Today I was waiting at the traffic lights and a truly gorgeous dark-eyed hunk of a young man stopped half way across the road, bent down to look at me through the windscreen, and gave me a very friendly wave and a dazzling smile. Then off he dashed, his golden-brown biceps clenching in the autumn sunlight and his taut buttocks pumping away in his tight jeans.
Approximately 12 years ago this was a routine experience for me in Italy. It would have been followed up with such enticing enquiries as “Av you got one boyfriend?” and “You wont one ice-cream with me?” and probably romantic compliments like “You av got two very beautifuls blue eyes.”
But nowadays I am a bit saggy-looking and it was baffling. Could it be possible that this Adonis happened to have absolutely atrocious eyesight? And with my large, face-covering trendy sunglasses and artfully dyed hair, am I still able to look like a “person of interest” to someone youthful with life-threateningly severe myopia?
I thought about it till the lights changed then almost had a crash about 100 yards further down the road when I realised who he was.
He was that puny little lego-obsessed kid I used to teach English to, at one of the the local primary schools about six or seven years ago. He was saying hello to me because I used to be his favourite teacher.
I repeat, Oh God.
Three things hit me, and I do mean HIT me.
First, I have been living in Italy for a really, really long time without actually noticing.
Second, I have become undeniably, officially, irrevocably old.
Third, I must absolutely never, ever look lustfully at anyone other than my husband ever again. Like, NEVER.