Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
This is always a complicated question for me. I was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia but I was raised in Atsugi, Japan and Vicenza, Italy. My husband is Vicentino. He was born in Schio and grew up in Marano, Italy.
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
I met my husband my senior year of high school literally the day before I walked across the stage. We met at a club in Vicenza called NuClub, a popular “American Style” hip-hop club. My friends and I planned to go out last minute after our graduation party as our last hoorah before leaving for college. It was there that I met Giulio who apparently, had been going to the same club on some of the same nights as me over the past 2 years, but we somehow never ran into each other.
Who made the first move?
I did. I actually thought he was someone else I knew from my high school. I approached him confidently and called him by the name I thought he was and quickly realized he wasn’t him at all. When I saw him, he was staring at me across the dance floor and one of my close friends at the time was nudging me to approach him. She thought he was someone else too! He responded by telling me his name is Giulio and that he is Italian. After that, I felt a little embarrassed but figured I would give it a shot anyway, so I asked him to dance and he said yes! We started dancing and things got pretty heavy when he put his hands around my waist. Immediately he leaned into my ear and exclaimed: “you have really good abs!” I started laughing because I assumed he was going to whisper sweet nothings in my ear or tell me some generic club pick-up line. After dancing for some time he slipped away to get a drink. It was there that one of his friends, who he came with, told him “That’s going to be your girlfriend”. Giulio laughed it off, never guessing he would end up marrying me four years later. When he came back I told him that I was moving in two weeks to start university in Florida. He looked at me with shock and excitement telling me he had planned a trip to Miami that same summer. At that moment we did that casual “we should hang out when you visit” speech not sure if the other one genuinely meant it or not, given we had only met 2 hours ago. Then I asked him if he wanted my number and to add me on Facebook. We exchanged information and agreed to see each other again.
Where did you think he was initially from?
Honestly, when I first saw Giulio, as I mentioned before, I thought he was an old American friend from high school, I mean he looked very American sailor-ish. He was buff, tall, wearing a short-sleeved dark blue shirt with “Navy” written across it, with a dog-tag necklace, a buzzcut, and a classic pair of slightly loose fitting blue jeans. He could not look more stereotypically American at that moment and in that particular club. However, many Italians and other Europeans, often tend to mistake him to be a German faking his Italian lineage.
What was your first impression of him?
Seeing someone in the club is very different when their face is caressed with dim lighting and in our case literal moonlight shining across his face (NuClub is partially outdoors during the summer). When I first saw Giulio in the club, I thought he might be a navy guy who must be either on vacation or lost. His clothing, body, and hairstyle really threw me off. Like I said I thought he was a completely different person! Once I found out he was Italian I was still confused by his choice of dress but I went with it. We didn’t speak too much when we first met, besides our conversation about Florida and my abs, but he was stunning to me and I was swept up in the moment of thumping music, adrenaline, and the fact that he was Italian of course. When I first saw Giulio in daylight, I was really able to see him, outside of well-angled Facebook photos. I thought he was stunning. He had the best eyebrows I have ever seen, sparkling hazel eyes, gorgeous chocolate brown hair, a fit muscular physic and an alluring Venetian accent that made me feel like melting. While he wasn’t stereotypically fashionable by Italian standards, he definitely wooed me with his sincere, selfless and kind manners that he still stays true to today.
Curator's Note: All Italian men have better eyebrows and better eyelashes than me. What is wrong with the universe!?
Dish on the first kiss!
I have always been the shy type when it came to being the first to make a move, but for some reason with Giulio is was different, plus the ticking clock of my departure to America wasn’t going to wait for him. We had been seeing each other for about a week holding hands, hugging, and even semi-cuddling in public. He asked me what I wanted to do on our next outing, I had jokingly told him to take me on a picnic date for lunch. We met bright and early the next morning for breakfast and he told me he had a surprise and that he was going to take me somewhere. We got into his SEAT Ibiza and wound up at this beautiful, picturesque venue called Parco Querini. It was filled with cute little ducks, cushiony green grass, and bunnies. He told me he made a picnic for me just like I asked. He brought a blanket, napkins, and a cooler full of sandwiches, drinks, gum and his favorite chocolates his grandmother used to give to him as a child. He told me that he wanted to leave me with something before I go to remember him by. His favorite Italian brand of gum and a Tronky. That day we couldn’t stop kissing each other laid against the fresh green grass under the shade with bunnies prancing in the background.
Curator's Note: If that isn't a scene from Notting Hill, I don't know what is!
Where do you live now?
At the moment I live part-time in Atlanta, Georgia where I attend University and part-time in Vicenza, Italy where we just bought our first condominium. We have been commuting back and forth over the past 4-years. This semester I decided to stay and take some classes online while we wait for Giulio’s paperwork. The long distance was too heartbreaking to bear, plus we are so close to getting his visa it didn’t make sense to continue going back and forth like that. We are currently deciding to go back to Georgia and see where life takes us from there. Although, I am pretty sure we will still be saying that we live part-time in Atlanta and part-time in Italy or at least our hearts do.
Have you learnt each other's languages?
Giulio already spoke English quite well when we met each other. In fact, he had taught himself most of the English he knew and learned the rest from television, books, and American friends. At the time we started dating, my Italian was very limited. While I did attend Italian schools through my high school exchange programs, I was still in the learning process. It wasn’t until I started dating Giulio that I invested a greater degree of time and effort into learning Italian. I like challenges, especially when they come with a free and handsome tutor. I downloaded apps on my phone and would practice with him daily over Skype, text message and in person. I was determined to be native. Now I would say that I speak at an intermediate level because I have never taken a formal class and when I am in the states, I get very limited exposure to the Italian community. Most of our conversations at home tend to be a mixture of Italian and English. It’s almost like we have created our own language that we use to communicate with each other where sentences are partially in Italian and partially in English. I do plan to keep up my Italian when we go to the states, given that it’s an important part of how I communicate with some of his relatives.
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
It’s a very taxing situation emotionally and even physically when you’re traveling back and forth or away from the love of your life for extended periods of time. Even when we got married we stayed apart from each other for a year. It got even harder letting the government into all the private moments of our lives and being asked really hard questions just so that we can get through the bureaucratic bull and be together. But it makes you stronger. Through all of this, we are stronger than ever just a little broken in the pockets from all the traveling and bureaucracy fees. I think people who are in interracial and intercultural relationships really have a unique experience with love and resilience. Not to say it does not exist for those who are not in these types of relationships, but it does challenge you and the validity of your love. You really have to be in it for the long haul. During your journey, you are going to have many naysayers who may be relatives, friends, or even acquaintances who try to discourage you in pursuing your relationship. You will have to schedule your Skypes and your phone calls because you both are working or in my case working, interning and a full-time student. It is hard not to get consumed by the hard times but you have to find a balance. Some important advice that many people don’t think about, not even me until now, is that you’ll spend a lot of money on airfare so you might as well invest in miles while you’re at it so that once you rack up enough visits you might be able to get a nice honeymoon to celebrate.
Submitted by Cheyenne.
Here's how you can connect with Cheyenne:
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 (the running total including today's is TWENTY-THREE, ZOMG!) 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: Jade and Daniele
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Chloe and Andrea
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: 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