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italy

Some girls out at a bchelorette party.

A recent story posted on Reddit shows how sometimes trusting your gut can be the best thing you can do, even if following it will seriously impact your friendships. It all started when a 24-year-old woman with the username Yslbabycat went to a bachelorette party with 5 other friends in Italy.

For brevity’s sake, we’ll call our main character YBC.

One night, the six girls went bar and club hopping and met some new friends. “We met some young people, and they invited us to a party. We went and danced and met more people. The night kept going on longer, and we were very far from our lodgings. These young men with 2 women in their group told us to stay with them for the night,” she wrote.

That’s when she had the first strong gut feeling.


“I wasn’t feeling this situation. It felt unsafe, but the group voted and I was in the minority,” she continued.”I didn’t trust these men. Something seemed wrong. But I was at a loss as I could not split from my group and didn’t feel safe separating from them in the middle of the night.”

Even though the girls locked their doors that night, the men could enter their rooms. But the girls, besides YBC, all wanted to stay another day because the men promised to show them around Italy.

“I didn’t want to get into a car with them because I found them creepy. There were women in their group but it didn’t matter. They seemed even more suspicious to me, being overly friendly,” She continued. “The whole morning, I found the men staring at me a lot and also making some comments about my ethnicity—I am Korean and they could tell and it seemed that they were interested in me because of my ethnicity, asking me strange questions …including if I’m a virgin or not.. so in my head I could only think of perverted reasons for these questions because I thought these guys were sketchy and sizing us all up for some reason I couldn’t figure out yet.”

YBC's friends tried to tell her that it was just cultural differences and that the men weren’t being creepy, but she decided that she wanted to leave. So, she called her boyfriend in France, a few hours’ drive away, to come get her. She met him at a local store, where YBC called the bride-to-be and informed her she was leaving.

The bride-to-be screamed at her on the phone and chastised her for spoiling the “mood of the trip” and told YBC to essentially “f*** off.”

After YBC left, the other 5 girls went on a boat with the men who all tried to get them “extremely” intoxicated. They then began to aggressively pressure the girls into having sex. At the night's end, the girls got away from the men and found another hotel.

Even though YBC’s suspicions were confirmed, the bride-to-be was still upset with her, and YBC did not attend her friend’s wedding.

In the end, Reddit commenters overwhelmingly thought that YBC did the right thing by trusting her gut.

“So all the other girls but the bachelorette confirmed that you were right and the guys were super creepy and yet the bachelorette is still pissed at you for getting yourself out of there?” YouSayWotNow wrote. “All of them are very lucky nothing really bad happened, and frankly, they should be embarrassed they didn't take you seriously at the time.”

“You may have saved the entire group by leaving early, as the men realized that you knew where they lived and could ID them,” RobinC1967 added. “Please don't ever feel bad for getting yourself out of a sketchy situation. Stay Smart!”

Most would agree that YBC did the right thing by trusting her gut and trying to lead her friends out of a potentially dangerous situation. Psychology Today supports her decision to trust her feelings. In an article entitled, “3 Reasons Why You Have to Trust Your Gut,” Susanna Newsonen says that your intuition is encoded in your brain like “a web of fact and feeling” and is helpful because it’s “shaped by your past experiences and the existing knowledge that you gained from them.”


This article originally appeared on 3.16.24

An Italian preschooler's Italian rant has people in stitches.

All people have a need to communicate, but the way we do that varies greatly from place to place. Every culture has its own communication peculiarities that make our human family delightfully diverse.

Not only do humans speak thousands of languages around the world, but we also engage in culturally specific speaking styles, speech patterns and body language, some of which are immediately identifiable.

Case in point: the Italian "finger purse."


Italian people are known for using their hands a lot when speaking. Italian hand gestures can vary a bit between northern and southern Italy, but one of the most universally recognizable is the pinched fingers or "finger purse." That's the gesture in which the tips of the fingers and the thumb are pressed together (forming a purse shape) and pointed upward, often in a repeated back-and-forth or up-and-down motion, sometimes with one hand and sometimes with both. Along with the rhythm of punctuated emphasis on certain words, especially when speaking passionately, the finger purse is often used to convey a question with a sense of annoyance, exasperation or confusion.

It's a gesticulation most of us associate with a classic Italian grandma or grandpa, but when you see it coming from a tiny little Italian person, it's utterly hilarious. A viral video, originally shared by @guiseppe_matilde on TikTok, shows a preschooler engaging in a passionate rant that is unmistakably Italian, both in the actual language she's speaking and in her hand gestures.

According to Italian speakers in the comments, the little girl is conveying a story about how someone commented negatively about her wearing a miniskirt. u/shykawaii_shark on Reddit shared:

"Rough translation for English speakers. Not a literal translation, I made it easier to comprehend

Mother: What kind of sense does that make!

Daughter: They told me 'What sense does going out with a miniskirt make?' Like, think for yourself! I can wear my miniskirt, and you mind your own business!

Mother: Exactly!

Daughter: Think about your own miniskirt, not mine!"

Got a feisty little feminist here.

The full video on TikTok is even better (but it doesn't have the Italian subtitles):

@giuseppe_matilde

Secondo voi ha ragione matilde ? #foryoupage @Giò Canaletti seguitela tutti su istragram matilde_vaccar

As adorable as this video is, it's also an example of how culture gets passed on from generation to generation. An Australian study found that young humans across different cultures imitate adults in ways that animals don't. Animals will imitate adult behavior to the extent that it's efficient and necessary to perform a task, whereas humans will mimic even silly or frivolous behaviors that have no purpose whatsoever.

“Animals focus on getting the job done,” Mark Nielsen, a psychologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, told Science. “Humans seem to almost forget about the outcome and copy everything we see.”

That mimicry of unnecessary actions may contribute to the complexity of human cultures. After all, it's not really necessary to do the finger purse to make a point, but Italians do it anyway. Little Italians pick it up from adult Italians, and so the classic Italian communication style is passed on.

And thank goodness it is, because babies gesturing in Italian is absolutely adorable.


This article originally appeared on 11.09.22

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Carlo and Sarah share their cross-cultural relationship hilarities on TikTok.

When cultures come together, sometimes it can be challenging, sometimes it can be beautiful and sometimes it can be hilarious. For one couple, highlighting the hilarity of their American-Italian love story has endeared them to millions of people around the world.

It all started when Sarah, who is American, went to southern Italy to visit family members who live there. Carlo worked as a lifeguard at the beach club his family owns where Sarah's family would go. He barely spoke English, but he asked Sarah on a date in the summer of 2019. They basically became inseparable for the rest of the summer.

Sarah returned to the U.S. and Carlo surprised her with a month-long visit in the fall. Their long-distance relationship was supposed to get a reprieve when she was to return to Italy in May 2020, but pandemic travel restrictions destroyed that plan.


They ended up meeting up in Ireland during the summer of 2020, one of the only places allowing both Americans and Italians to travel. That's where Carlo proposed.

Their wedding plans also got thwarted by COVID-19. They got married in Italy, but without Sarah's family and friends able to attend. Now they're about to have their second wedding in October here in the U.S.

@carloandsarah

@justinbaldoni @wayfarerstudios this is my #lovestory 🤍 #LoveWithNoLimits #longdistance #ldr #couple

But their cute love story is only one part of why they've grown a following of 4 million people on TikTok alone. The cross-cultural nature of their relationship regularly creates hilarious moments, from Carlo's confusion over English words and phrases to Sarah committing Italian food faux pas just to see his reactions.

Their playful energy is delightful, but people also can't get over Carlo calling Sarah "my love" over and over again.

In one of their first mega-viral videos, which has nearly 100 million views, Sarah breaks the pasta in half before she puts it into the water—a totally typical American thing to do—and Carlo nearly has a heart attack.

@carloandsarah

did someone say... DRAMA??? 🤣

Or how about the time Sarah suggested that she ask for pineapple on her pizza while in Italy and Carlo basically said he'd be forced to move out of the country if she did that?

@carloandsarah

Carlo has had it with me🤣

Italians have far more superstitious beliefs about luck than Americans do, which come out frequently in Sarah and Carlo's videos. For instance, you're not supposed to put a loaf of bread top-side down. And if you get a new car, you're supposed to put a jar of salt in the car to ward off "malocchio" (evil eye/bad luck).

@carloandsarah

YOU WANT MALOCCHIO?!🌶😡

Carlo's English has come a long way since they met—he started learning the language because he was interested in Sarah—but as with anyone learning any language, there are sometimes some funny misunderstandings.

For instance, calling a tall building a "scratchy sky."

@carloandsarah

Gelato with a nice view of scratchy sky😩😂

Or mistaken a seed for a seaman or … something else.

@carloandsarah

the SEA MAN😩🐟

There's often some confusion around which words are appropriate and which words aren't, which is illustrated no more clearly than how Carlo reacted to saying the word "peacock."

@carloandsarah

THE WAY HE YELLED IT💀

Cultures may clash sometimes, but cross-cultural relationships can also create humorous moments that highlight the human side of all of us.

Sarah and Carlo even came up with a way to "fight" without having to understand one another's languages at all.

@carloandsarah

You should try it out💀

You can follow Sarah and Carlo on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

Is it Olive Garden or Tuscany?

Carlsey Bibb and Caden Mills went viral this week for taking their engagement photos in front of an Olive Garden in Cookeville, Tennessee, pretending it was Italy. The photos turned out gorgeous and fooled some folks, while many of those who got the joke saw it as a statement against the social pressure to be perfect for Instagram.

The photo shoot was the brainchild of photographer Shea Cravens. “A little over a year ago I had the idea of doing a session at Olive Garden. I mentioned it to some friends but never got around to doing it,” Cravens wrote in an Instagram caption. “Fast forward to today, it finally happened and I am so happy with the outcome.”

Most importantly, the couple was over the moon with the tongue-in-cheek photos. "They were way better than we could’ve ever imagined," Carlsey told BuzzFeed. "We've never been to Italy so I didn't know what to expect from the pictures, but when we got them back we loved them," she added.


A video of the couple on TikTok has more than 260,000 views.

@hunterlasheaphotography

tennessee but with Italy Vibes✨ #engagementphotos #engagementphotoshoot #engagementpictures #bride #weddingtiktok

The couple was even mentioned in “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon’s monologue.

@hunterlasheaphotography

I AM SLIGHTLY FREAKING OUT. @jimmyfallon YOU MADE MY YEAR🙌🏼 MY PHOTOS GOT PUT ON TV. LIKE WHATTTTT. #thetonightshowstarringjimmyfallon #jimmyfallon #jimmyfallontonightshow #olivegarden

One of the reasons for the couple taking their photos at Olive Garden is they haven’t had a lot of time to plan their wedding. They got engaged in July and their wedding is in October. "We've had three months to do everything," Carsley told Good Morning America while standing in front of the Olive Garden in Cookeville, Tennessee, adding that they "have just about everything done, but still trying to plan a honeymoon."

“We’ve been pretty busy with everything else, so we're just waiting around, trying to see the best time for everything for both of us so that's where we're at right now,” Caden told Good Morning America.

Then Good Morning America host Michael Strahan surprised them with the ultimate gift, an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Italy.

"We want to help make memories in actual Italy, not just an Italian restaurant,” Strahan told the couple. “I love the Olive Garden, and they love you so much they're sending you on an all-expenses paid trip to Italy for your honeymoon.”

"Wow, that's great," Caden exclaimed. "Thank you guys."

Obviously, the couple’s viral photoshoot was great publicity for the folks at Olive Garden so it makes sense for them to give them the trip. The shots show that the restaurant has made a nice attempt to give people the feeling of being in Italy with its Tuscan farmhouse-inspired facade. But the couple deserves the trip as well. They took engagement photos that were out of the box and thumbed their nose at a current-day Instagram culture that pressures everyone to be perfect.

They also gave a lot of people a good laugh.

Carlsey and Caden had a bright future together as a married couple because they already know what matters most—it’s not status or keeping up with the Joneses—but loving one another in their own unique way, regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s also about breadsticks and all-you-can-eat salad.