A couple of weeks ago, I sat at the bus stop on my way to school.
There was a white man with dark hair and glasses sitting on the bench. He smiled. I smiled (that generic hello, older adult smile). He looked to be in his late 50’s.
He initiated conversation. I responded.
He spoke with a strong accent and I was curious. He asked me where I was from. I told him to guess.
“Latin America.” BINGO.
He informed me he was from Italy, started his own company here. I don’t recall the details. He asked me if I liked Italian food.
“I love food period.”
Is this man coming on to me? Why must I be so paranoid? Why can’t an older man just be looking for a friend?
He told me all about the different types of lasagna’s from different parts of Italy. Not like in America, where lasagna just refers to a generic type and the only difference is what you stuff in it.
Would I like to try his food sometime?
So I took Sam from Italy’s number. His last name was so long, I just took his first two letters. “El”
Maybe I should have taken his complete las name, to Google my paranoia away? Am I being too paranoid? What happened to following your gut instinct on someone’s trustworthiness? I don’t get the creep factor from this gentleman.
Sam from Italy lives in my neighborhood, so I have run into him about a handful of times already. Most recently, he was walking his dog Beba.
He seems like a nice grandfather figure. Am I being naive or should I ask him more personal questions when I see him like who he lives with, etc? And not take his dinner invitation, at least not alone?
What about the question of culture? Are we too paranoid in this American culture? Could a homemade dinner invitation mean something different in Italy than it does in America?