Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
I am from Windsor, Ontario in Canada and Michelangelo is from Milan. My mother was born in Milan and her parents are from Molise. When she was 3 years old they immigrated to Canada and I was born there. Michelangelo’s parents are both from southern Italy (Campagna and Puglia) and met in northern Italy where he was born.
Curator's Note: this almost reads like a logic puzzle...!
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
Michelangelo and I met on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on August 11 2012. I was working as a tour guide and he was visiting Canada for the first time. They had decided to make a last minute trip from Toronto to Ottawa so that Michelangelo and his family could see Canada’s capital city. I was finishing my shift when I heard some people nearby speaking Italian. My friend told me to go over there and see if they needed help or were lost. I went over and we spoke for maybe 5 minutes. In those 5 minutes I told him (and his whole family…of course I met his mamma right away) that I would be moving to France for school in 2 weeks. This was our first moment “lost in translation” because he understood that I would be moving to France FOR two weeks. Anyways we exchanged emails and I threw his away, not thinking I would ever see him again. Michelangelo on the other hand still has the Post-It note with my email on it in his wallet. The ever-romantic Italian…
Curator's Note: this bit about the Post-It note is the cutest thing I've ever heard!
Who made the first move?
When we met I was the one who approached them. However after that moment it was Michelangelo who made it all happen. After he went back to Italy he sent me a very long email in broken English (I still have it saved and I read it over from time to time). I remember the moment I got it, I was at dinner with my parents who were in Ottawa to help me pack my stuff up before the move to France. We laughed together about how cute the email was and how bad the English was, and I responded back. That’s where it all began. A few emails back and forth and then a month later he drove to pick me up at my apartment in France to bring me to Milan for the weekend.
Curator's Note: I sometimes reminisce about back in the days when my own husband's English wasn't as great as it was now. It's so endearing.
Where did you initially think he was from?
From the language I could immediately tell that he was Italian. Plus they were at least 15 people in a group together, so that was also a good give away that they were a huge group of Italian tourists.
Curator's Note: I think it's pretty hard to get Italians wrong, especially when they are in huge groups.
What was your first impression of him?
That he was shy but charming. Michelangelo didn’t really speak much when we met, but then opened up over emails. I later learned that it was a language barrier, that thankfully now we’re overcome.
Curator's Note: I adore these stories of Italian boys being on the shy side at the beginning. It always seems like such a rarity but again, so endearing.
Dish on the first kiss!
After our first weekend together in Milan where I told myself I would not give in right away, he drove me all the way back to France and at the end of the trip he came up to my room to help me with my luggage. As he was leaving out the door to drive back to Milan I pulled him back and we had our first kiss. I will always remember that moment because I was so excited and nervous, but mostly because I made the first move.
Curator's Note: I LOVE YOU WOMAN. ALL POWER TO YOU!
Where do you live now?
We live in downtown Milan.
Have you learnt each other's languages?
Yes we both write and speak each other’s languages but we have adopted this method to use both. We speak in Italian and we text (What’s app, email, letters…) in English. Obviously when we travel to Canada we speak English but in Italy we like to speak Italian to each other.
Curator's Note: I like this method! We also have our own method to use both but it's not as systematic as yours, we just switch whenever we feel like we're overusing one!
Any advice for mixed/long-distance couples?
I think the biggest thing to remember is that differences are a positive and not a negative. Although there will be some cultural clashes (many in our case) it’s important to overcome them finding a common ground or a compromise. Embrace the differences you have because it becomes your strength as a couple and that thing that sets you apart from the others.
Long distance is hard. Honestly there are moments where we were thinking of throwing in the towel because after months of not seeing each other sometimes you wonder if things are really worth it or if they will ever actually work out so that you can be together. In the end all the months apart and long hours on Skype or texting are worth it for the moments you are able to be together. One thing that I suggest is not to “plan” too much when you’re long distance. We learned to just go with the flow and not plan Skype dates or appointments on the phone because then if something comes up we would always be upset or feel guilty. Just make time for each other in our own individual schedules and things will work more harmoniously.
We both knew we were ready to get married (I had made it clear that I didn’t want it to happen until I had gotten my legal work visa to stay in Italy on my own and that we were settled in Milan) but Michelangelo knew I still dreamed of having a surprise proposal. So after many events coming and going where I thought OK this is THE moment and then nothing (because, rightly so, I would have been expecting it), Michelangelo surprised me one Thursday night returning home from work. I thought nobody was home, unlocked the door, and when I turned on the light I saw him there all dressed up with the table set for a romantic dinner for two. The music started playing and then he came towards the door with a box in his hand. I cried (obviously) and best part of it all is that he set up his cell phone to record the whole moment because he knew how much it meant to me to share it with friends and family back in Canada.
Curator's Note: Omigosh STOP. How perfect is that?! *squeal*
What do you love most about being married?
Well we’ve only been married for 3 weeks now, but what I love the most is knowing that we are a team and we will continue to grow together. We both had time to grow apart as individuals during our long distance relationship, but now we can share our common beliefs and ideas and make memories together. I also love seeing him with his wedding ring on, never would have thought it could look so sexy!
Curator's Note: Oooooh you are SO right about the wedding ring. It IS sexy!
Submitted by Amanda.
Here's how you can connect with Amanda:
Facebook: La Vita e Style
Personal Facebook: Amanda Vojvodin-Dargenio
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to "dare un'occhiata" at all of the Love Story Lunedì. There are so many amazing stories to read so make sure you're all caught up. And should you want to share your own story or know of a couple who would, please get in touch.
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