Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
I grew up in a small coastal town in northern British Columbia, Canada, called Kitimat and my husband, Eros, is from a small valley in Bergamo, northern Italy.
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
We met one summer evening in 2008 at one of the local pubs in Kitimat. He was on his annual salmon fishing trip with a couple of his Italian buddies. I heard a trio of guys speaking Italian and since I'd previously backpacked around 'il bel paese' for almost a year, I'd picked up a bit of the language. With some liquid courage and a push from my sister, I went over and tried my best to impress them with my (at the time) terrible Italian skills. We chatted for a little bit and then went our separate ways. I never saw them again during their trip.
The following year, through a mutual friend, Eros had seen a YouTube video of me reeling in an impressive coho. (Did I mention that I used to be pretty into fishing, too?). We ended up connecting via Facebook and sent a few casual messages here and there, with no flirting or love connection or anything like that.
I knew that he was coming back to Kitimat soon for their annual fishing trip and I'd asked Eros, via Facebook, if he could bring me an Italian product that I'd quite liked at the time and had run out of - a tesori d'oriente white musk perfume. He responded "I can send it to you when I get back but I'm in Kitimat right now." I was surprised that he was there! We didn't make plans to see each other. I just thought "OK, cool, he'll send me the perfume when he's back in Italy."
I worked as a bartender by night at our local golf course and one evening there was a retirement party for a local business owner. An Italian business owner. I was working away and looked up to greet the customers who'd entered. Wait! What! I had to do a double take - it happened to be Eros, his two fishing buddies and our mutual friend! He didn't even know I worked there. I sent over a round of drinks to them and we had a quick chat when I had some downtime between mixing cocktails and pouring pints. We made a plan to meet for a drink at a pub after my shift was over.
A couple of hours later, I was sitting at the pub with this trio of Italians and our mutual friend (who actually happens to be married to 1/3 of this trio.) We were having fun, trying to communicate in a loud pub and laughing at language barriers when Eros' friends decided they'd head home and leave the two of us there together...
Because I was driving, I wasn't drinking that evening and after chatting the evening away, I drove Eros to where he was staying. He invited me in and offered me a glass of water. It got awkward because we really didn't know what more to talk about and so I got ready to leave after gulping down my water. He walked me to the door and kissed me. Italian style. One. kiss. on. each. cheek.
We connected via Facebook a few days later and made a plan to meet up for a round of golf. After the awkward goodbye at our last meeting, I met up with him with no romantic expectations but ended up having a really fun and flirty time on the golf course. It was Eros' first time golfing, so lots of laughs were had. After our round of golf, we headed into the clubhouse and had a casual burger and a couple of pints. It was on this day that the spark ignited - for both of us. We really enjoyed each other's company and were basically inseparable for the rest of his time there. A couple of weeks had passed - it was now early October and time for Eros to head back to Italy. I looked at our time together as a meaningful fling but nothing more. We kept in touch after he left, mainly via text messages and Skype.
Who made the first move?
Eros didn't want to let too much time pass before seeing me again and actually came back to Kitimat a couple of months later, for Christmas. This was definitely the real first move.
We fell head over heels in love that Christmas.
Picture it: ice skating on frozen lakes, romantic walks under the falling snow, snowflakes on eyelashes and snuggling up to keep warm with the joys of Christmas and all the happiness you could imagine.
Curator's Note: I don't know why, but I'm picturing the skating scene from Serendipity right now. Anyone else?
Where did you think he was initially from?
I knew he was Italian because I'd overheard him speaking.
What was your first impression of him?
There was no initial spark or connection. But once we eventually had some time alone, I just thought he was the sweetest and genuinely nicest person ever. He also dressed in a very chic way, very put together. I wasn't used to that and thought he was so stylish. Plus, those green eyes!
Curator's Note: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE GREEN EYES. Everyone knows this. Don't these two have the MOST GORGEOUS EYES YOU'VE EVER SEEN?! I love looking at pictures of them together, her baby blues and his light green! I'm such a creeper.
Dish on the first kiss! (She describes it above).
"He invited me in and offered me a glass of water. It got awkward because we really didn't know what more to talk about and so I left after gulping down my water. He walked me to the door and kissed me. Italian style. One. kiss. on. each. cheek. Mortified."
Curator's Note: I'm sure the kisses got better after that one!
After 4 years of long distance and a lot of back and forth between Italy and Canada, I moved to Bergamo in 2013. We started out in an area of Bergamo new to both of us, but about a year ago we moved to his hometown. We're loving the peaceful valley life!
Have you learnt each other's languages?
We are both more or less bilingual but speak English together. I think because we met in English it's just been more natural for us to continue in my mother tongue. Score!
Of course when we're with his family or our non-English speaking friends we speak Italian - and even a bit of Bergamasco. Pòta!
Curator's Note: I can attest that Alannah is awesome at Bergamasco, I'm always in awe of her. She always gets me thinking that I really need to work on my dialect abilities.
How did he propose?
This is another long story. Are you ready?
One January evening when Eros was visiting Canada, he and I went out for dinner - for Chinese food. After dinner, in classic Canadian style, we went to Tim Hortons to get an after dinner double double before going to the oceanside to chat and sip our coffee.
Curator's Note: YASSSSSSSSSS. Tims!!!!
After the coffee was done and we were all chatted out, it was time to head home.
As I was putting away the doggie-bagged leftovers, I decided to sneak a sweet and sour pork ball and yelled to Eros in the other room 'babe, do you want a pork ball before I put them away' he said no thanks. So, I thought I'd use one of my goofy voices to convince him and yelled 'Are you suuuurree? They're thuper good!'
He didn't answer this time but I heard something behind me so I turned around and saw Eros on one knee holding out a beautiful ring. He gently said "Amore, you will meddy me?" I was standing there, wide-eyed, jaw dropped, in shock with this damn sweet and sour pork ball in my hand!
After a few good seconds of processing what was happening, I vividly remember thinking "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! So, THIS is what it feels like to be so in love and loved by someone that they want to spend the rest of their life with you! I can't believe it! I am soooo happy!" I quickly put the pork ball down and said "YES!"
Eros later explained that he'd planned to propose while we were out for dinner and then at the seaside but neither felt 100% perfect. I am SO glad that he picked the moment I was holding a pork ball in my hand, because I definitely think it makes for a better story.
Curator's Note: I confirm that this pork ball story trumps a dinner or seaside proposal.
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
Even after almost 10 years together and nearly 4 years of marriage, we still get blindsided by cultural differences - mostly tone of voice being misconstrued. As with any type of relationship, a lot of patience, respect, support and understanding is needed. It's not always easy to live in a foreign country and it's vital that your partner is understanding of this and respects that there ARE going to be up and downs. It's also important to establish BEFORE you make an overseas move, whether you're both open-minded about where you plan to live.
What do you love most about being married?
I love journeying through life together, knowing that I have a supportive husband who truly wants the best for me. I love being with my funny, silly, sweet best friend every day. Even when he drives me crazy.
Submitted by Alannah.
Here's how you can connect with Alannah:
Vi auguro tante belle cose. xoxo
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.
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Cheyenne and Giulio
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LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Coral & Riccardo
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Rachel & Riccardo
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Daria and Francesco
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Briana and Dami
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Kayla and Luca
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Sarah and Michele
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Bailey and Carlo
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Gregory and Stefania
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Sofie and Emilio
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Isabel and David
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Jasmine & Massi
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Tiffany and Adam
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Angela & Davide
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Kristie & Graziano
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Brittni & Alberto
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Maddie & Gio
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Jennie & Davide
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Lauren & Luigi
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Rebecca and Leonardo
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Jennifer and James
Finally if you're a bit of a hopeless romantic (which we know you are because you're here reading these love stories), read ten short stories which are now available as a cute collection in my first eBook: This Sweet Life. You can download it for FREE in my store.
Creative Writing: Whiskey (not in the eBook)
Creative Writing: The Perfect Day in Italy (not in the eBook)
Creative Writing: Call Me Baby (not in the eBook)
Creative Writing: The Butterfly Effect (not in the eBook)
Creative Writing: The Letter R (Explicit)
Creative Writing: Dear Italy (A Love Letter)
Creative Writing: Airport Arrivals
Creative Writing: Tanqueray and You
Creative Writing: A Thousand Lives
Creative Writing: A Sunday Kind of Love
Creative Writing: Perfect Strangers in Switzerland
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
Creative Writing: Mulberries in Sicily