This morning, as another woman and I waited for the bus, we witnessed something out of the ordinary.
Or perhaps, extraordinary is a better word.
Ten minutes before the bus was to arrive, a couple joined us at the stop.
At first, I thought they were Spaniards, but after overhearing them talk, I discovered they were Italian.
It happened suddenly.
One minute they were talking, and the next, the man pulled the woman to him and gave her a kiss that made the other lady waiting for the bus and I, blush.
Never having been a fan of public displays of affection, you’d figure I would have turned away.
Yet this kiss was so sensual, I couldn’t help but stand there and gawk.
I gawked because it was the kind of kiss that compels you to do just that.
It wasn’t a “See you at home” kiss.
It was an “I’m off to war and don’t know if I’ll see you again” type of kiss.
I was glad I didn’t have my camera, or I would’ve been tempted to capture such a moment and that would’ve been more of an intrusion than my gawking.
Just as the bus approached, the man said to the woman, “Ciao, amore.”
I swooned because anything said in a foreign tongue has that effect on me.
I swooned because “Ciao, amore” reminded me of Pietro, a beautiful Italian boy I met when I was fifteen.
Handsome, charming, and at seventeen, already a ladies’ man.
Girls flocked around him like bees to honey.
And his smile.
His smile was so beautiful, I had to restrain myself from kissing him every time the corners of his mouth turned upward.
However, whenever he said, “Bella, tu sei bellissima,” that’s when the world came to a standstill.
My heart raced, my palms started to sweat, and I sighed like I was taking my last breath.
I had the same reaction with a French boyfriend named Alan.
His “Ma chérie” made me feel faint, lightheaded, dizzy.
And who could forget my first love, Domingo, a gorgeous Spaniard I met while vacationing in Spain?
Every time he said, “Hola, cariño,” or “Hello, sweetheart,” my heart stopped.
Or at least that’s what it felt like.
Hearing endearments in a foreign tongue made me think the world had stopped turning; everything halted, including my ability to breathe.
I wonder if I’m the only woman with this affliction; this inability to think straight whenever I hear a gorgeous foreign accent.
Yet, the other woman’s reaction to the Italian couple’s exchange makes me think this isn’t the case.
Being mesmerized by such an exchange can only prove that many of us want to be the leading lady of such a scene.
To swoon with expectation, feel our hearts pound in our chests, experience tantalizing giddiness.
Just once, or even better, many times.
Because I dare say, most of us want to experience passion and the reckless abandon that accompanies it.
Whenever we’re an eyewitness to something like today’s kiss and hear the words that accompany it, we’re able to regress in time; to remember our first love, our first kiss.
And if that first love was Italian, French, or Spanish?
Having experienced it I say, even better.
After all, there’s a reason they’re called “Latin Lovers.”
And that, my friends, is how I started my morning.