Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kissing is custom only with Italians?

I am kinda peeved.
But maybe I shouldn't be.
You see, there's this Italian girl I work with who I get the feeling doesn't like me very much. Maybe I'm overreacting, perhaps I'm just sensitive, but hear me out. We don't ever carry on long conversations because my Italian is not so good and she speaks no English so its hard to "connect". And at work today she was really quite bossy and kept telling me what to do (in Italian) even though technically I am supposed to be her superior (even though she's been there longer than I have) and in my opinion she stepped over the line. Several times. But I didn't say anything and I just let it slide and kept working. Perhaps its her personality, or perhaps we had a miscommunication. But tonight when we left work she said "Ciao", kissed our mutual Italian friend goodbye, turned, and left.
Now, I kinda felt left out, or rather slapped in the face. But this is a tricky situation because maybe she knows that kissing the cheeks is not really an American custom. Maybe she purposely didn't kiss me because it's an "Italian/European" thing. But then our mutual friend and I kissed goodbye. And I normally kiss my friends goodbye. Should I be offended? Should I say something or should I just let it go? Maybe I'm the one who's being catty(caddy? oh god i swear I can't spell anymore and I'm too lazy for the spellcheck)? Am I being too sensitive here? You know, next time I see her I'm just gonna plant a big fat wet one right on her planter and see what she says. I'm only kidding, but perhaps it will break this layer of ice between us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome to the mysterious world of italian females! I don't know how long you've been in italy but after 8 years i've learned a few things about italian chicks, mainly that VERY few Italian women actually do seem to welcome and embrace foreign female friends/co-workers (as opposed to glaring at them as if they were the enemy). they seem to have their guard up all the time and don't want to let us into their "inner" circles. it's not our imagination, it's something 95% of foreign women have felt in italy from milan down to palermo, it's always the same sad situation. Only things that are customary to them are "normal" and they act suspiciously toward anything that doesn't conform to that. I also think she's probably intentionally tryng to make you feel left out. she's playing middle-school playground games with you, so insted of getting bothered, just pity her because she's a grown woman who resorts to ridiculous strategies to feel better about herself by dissing you. (=

Saturday, October 07, 2006 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Yes, the kissing thing is weird because I personally don't care if someone kisses me hello if they _say_ hello instead, but a few times I've left my husband's friends without kissing EVERY one of them and something gets said. So, maybe she is dissing you. But as anonymous said, screw it. Next time, I would kiss her goodbye as always - never let 'em see you sweat is my motto. If she knows you are affected by what she does, then she'll get satisfaction from it. Maybe the forced intimacy on her will make her even more uncomfortable!! :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006 8:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ebony and Ivory said...

I don't live in Italy, so I can't comment on the whole kissing thing. The way she treated you at work however, in my opinion, falls pretty close to insubordinate territory. You have to set boundaries or she will think you have no spine and she will walk all over you. Show her who's boss! In the most professional way, of course...;)~

Saturday, October 07, 2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger avery said...

Thanks for your comments. In our circle of friends kissing hello/goodbye is the norm even if it takes 20 minutes to kiss everyone goodbye. Ridiculous but true and after living a year here I am accustom to it. I know I shouldn't let it bother me but I'm still fairly new at my work and was still in the "I want people to respect and like me" stage. I didn't want to ruffle any feathers just yet but i guess I already did. Oh well. Screw it. Life goes on.

Sunday, October 08, 2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I had the same experience, the "kissing snub" by an Italian family female, and in my case it was blatant and on purpose and happened repeatedly in front of many people. Sooooo not fun. Ick. I hated it. But, Ms. is so right. The minute you stop letting it get to you, it all goes away, at least for you. HER problem, not yours!! That's pretty much always the case.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger FinnyKnits said...

Yeah, I'm with Shelley and Ms. - let it go, act like it doesn't bother you and kill her with kindness. Then it can never be "your fault" and you can never be the "bad guy". Let her stoop to petty bullshit, you don't have to.

For the record, Shelley's Italian female friends were nothing but welcoming to this exotic beast from afar and gave me all the baci I could stand.

You hold your ground and be the bigger person, Ms Avery ;)

Saturday, October 14, 2006 12:08:00 AM  

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