Rubbing my back one evening after dinner, I was encouraged to have a massage by one of our dinner guests, the director of the Grotta Giusti Spa (5 minutes from us) who lived on the premise for 5 years, in our barn apartment. Referring me to the best of all, he suggested Daniele, an amazing masseuse. I finally set a date for my first massage and went off to the Grotta Giusti Spa, and did as told. I disrobed and picked up a sheet at the end of the bed, to cover my aging body. I was overwhelmed when a 6 foot 5 body builder walked into my room, suggesting I remove the sheet and he would get to work. I held tight to the loosely covered sheet wrapped around my body and asked him what he was doing in my room and that I was waiting for Daniela. He explained he was Daniele. Shocked, and scared I did as told. Never will I forget to put the proper vowel ending on a name. I soon learned in Italian you must pronounce all the vowels, even the last vowel. Ricardo never told me it would be a man. My puritanical, Italian medieval, and catholic upbringing found it hard to allow a young buck to massage my aging body, neck to feet. But I do think with time, I might be able to adjust to it. Strangely enough my next massage with Maria, just wasn’t the same.
That night when I returned and told Ricardo, he had a great laugh. I wasn’t too happy about it but we had a drink together and when we raised our glasses, taught the Italian director of the spa who spoke English very well, a new expression, he had never heard before, “ Up Yours”. I did not teach him that maliciously, but had no idea that the meaning was not clear to him. We proceeded having a second drink and he proudly announced “ Up Yours” with each sip of wine. Months passed when one day he came over for breakfast in a rage of embarrassment and anger. I had no idea that at the international convention of spa directors and owners, the night before, following his speech in English that all understood, he would have them all join him in a toast. Showing his proficiency of the english language he used his recently acquired expression, “Up Yours”. Never would I imagine that he would use it as he did before a group of international professionals. I apologized to him with a smile and added, now we are even.