michelle, I like what you said about your daughter, and showing her how to protect herself from guys who just don't get it. Not to make excuses for guys that think that way at all because they are the ones with the problem, but it's up to us to be aware they have the problem and it does suck to have to worry about it. I didn't really have that insight from my mom - maybe it was because I was always the shy wallflower that didn't get a lot of male attention, but I never got much guidance from her on that kind of stuff. And you're right on about the empowerment of romances. I totally agree with what you said.

It's always a learning experience of some sort, coming here :)

Lucy Monroe said...

Boy, I've missed you all...what a great discussion.

Why do men get the wrong idea? Because they have misinterpreted a woman's words or actions. It sounds simple, but I mean, that's it isn't it?

We learn to interprate body language, actions and the words of others (hence their underlying motives) from several different sources:

Our cultural norms.
Our family norms.
Our friend's opinions.
Our media.
Our own minds.

I don't agree that the only ivitation is a blunt, "Have sex with me." We send out signals all the time in regard to life, including our sexuality. Men who itentionally misread signals or act on them even in the face of verbal or clear nonverbal rejection are disgusting predators, but those signals *do* exist.

It is within each of us to learn to interpret and send signals that clearly indicate our true motives. Because our sources for learning this are so varied, we are all bound to get it wrong sometimes. Both in the execution and the interpretation.

That's when a stranger takes a smile as a come on, or a married friend takes friendliness as the same thing. Those men got the wrong idea because they either trained themselves to see certain behaviors as inviting, or they were taught externally. The guy who trains himself has little hope of changing. His ego is too big. But a man who was trained by culture, his family, even a former lover...can learn new interpretations of behaviors and probably will do so given a situation that makes it necessary. Frankly, with the married guy...even if he learned that friendliness might lead to sex with a single friend because it did...well, he's still smarmy. There's just no getting around it.

But something struck me as I read the discussion, that is the attitude that it is always the man's fault he gets "the wrong idea". Meaning if a woman is not sexually attracted to him, he should be able to tell and not come on to her. Hmm... I really wonder about that one. I think women can be really clueless when it comes to sexual overtones in a relationship. It's not a betrayal of that relationship when a friend wants to become a lover (provided both parties are single), only if the friend pushes once rebuffed.

It's that hope thing. Men hope the woman they find sexy and desirable will feel the same way about them. They risk rejection to find out and I don't think that can be classified as a guy getting the wrong idea.

A man who knows a woman who is not into a different sex flavor every night of the week, but who offers a quick fling is an idiot and he definitely got the wrong idea, but most likely from inside himself. Not any external source.

I'm not sure any of this is making sense. I'm so tired...not sleeping well and in absolute deadline dementia, but I hope I don't sound like a blithering idiot.

What I'm trying to say is that men get the wrong idea, but so do women. Some women think that "flirtation" on a guy's part is really just friendship, when in fact he's doing his best to make himself as desirable to her as she is to him. She's likely to get very offended when he lets her know he wants more than friendship, but which one of them really got the wrong idea? Considering the nature of communication...chances are both.

Playground Monitor said...

I Heart Raoul. *swoon*

Some men take a smile as an invitation because they think they're God's gift to women and we should fall at their feet. As the mother of two boys, I have tried to teach them what is appropriate behavior toward women and what is not. I have tried to teach them that no means NO. Let's hope I've been successful.

On the other hand, what about a woman who has sex with her 13-year-old student? That one scares me just as much.


Playground Monitor said...

I forgot to mention the latest Argentinian god -- Nacho Figueras. The man makes my toes curl.


amy kennedy said...

Raol...what was the question?

Hi Lucy! I understood what you said and just want to add--men AND women get the wrong idea, but usually with men, it's about sex and with women it's about relationship.

Men don't get the wrong idea, they just get 'their' idea.

But I also have to say, sometimes I like to flirt--I'm not being nice--I'm flirting, but it's flirting for the sake of flirting. Flirting is fun. So maybe I'm part of the problem.

Stacy~ said...

Lucy, you amaze me with your insight and you bring up something that I've thought a lot about. As to the married friend in my case, I really struggled with the situation because I was attracted to him at the time - though nothing would have ever come of it - and I wondered if he was picking up on some signal I didn't consciously realize I was sending. So yes, I can see what you're saying about it not being entirely his fault. What made me decide to get past it was the fact that he and I had been friends for over 10 years and he'd never once done anything like that before, and he hasn't since. Does that excuse him? Not completely, and he knows that, but it never got to the level where I felt it ruined our friendship.

The sad thing is I know too many people, married and single, who have no real regard for marriage vows. I used to be friends with someone who would only get involved with married men. Talk about sending signals! I blamed her just as much as the married guy because she actively sought out those types of relationships. But that's a pretty cut and dried situation. We should probably all be more aware of our responses and reactions to those of the opposite sex because maybe it's really not just the other person. Like it or not, we might have had something to do with it.

Wow, lots to ponder...

Lucy Monroe said... it a problem? I'm not sure that the whole "got the wrong idea" thing is a problem as what men or women do with that information. I've known both men and women who stubbornly misread the signals and that's what I see as a problem. Not a flirtation that might lead to a decided rejection which the guy accepts with grace. That's frankly part of life and a learning for both parties.

Stacy...I really admire the way you handled that situation. Being a woman isn't easy. Seriously...we have a lot of feelings that society tells us we shouldn't and it takes strength of character and wisdom to deal with them without hurting ourselves or others. You have both!

Nancy J said...

An friend of mine told me about a recent dinner party she attended where the man seated next to her had one too many to drink and made a comment that somehow referred to breasts. I was so shocked for her, heaping scorn on this vile man (in his absence). As the days progressed I found out few more details about the party and I was able to piece together what happened. My friend was apparently wearing a white summer top without a bra (picture very large breasts) and participating in racy banter before his comment. Now I still think the man is vulgar--especially since his wife was sitting on the other side of him--but I cannot hold my friend blameless.