Hey Alfanutter - you're absolutely right about the cars having feelings. I know it doesn't make sense, but it's true with Alfas.
My other half is Italian, and although she drives the car around at about 2mph and never gets above 2nd gear, whenever I get in the car after she has driven it, it really goes well - engine's smoother, pulls better, etc. If the last person who drove it was me, it sounds rougher etc. It was the same with my last 155.
The only possible explanation is that the car knows she is Italian.
Either that or I'm even more of a nutter than you are, which is probably closer to the truth. What I can't figure out is why this white jacket I'm wearing is all back to front.