Audrey: No or yes?

This missive is just in from Audrey:

I was in Florence recently, and had lunch at one of my favorite places: the self-serve restaurant Ristorante Self-Service Leonardo on Via de' Pecori.

The cashier, who recognized me from my two previous visits that week, asked me a question. His question, in rapid Italian, was incomprehensible to me, so I replied, "No."

He looked amused and said, "No, or yes?"

I replied, "Yes."

He said, "You should usually say no, but sometimes you should say yes…"


Once, when I was sun-tanning on the steps of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni museum in Rome, an Italian man came up to me and admonished me, telling me that I could get skin cancer. Then he invited me to go on vacation with him in Spain for two weeks. I said, "no".

Another time, on a train from Rome to Paris, an Italian businessman, who was clearly admiring my legs, invited me to get off the train with him in Monte Carlo. He told me that, as a resident of that city, he could give me a wonderful tour. I said, "no".

I was at a conference with a married colleague a few years ago, and as we entered our adjoining hotel rooms, he looked back at me. And, although he didn't say anything, I understood the question. I said, "no".

And, maybe every woman has had this experience. You are just starting a relationship (exploratory dating) and he is sitting on your couch, looking up expectantly. And you lean in and kiss him and feel - nothing at all. No warmth, no passion for him, no chemistry. And you were longing for a relationship. And he is a good man. But, you say "no".


So, dear reader, as I go through this adventurous life, sometimes I do say "yes" and, quite frequently, I say "no". I've noticed that we all react differently to these situations that offer unforeseen pleasure. Do you look back, as I do, and wonder what would have happened if you had said "yes"? Do you have any stories to share?