It is a truth universally acknowledged that creepers in Italy (men) in possession of dark hair, piercing eyes and a truly alarming array of shiny jackets are sometimes more than forward when it comes to women.
We’re talking about Italy – the land where it’s impossible to walk down the street without a “Ciao, bella!”, an invitation to share a cappuccino, and even the occasional round of applause by a hot-blooded Italian. A land where it’s nearly impossible to avoid a creeper.
But how does a young lady of style and substance conduct herself under their constant stream of advances? Sure, you can tell them you have a boyfriend. Good luck with that.
Example Conversation #1:
CREEPER: Hey! So… you have a boyfriend?
CREEPER: But are you faithful to him?
Even bringing your boyfriend (or a suitable imposter) onto the scene isn’t necessarily going to do the trick…
Example Conversation #2:
CREEPER: Hey! Is this your boyfriend?
CREEPER: (in Italian) Well call me when he’s not around.
BOYFRIEND: What did he say?
Nope, in Italy saying you “have a boyfriend” doesn’t take you all that far. Instead, I recommend taking a more creative approach. The goal here is to put off the creeper early on – basically by pretending you’re crazy. You can do this is any number of fun ways:
Don’t just stop at “making up a boyfriend”. Go to town! Make up not just a boyfriend, but an entire fantasy life so ridiculous that any creeper’s first instinct will be to get away from you as fast as possible. The trick is to do it all with as straight a face as possible. For example…
Example Conversation #4:
CREEPER: Ciao bella. You have boyfriend?
ME: I’m married.
CREEPER: You don’t have a wedding ring.
ME: MY HUSBAND IS IN THE SECRET SERVICE. NO ONE HERE EVEN KNOWS I HAVE A HUSBAND BECAUSE OF THE SECURITY RISKS. THAT IS WHY I DON’T WEAR A WEDDING RING.
The great thing about this approach is that, if somehow you do end up fooling a creeper that everything you’re saying is true, you can live out the fantasy life you’ve always dreamed of! (Think along the “Yes, I am a famous novelist!” and “What, you didn’t know Brad Pitt had left Angelina for me?” lines…)
If they keep trying to grind up against you on the dance floor: make yourself LORD OF THE DANCE. This involves dramatic pumping your fists above your head so that no one can get within a meter radius of you, frenetic footwork and, above all, a complete lack of dignity or sex appeal. All men will leave you alone immediately.
Flash them “The Face”. This also works very well on pushy street vendors.
Refuse to speak any known language. Perhaps even make up your own. With clicks.
If there’s a slightly crazy or daring hair style you’ve been thinking about trying, timing it with a move to a country where women dress more conservatively can save you a lot of hassle.
I moved to Italy with very short blonde hair – this worked somewhat well, as the Italian men love the blonde but not so much the short. I then dyed it bright pink, and my daily hassle dropped considerably.
The majority of Italian men do not “ciao bella” a girl with short pink hair – It’s too unusual for them. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you don’t actually want new hair, but if you do – it’s worth thinking about.
Obviously if you’re getting a seriously bad or dodgy vibe off a creeper then it’s best to just politely get yourself away from them as soon as possible – but generally speaking, having some fun in creating ever more crazy and comical responses to the creepers can be a great way to make the increased attention in some parts of the world easier to cope with. So go practice The Face in the mirror and get out there!
A quick amendment – my comments about how pink hair meant less hassle was true in Florence. However, my latest trips south have revealed that men in Napoli are more than down with multicoloured hair, and the men in Rome are quite big fans also. But it worked in conservative Florence, I swear!
Haha, that’s awesome! I’m traveling to Italy in a month and I’ve been thinking about cutting my hair and dying it pink. Now that I know it might keep the creepers at bay, i’m sooo doing it! Cheers =)
A conversation my sister and I had with a creeper, while we weree trying to shoot pool in a bar called Sneaky Petes, in our hometown of Effingham IL:
(Creeper has been talking at us for about 20 minutes.)
Creeper: You have really nice boobs. What percent of them are real?
My sister: (drops voice low) None of them.
Creeper: Do you mean none of them are fake?
My sister: No.
Creeper: No seriously, I want to know. I don’t care if they are fake.
My sister: Honey, none of them are real.
Creeper: What? Are you trying to say…
Me: None of them are real. She was born male.
Creeper: No she wasn’t.
Me: You are so closed minded.
He was never quite convinced, but our refusal to deviate from the story bothered him, and after about ten minutes he left to pursue an easier target. His easier target asked the bartender to throw us out, which she did, for unexplained reasons.
That is genius. Why did I never think of that? Kudos!
(Although on a separate note: the bar threw you out because they thought your sister was transgender? Not cool. Perhaps you should file a complaint with the manager or something so he can inform his staff about a little thing called “discrimination”)
Oh my god, I love how you referenced “the face!”
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Lol, this is beautiful