There’s a saying in Italian that “a secret has long legs.” Here they travel so fast that not only do they have long legs, but they’re probably marathon runners too.
Last Saturday night we were out with friends in the piazza doing the usual: talking about nothing in particular and people-watching over a Peroni or two. The night lingered on into 3 a.m., the time when I stop being fun and start wanting my bed, so a friend of ours walked Manu and I to our car. Before we left, though, Manu exclaimed with pure delight that he had a secret for us, and that we couldn’t tell anybody!!! Of course we agreed, and of course we guessed the secret. YES! There were Noooooos peppered with Ohmygoddddds and lots of buzzy secret-knowing adrenaline between us all.
Cut to three days later, sitting down to dinner, when Manu admits that he told someone else the secret. It just came out! I yelled at him, “But I didn’t even tell anyone! I could have told lots of people! And you went and told?!” Because we all know that the best part of knowing a secret is telling someone.
On Friday night, I met the girls for an aperitivo. I thought, “Heck, if Manu’s telling people, then I’m going to tell people. If I make them swear then it won’t be so bad…”
I lean in close, and whisper to the girls, “I have to tell you something.”
I couldn’t believe it when I saw the smiles spread across their lips. “Wait a minute…you already know?!” They made me promise not to tell anyone that they knew. Then they made me promise not to tell anyone who told them the secret. "Mari! Don't tell her that you know she told us!" We all bit our lips with fear (and shame) when the person in question came by to say hi. “Oh hi! How are you?!…..” Actors, we are not.
Sunday lunch comes and goes and I’m sitting in the kitchen with the family. Manu’s sister asks, “Well, does everyone know?” A pause. Then, everyone starts yelling. “You weren’t supposed to tell! Wait, you knew too? Hey! How did you find out? What?! No way, I didn’t tell!!”
In the end the truth came out, as it always does. Manu told his sister, (“but promise you won’t tell anyone!”) and then his other sister (“but promise you won’t tell anyone!”) who then told her boyfriend (“but promise you won’t tell anyone!”) who probably didn’t tell anyone. And at one point all three of them told their mom (“but promise you won’t tell anyone!”) who pretended she didn’t know from the other two. But who then proceeded to tell her husband (“but promise you won’t tell anyone!”)
Needless to say, good news travels fast here. And on that note, I’m never telling anyone anything again.