Paulina is dating a Swiss-Neapolitan count. Typical. She broke up with the long-term has-been and picks up some royalty, just like I picked up a strudel con mela this morning. Easy as pie. The Count is wonderful, has a full head of hair, a hot car, and is a self-employed money manager and rock star. He always opens doors, pays for dinner and makes lovely, endearing comments like "You are ravishing, darling, truly far better than Bisset." Yes, he said Bisset.

He could rank high in the contest for The Perfect Boyfriend except for his penchant to dare buca (flake) at 5 am. "Oh, the market is rough, darling. Kept me up all night, can we lunch next week?" And the other irksome issue: he is liplocked. In other words, he has yet to kiss Paulina. As I noted to her just the other morning, this would be surprising had we been talking about an American, but as he is Eurosplash, it is expected.

The Count suffers from a common disorder known on the Continent as Pigrizia. Roughly translated as laziness, pigrizia is that insufferable, languid vibe given off at evening's end (walk or drive home) that suggests a pleasant adieu but no bisoux. It leads to that confusing retrogusto of "Did he really not try to kiss me? Seriously?" Pigrizia can effect all males but is most virulent amongst the old money set. This group, whether young or old, has never really had to win over the girl so they do not. And it is not deliberate, it's historic. They've never had to try, just like they don't have to balance check books or look for a job.

Does this mean that Paulina has to jump the Count? Or conversely, does this mean that the Count is gay, as many American men would vociferate? Nope, it simply means that he'll get around to it when it happens, nothing personal. It has the same temporal urgency as filling up his car or washing his locks, something that will be eventually be done. Paulina just has to wait. Unfortunately, if used to American men, who take pride in their anthem "Bust-A-Move" (thank you, Young MC) and have been known to agressively chase kisses like dogs in heat, dating someone with pigrizia can be a full-time drag.

Note: Pigrizia (in regard to dating) does not affect the general Italian male population, nor has it spread to the British Isles. They still have to contend with Timidity.