…..the post in which I explain how I am becoming paranoid (oh, yes, and some other things)…..


No. of times out and about today – 1
No. of stares noticed – 1
No. of long/strange stares – 1

So, I’m now ‘on’ several sites.  I’ve actually only paid money for 2 of them so the others have very limited access – i.e. I can look and people can look at me but it’s a little like being in a soundproof glass box, it doesn’t matter if I were to scream, no one could hear me.

On some of them, I have my picture.  There is a very good reason for this.  I don’t look my age and, unfortunately, my age is against me in that, most people seem to be looking for someone who is a couple/five/ten years younger than me – so I need them to ‘see’ that I don’t look my age.

Also, and I can assure you this may seem very shallow but it isn’t, people pick people on looks.  It’s a good job we all like different sorts of people but absolutely, one of our major deciding factors in who we will consider, is their look.

So, I am looking for someone like me, more or less.  Not too fat, not too much muscle, not too camp.

Now, on the one site which is, mainly, for people looking for other than sex (well, I think that’s true) and one of the ones I have actually paid for, I’ve made an observation which I will share.

The Spanish, in spite of they’re being a Catholic country, have the most profiles that include pictures.  I reckon about 90% have pictures.  The French would be next at, probably, about 70-80%.  The British next with about 50-60% and, finally, the Italians.  The Italians boast about 30% of profiles with pictures.  My profile has a picture, of course.

Some of my friends have a theory about why this is – according to them it is because so many of them are married men who haven’t quite come to terms with being gay.  Admittedly, many here, in Italy, say they are bi rather than gay, which is, to me, a little disconcerting.

I have now added to my profile that I won’t contact people who don’t have photos.

But there has been a side effect of this.  I have become paranoid.

t seems (although I do realise it is probably all in my head) that men have been staring at me much more than before.  And I mean to say really staring.

So, the other night, at a restaurant, a guy coming out from the toilets, smiled (maybe at me) or (it being all in my head) at someone at the table he was sitting at (which was behind me).  He looked familiar, sort of.  Me, being me, just couldn’t smile back, which I must improve upon.

Then, this morning, at the supermarket, this guy couldn’t seem to keep his eyes off me.  Not that he was looking at me in a particularly pleasant way but he did make a point, at one stage, of looking over the top of his sunglasses to get a better look at me.  There have been many more occasions than just these two but I can’t remember the details.

Now, for those of you not in Italy, this would be almost a certainty – especially if you live in the UK.  However, here, as I have blogged before, staring is a thing that Italians do.  They will not look away, as they would in the UK, in embarrassment, the moment you look at them but will hold the stare and will even be quite open about looking you up and down, checking what you’re wearing, etc.

However, it seems, to me, that this is happening on a daily basis now.  And, as I can’t see pictures on most profiles, I have no idea whether that’s because a) they’ve seen me on one of the sites, b) because I look strange and foreign, c) because they just fancy me or d) because they’re just Italian.

In any event, I now keep thinking it must be a or b (and I mention b because now that V isn’t here to tell me I look OK I don’t know that I do – perhaps I am dressed strangely or have my flies open or my hair looks weird or I am odd in some other way).  Either way, it is starting to get to me and make me feel nervous and less sure of myself (sometimes) and this is not good.

Yesterday, I went to Mantova for the Festivaletteratura (Book/Writers Festival).  The basic story goes like this:

  1. Every year for the past 6 years or so, V & I have been guests of the Festival – free accommodation; free entry to events; mostly free food, etc.
  2. This year V & I said we would go.
  3. Unfortunately, they could not provide free accommodation.
  4. Because I would have had to put the dogs in kennels (which is expensive) and pay for a hotel room and because V has just moved house, we said we wouldn’t go but would come for the day on Friday.
  5. M asked if we could do last minute and I said ‘yes’ (V confirmed with me later that this was true for him too).
  6. Wednesday/Thursday I get email from M to say they have room for Friday and Saturday night.
  7. V said he couldn’t come (no surprise really – he seems to be totally unreliable now and I’m still waiting for the sofa swap!)
  8. I couldn’t find anyone to look after the dogs.
  9. I go yesterday for the day only.

Although, I really did have a nice day.  Got back about midnight.

Saw FfI and Friend with Shop in Isola (FwSiI) the other night for a pizza.  It was lovely, except FwSiI is not doing really great right now (problems with marriage, shop not doing so well in these crisis days).  So she was a bit down and now thinking of packing everything in and moving back to London (which would be a great shame as I, for one, would miss her).

Picked Rufus up from his vacation a few nights ago.  Need to cut his fringe as he’s now bumping into things left, right and centre (that was when we went for meal and cute guy smiled at me (maybe)).  However, as Dino and Rufus had been apart for more than a week, after a couple of hours back home I was ready to send Rufus back or kill them both.  Obviously we had to go through the bit where they had to re-establish who was top dog.  Much bothering by Dino and much growling by Rufus.  Much ignoring of me when I shouted at them.  However, all is now back to normal, even if Rufus is not so good right now.

Agreed with S the computer set-up that I need and his suggestion for my new mobile phone (cell).  Need to go and sort that and was going to do it this afternoon but now I have to Skype someone at 4 so it may be Monday now, damn!

That’s all really.

What I will do though, going back to my new paranoia, is document how many times I get stared at by strange men.  Of course, I’ll tell you when/if one of those turns out to be the real deal…..