The Nonno at the Stop Sign

Jul 12, 2014 by

          As I was driving up to the under-construction four-way stop outside of my gym yesterday morning, the nonno directing traffic asked me why I still have an Italian flag on my car despite Italy’s premature elimination from the World Cup.

          “Because I wave my flag proud, win or lose,” I smiled. (I would have had two Italian flags on my car had some racist douche not taken it upon him/herself to snap one of them off its base and throw it into the street while I was at the Jay Z and Beyoncé concert on Wednesday night. I was more disappointed in humanity than I was pissed.)

          “Me too,” he proudly replied. “I have an Italian and a Canadian flag at home, Italian flags on my car, and Italian covers for these,” he said as he pointed to my side-view mirror.

          I love World Cup for bringing people together, I thought to myself as I listened to the stranger I had paused my drive to speak to.

          “Where is your family from?” he wondered.

          “Calabria,” I said.

          He nodded with a smile. “Who’s going to win on Sunday?” he asked in his Italian accent, referencing the World Cup final.

          “I don’t want either team to win,” I answered. “I’m still bitter at Argentina for hand of God, but I think I want Germany to lose more because I don’t want them to catch up to Italy in World Cups.”

          He looked at me like a proud nonno looks at his own granddaughter, and affectionately squeezed my hand through the car window. “You have the same mentality as me,” he beamed.

          My morning was already bright, but this man made it brighter. As if I haven’t emphasized enough: talk to everyone and create moments with strangers. Yesterday, I made a connection with someone I had never met before while driving alone in my car! Could there be more proof that you can meet people anywhere?

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