Updated: May 4, 2020
If Casanova is the Don Juan of hombres, what does that make me? A delicate American transplant in the land of tragically short (albeit beautiful) Spaniards?
I draw absolutely no parallels. It makes me the female antithesis of Casanova or Don Juan or whatever other name male sex gods have acquired here on earth. But what I lack in charisma with the more rugged sex, I make up for in knowledge of all the best cheese joints in Madrid. Every girl has her strong suits. Mine pertain to cheese. Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. I typically bring this up as bait when meeting a guy for the first time, reel him in… “Oh, you kind of like goat cheese?” *bat my lashes* “WELL, this place in La Latina…”
In short, I spit the game of a eunuch.
Like I said, standing at 5′ 8″ or about 1.72m for all you metrics out there (which is NOT tall), I pretty much have my pick of views: top of his head, top of her head, top of grease ball picking his crotch, top of bald-ee… I get to pick! It’s one of the perks of living here, belonging to such a singular group of Amazons (with the Germans, Swedes and Swiss). So imagine my dismay when my Lizzie McGuire Movie/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (but imagine Spain) inspired dreams of a smoky-eyed tryst were dashed by the 1.62m average height. But again, elite club of Amazonians unite!
Anyway, any time my eyes meet, or God forbid, have to look up to meet some chico’s, my heart pitter patters a little faster. Nothing to worry about though, nothing to do with my mitral valve prolapse.
Anyway, here’s to recapping my not so prolific romantic encounters so far in Madrid…
1. Intercambio (n; in-ter-kam-byo):
The guise of culture/language exchange conjured up by creepy Spaniards who’ve realized there’s a whole world of majorly female internationals looking to practice their Spanish with a local. Toss in a few drinks, a few unsolicited nude photos and you’ve got intercambio. I have to admit though, I’ve been impressed with the artistic efforts of some of these photos… Obvious thought goes into staging and making certain objects appear (or not appear) to scale. So… Kudos, boys.
Roughly translates to that time Spanish Adonis sat across from me on the metro and I lost my ever-loving shit. Suave, I may not be, but I typically don’t rank at buffoon level.
Enter Spanish Adonis.
Picture Enrique’s face (post-mole removal) but more chiseled with piercing blue eyes and dark lashes, scruff, tall, biceps bulging as he tosses his gym bag under his seat… I’m in public, there’s a gorgeous guy across from me… Why not seize this opportunity to mimic Chucke’s (of Chucke, the murderous doll’s, fame) smile. I can’t stop it. I legitimately, consciously try to force my facial muscles to relax but they just tense all the more, drawing my eyes wider. I know how alluring I must look. His gorgeous eyes meet mine…a mix of alarm and sympathy, questioning whether he should offer to help the psyche ward escapee when I start giggling. He stares. This continues until I stumble off at the next station. I turn around to see him turned to watch me exit, face drawn with concern.
3. Street People:
*This includes but is not limited to the homeless, street performers and street vendors:
“Hola guapaaaa! ¿Qué tal?”
Translation: I complimented you, now give me money.
(Random encounters at Corte Ingles and Carrefour)
Meet cute: A greasy, hooded figure akin to a Spanish Gollum lurks at the end of the aisle, stroller in tow, spouting sweet, sweet sonnets (of the beloved vulgar genre) at me as I hunch my spine over to navigate my tiny buggy suited for the tiny population among whom I now live.
“¿Guapa, quieres un poquito de este?” He artfully frames his crotch with his hands as he thrusts. Well, I think, I snagged a fertile one! I mean he’s already put a kid in someone. That’s Darwinian attraction at its roots, right? But deciding to avert motherhood a bit longer, I grab my box of cookies and shuffle on. Perhaps another day, fertile, Spanish Gollum, another day.
…And that more or less (excluding duplicate Gollum encounters) sums up my experiences so far. There are more of the same: charming meet cutes and vertically-challenged caballeros…
Very Lizzie McGuire.