3 Rounds and a Sound

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“And the seasons will change us new, be the best I’ve known. And you know me – I could not be stuck on you if it weren’t true. I was swimming. My eyes were dark ’til you woke me and told me that opening is just the start. It was. Now I see you ’til kingdom come, you’re the one I want.” ~Blind Pilot 

As some form of the saying goes, love finds you when you least expect it – or – when you stop looking for it. And indeed, it’s found me quite unexpectedly down here in the Southern Hemisphere, and I hadn’t been looking for any of them.

Yes, them – plural.

A new friend here introduced me to número uno on my first Saturday in Buenos Aires. The next two I met the following week through Jess and Angie. A few days later, another new friend sent us to a popular local spot where I encountered the rest.

I’m going to chalk it up to a theory my college roommate Analissa and I developed linking love and the sine curve. As life is neither thoughtful nor efficient enough to space out romantic interests in a steady and consecutive manner, it’s either a flood or a drought. And these days I’m swimming – or doing my best doggy paddle since I fake cried to avoid joining the swim team when I was 8.

I’m getting to know these new suitors probably faster than I should, but they’ve overwhelmed me in a way I have little control in denying. I learn a new side of them with every tête-à-tête, yet they’re consistent in the way that each new discovery is sacred and takes my breath away.

It’s an intensely intimate moment when my lips touch theirs, and immense happiness echoes out across my entire body. I wish I could have them every night – OK multiple times a night – and I’ve been impressing myself with how adventurous I’ve been when they entice me to try new things.

I usually struggle to turn my brain off as the incessant multitasker that more than two decades on the East Coast has made me. But the whole room disappears when I’m with them, and I can’t concentrate on anything else.

In normal girl fashion, they dominate way too many of my conversations with Jess and Angie to be healthy. But I can’t help it. They’re all-consuming, and I can’t – nor want to – get my fill of them. And the best part is – it’s nearly impossible to do since there isn’t just one of them.

I have another theory with my friend Lauren on how polyandry – when a woman has multiple partners – could solve many heterosexual relationship woes. The way we see it, women have a lot of needs. Men, on the other hand, seem to prefer low-maintenance relationships. With polyandry, women could get more and men could give less. It’d be a win-win-win-win-and-so-on situation for any number of parties you choose to involve.

Aside from these wildly oversimplified bio-cultural differences, is it really fair or even realistic to expect one person to meet us on every level in order to feel fulfilled? High divorce rates in the United States beg us to reconsider our failed attempts at monogamy. And judging by the PDA across BA – not sure why they need telos (sex hotels) because sex in public seems more than legal – this could be just the place to learn a more expansive way to love.

Indeed, a number of people here have advised me that the best way to learn Spanish is to acquire an Argentine boyfriend who can’t speak any English. A 300-pound Colombian tequila importer upped the ante – get one for every day of the week. With this liberating advice, I decided it was time to test our polyandry theory.

I don’t have seven significant others quite yet, but I’ve scored a solid six since that seductive Saturday in the city. And not one knows a word of inglés.

Each one is unique, but they’re all cool, smooth and a lot sweeter than a girl’s choices at home. And – although it’s not on my list of uncompromising qualities but is turning out to be an added bonus – rich. I know it’s early on, but I have a feeling they’re going to be much more than mere flavors of the month.

Since it’s seemed to work out for Taylor Swift, I’m more than willing to kiss and tell about my nuevos novios. From the Argentine towns of Persicco, Freddo and Volta, se SHA-man (they’re names are):

  1. Cafe
  2. Cafe Italiano
  3. Bacciola
  4. Chocolate Freddo
  5. Chocolate Suizo
  6. Coco con Dulce de Leche

In the words of someone who could appreciate the consumption of this much sugar on a weekly basis, Buddy the Elf:

“I’m in love! I’m in love! And I don’t care who knows it!”

… With the helado (ice cream) here. Please re-read the intro because I was talking about helado flavors – not chicos.

For those who know me, I’m a bit of an helado connoisseur. For those who don’t, my résumé is as follows:

  • Perfected the oreo milkshake Bryn Mawr, PA 1997
  • Recorded my personal best in the 100 meters while chasing down the ice cream truck Bryn Mawr, PA 1998
  • Taught waltz lessons at a local Baskin Robbins Ardmore, PA 2001
  • Drank an entire bottle of Betty Crocker rainbow sprinkles – sans ice cream Haverford, PA 2001
  • Finished a Ben & Jerry’s pint – after consuming a Wonka Bar, Fun Dip and cotton candy Bryn Mawr, PA 2002
  • Replaced popcorn as the movie concession by smuggling in a pint, sprinkles and a spoon Edgemont, PA 2003
  • Invented the Party Roll dance for Friendly’s to accompany its ice cream cake by the same name Syracuse, NY 2003
  • Gained 10 lbs in 60 days from Coldstone and ice cream crepes Detroit, MI 2004
  • Introduced milkshakes as the ideal beverage to pair with hot fudge sundaes Neon, KY 2005
  • Designed the Ultimate Bucket Challenge : 1 contestant. 1 family-sized tub. 1 sitting. 1 setting. Wayne, PA 2005
  • Outsmarted Lori the lunch lady to sneak through the free make-your-own sundae line twice Bryn Mawr, PA 2006
  • Replaced the meal of lunch for an entire summer with a triple-scoop ice cream sundae Ocean City, NJ 2006
  • Discovered at an all-you-can-eat ice cream fair that seasickness is not limited to the ocean Philadelphia, PA 2008
  • Proved there’s no scientific law restricting humans from visiting two gelaterias in one day Florence, Italy 2008
  • Or one restricting humans from visiting one ice cream counter twice before leaving the premises D.C. 2010
  • Defeated my extended family in a Carvel ice cream cake eating contest LBI, NJ 2011

Bruce Bogtrotter victory pose

References: Gina, Meghan, Kelly, Cara, Kaleigh, Kyle, Katie, Mer, Ceara, Allie

With these credentials, I think I’m qualified to draw the following conclusions about the helado here:

  1. It’s a gazillion times better than those stupid make-your-own soft serve frozen yogurt places that have been popping up all over the Main Line.
  2. My loyalty to the legitimate frozen yogurt vendors – Hope’s, Stonyfield Farms, Bassetts and the Big Dipper – is on hold until May.
  3. Even my East Coast ice cream/gelato favorites – J.P. Licks in Boston, Thomas Sweet in D.C. and Gelati Celesti in Richmond – pale in comparison.
  4. And it’s a bold statement, but I dare say it’s at least on par with, if not better than, the gelato in Italy. Julie, fellow PHILAbroad, we’ll have to discuss this further when you arrive in Italy this month!

It’s so good that it’s even making me reconsider my disdain for the word “spooning” – pun intended.

My first attempt to write this post was interrupted by two separate invitations to get helado from Jess and Angie. And I’m not going to name names, but one of us got it twice that night.

“Why are we so addicted?” Jess asked as we headed out the door to get our fix, the day after noting that every fourth item on her online bank statement was helado. “This stuff is like crack.”

A friend brought out his stash one Saturday night while we were having drinks at his apartment. We dove for the spoons he set down as if it were the championship round of the card game.

“You’re going to … share … with us?” I asked our friend in disbelief, considering how I usually licked clean the Styrofoam container the substance comes neatly packed in.

He looked at me as if I were mentally insane. I may or may not have been twitching.

Confused, he responded: “Yeah. … It’s just ice cream.”

I decided not to dissuade him and kept eating. Like taking candy from a key grip.

During another attempt to pen this post a few days later, I had just had a foursome with my new loves from my favorite heladería here, Persicco, for “research purposes.” I was just starting to type when I noticed Jess doing some research of her own in the next bed over. Either more advanced or more addicted than me, she was on the heladería’s website to see if it delivered. It does.

And so the weeks passed. Not much blogging got done, but I did attain a new accomplishment to add to the résumé:

  • Consumed more than 2 kilos of helado in six weeks Buenos Aires, Argentina 2011

But when my guru Peter posted on my Facebook wall threatening to shut down the local ice cream chains if I didn’t finish my next post – unbeknownst to her that I’d actually been struggling to write one about – what else? – ice cream for weeks, along with three other unfinished posts, I knew I had to go cold turkey.

But it looks like I might relapse again soon, as a few posts on my wall before Peter’s was a link from my brother, Kyle, to an article titled, “Philadelphia Home to Best Place in the World to Eat Ice Cream.”

Guess that means I’ll have to do more research here so I can be fully prepared to test this ridiculous hypothesis upon my return. Luckily, Angie just informed me that she befriended the helado vendor across the street, and he agreed to teach her how to make it …

 “Maybe I need some rehab. Or maybe just need some sleep. I’ve got a sick obsession. I’m seeing it in my dreams. I’m looking down every alley. I’m making those desperate calls. I’m staying up all night hoping, hitting my head against the wall. … Because your love, your love, your love is my drug.” ~Ke$ha


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2 responses »

  1. Loves it! You would need to check in for some serious detoxing before visiting me here. I’ve had two attempts at “ice cream” here… the first from a grocery store: the best we found was made for diabetics and bore a strangely similar resemblance texture-wise to sweet finely ground sand. (still loved it, if only for the reminder of the real thing) The second from “Creamy Inn” which serves teeny tiny soft serve cones that I think fall more into the category of vanilla frosting over helado…. Enjoy! and mail me some for Christmas!

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