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a bride's diary - how we met
a strong reaction, is a good sign you hit it off

by Laura Pazzaglia
(return to the Bride's Diary)

"I hate America", he said over the candlelit dinner at the Ocean Beach restaurant. "Well.. actually, California is very similar to Southern Italy. I just don't like the people," he continued. And so droned on the evening with one complaint after the other.

What had my friend been thinking when he arranged a blind date for me with this guy?

I considered my options -- at the very least, if Roberto started complaining again, I could talk to his friend.
"All he does is complain about America," I said to my mother later that night. "But dear," she replied. "Italians always do that. It's their way to bond", she answered. W-h-a-t ever! I didn't intend to see him again. I saw the evening as a total failure.

A couple of weeks later, Roberto called to let me know that one of his friends was coming to visit from Italy. Did I want to tag along and show him around? I considered my options -- at the very least, if Roberto started complaining again, I could talk to his friend. I had not other plans, so why not?

When Roberto showed up at my door, he looked better than I remembered. "What happened to him?" I asked my friend. "He looks... somehow... more attractive." Sure enough, this time Roberto was too busy showing his friend around to complain. This time, I saw a new, nurturing side of him, interested in seeing that we all had fun. Just about every weekend that summer of '98, we went out to explore a new part of the Bay Area. At the time, I was living in San Francisco, Roberto in San Jose and his friend, Livio in Berkeley.

I'd pick-up Livio and meet Roberto in San Jose. This left Livio plenty of time to start his pitch.
When we'd explore the South Bay, I'd pick-up Livio and meet Roberto in San Jose. This left Livio plenty of time to start his pitch. "He used to be a professional runner, you know? He's got lots of medals and he was in very good shape." I'd give Livio a 'what-are-you-up-to' side glance and continue driving. He continued "He's a really nice person. Everyone in Trento is friends with him." Uh huh....

Soon, our little outings allowed me to see these characteristics for myself. I slowly started to fall for Roberto.

What I didn't know, until recently, was that when Livio was alone with Roberto he'd make little comments like "Laura seems really kind, did you know she...." and so Livio continued on until one day, Roberto and I just looked at each other and realized that we were in love.
a bride's
wedding diary

Diary Home
* The Battlefield
* Unintended Surprises
* Hi-tech Catholics
* Location, Location, Location!
*Flood, Plague, and Restaurant
*It's in the mail!
*A Perfect Fit
*The Bomboniera Competition
*Last-minute Tips

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Getting his mother's stamp of approval
A few months later, I went to Trento to meet Roberto's family. Although they're located in Trento, his family is really from Basilicata. I was terrified of the thorough observation from his family. Would they like me? Would I be accepted?

I still remember my first dinner. Roberto's mother spoke to me loudly and slowly in Italian -- she didn't realize that I really do understand the language. "H-O-W I-S T-H-E P-A-S-T-A? DO YOU WANT C-H-E-E-E-E-S-E?", so I just yelled back in perfect Italian "Signora, I understand Italian better when you're not shouting slowly!" A hardy laugh soon ensued.

I knew I had been accepted.


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