Friday, 8 February 2008

a subject universally known...

Falling hopelessly in love is described in the Arabic as basbasa – literally ‘to make sheep’s eyes.’ Why sheep’s eyes are associated with amorous glances is unclear. As an elderly gentleman from Damascus put it, “It means to look at someone…illegally. In a way designed to cause trouble, to make people talk.”
The Italians say fare il filo a qualcuno – literally, ‘to do the string to someone’, this phrase means “to check someone out” or “to have your eye on someone.” Quite different from what “stringing someone along” means in English!
In Yiddish it is bashert – it is the word for the idea of two hearts that were meant to meet, it is fated.
The Romanians say mi-a ramas sufletul la tine – This very romantic Romanian phrase means, “my soul has remained with you,” or “my soul is with you”, to describe the feeling of falling in love. I love that one.

I like men. I like the way they smell. I like the way they think - solution over debate, facts over speculation. I like the hair on their bodies in places that can keep a skinny woman warm. I like the way they like women. I like the way they can talk with their eyes even if they can’t dance. I like the way they laugh. I like the way they continue to make me feel sexy and desirable, even though I am now a woman of a certain age – I appreciate that chaps - I thought it would be all over by now. I love flirting and I appreciate a man who does it well. I like a man of few words and I like a man who can engage in conversation as a blood sport. I like men who send flowers, and I like men who send planes. I like men who are warriors, and I like men who are poets and philosophers. I love a man who loves his wife/girlfriend/fiancée’ and talks about it – nothing sexier. I love men who love children and animals. I appreciate a man who can sing or dance or both, but I love a man who loves opera.

I really like sex, I do. I like the entire package – the pre-foreplay where your chemistry sends out feelers to his chemistry, and the pheromones decide that in spite of the fact that he does not have just the right physical requirements that you list as necessary or preferable, or in spite of the fact he does – something in the mix is right and dance of feints and passes begins.

The Italians use several different ways to get across the idea of sex, and, as in English, the euphemisms have various degrees of offensiveness. To scopare means “to sweep” (the broom is implied in the verb and associated with another tool). Trombare, “to play the trumpet”, is another, and ciulare, “to swipe”, is a third. An especially impolite version is abbiamo trombato come ricci: where the English do this “like rabbits/bunnies”, the Italian animal is the hedgehog – making one think that the passion must be more intense to overcome that animal’s natural defenses.

The French, as usual when it comes to these matters win the word game for me – s’envoyer en l’air is literally “to send yourself up in the air”.

I love that first kiss where you fall into it – gently at first, then questioning, then giving answer to the question asked with your whole being.

I love the physical manifestation: the sweet early morning kind, the hot and sweaty kind, the tearing off your clothes kind, the it’s a gift kind, the pool table kind (personal history), the I’m too tired but its too good to pass up kind, the oh sure I’ll try that once kind, the turning over the furniture kind, the could you excuse us kind, the let’s make a baby kind, and the you are my greatest life’s happiness kind. . I like the power play of who can make the other sigh and be unable to move for an undetermined length of time. I like the exhaustion and energy that come after. No massage in the world can provide the kind of relaxation that comes in the afterglow, and that desire to sing is beyond explanation eh?

Even when you don’t love your partner it’s good, and if you do love them it can be incandescent. It is the most personal kind of communication if you do it right.

The Spanish, a bit over the top as usual when it comes to matters of the heart, cry abrasarse vivo! This expression literally means “burn with passion”. Jean de La Fontaine, the cool, satirical seventeenth-century French writer of fables, mentions a Spanish story he tremendously admired where a young man, in order to get to embrace his woman, burns down the house and carries her out through the flames, making it literally a story of “burning passion”, as well as arson.

Ha’ mouro na costa – “There’s a Moor on the coast!” Obviously a cry of warning – the Moors first invaded Portugal in 711 C.E. and occupied Lisbon and the rest of the country until well into the twelfth century – but no longer of actual Moors. This is exclaimed when someone is in danger of losing their heart.

And to give the French the last word, as is only proper when it comes to matters of the heart, or the libido – a great mystery revealed: the phrase, rouler un patin, is how the French say “to French-kiss”! Literally translated, Je lui ai roule’ un patin means “I rolled a skate to him”.

Why am I on this topic? Well… it could be the fabulous massage with the oil that smelled like musk and sandalwood in a warm and slightly steamy room I had yesterday, or it could be I’m thinking over a proposition I’ve had recently…. Sigh.. I’m just thinking..


*credit to Erin McKean’s “That’s Amore!” for facts on international expressions of love.


Kaycie said...

Would your thinking involve a certain mysterious and lovely man you've dined with on the beach?

jmb said...

Well my dear, I had no idea what the end of this post would be but it was a bit of a let down.

I envisioned you riding off into the sunset with someone delicious at least. Thinking over a proposition. I hope it was a very romantic one.

You do know how to leave us hanging.

Rositta said...

Very nice story, I'm waiting for the ending. Meanwhile, I've tagged you for a meme, I owe you one...ciao

I Beatrice said...


I wish I could be so brave as to write such a piece...

Kaycie said...

There is an award waiting for you at my place.

debio said...

I simply loved this post, lady m.

That's because I love men as much as you - and all that follows...

I'm with iBeatrice; could not have written this myself but am with you every step of the way.

I am holding my breath for more re the ending, however??

Richard Havers said...

Women of a certain age are sexy. My wife above all else.

Nice post....

leslie said...

I LOVE this post! It expresses exactly what my heart feels without my having realised it! Now if only I could get a proposition! It has been far too long! :(

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

I like men. I like the way they smell.

Wonder if you'd like the way I smell. :)

Wonder if JMB has the same predilection for men.

Winchester whisperer said...

It sounds as if you're going to have a rather fabulous Valentine's Day.

yborchild said...

Bravo to you Lady M

You've given voice to thoughts long felt by so many women yet long concealed. Before we may have known or experienced the sentiments you so eloquently express and instead of acknowledging, accepting, and appreciating them we've, at least I've, conveniently compartmentalized those thoughts and pulled them out only on an as needed basis. Thank you for unveiling these truths and presenting them as gifts that we as women can embrace and celebrate.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

May i steal this and use it ascribed to a lady called MacLeod in my second book? I'll need to create your character.

lady macleod said...

could be, could be....
Thank you for coming by.

Sorry to disappoint, but I'm working up to it!
Thank you for coming by.

I do try to pay my debts. My internet time is limited for a month or so, but I will get over to you.
thank you for coming by.

i beatrice
Hello there dear! I have great confidence in your ability to write anything you wish, and do it well. I'm pleased you enjoyed the post.
Thank you for coming by.


I am glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, great and lusty minds - think alike. There could be more...
Thank you for coming by.

Well said.
Thank you for coming by.

Thank you. For a proposition, I recommend a trip to Paris, it never fails! Trust me on this one.
Thank you for coming by.

you never know...
Thank you for coming by.

It rather looks that way...
Thank you for coming by.

Thank you for the accolade, I appreciate it.
Thank you for coming by.

You go right ahead. That's all right, I had to create my character as well... I shall be interested to read your ideas on that!

Emma said...

i loved reading your post, it was a joy well written and thanks for sharing.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Great post. Now tell us more about the proposition!

Sparx said...

You say it all and say it so well!