You kiss your Mother with that mouth???

Posted on February 10, 2011


Dear Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice,

These are the most sweet and flavorful oranges I have ever had. The blood oranges are to die for and such a gorgeous color once juiced! The boys like not only juice, but pretty much all kinds of fruit in general. I look forward to this mid-day treat and am always excited when one of them want to help me juice the oranges. I get to put their little apron on and prop the chair right up to the counter so that they can help. Some days they want to help but not drink and the other days they don’t want anything to do with assisting but are asking over and over again for their juice!

The other day the “Gas Man” never showed up and I stayed home from 8am-4pm waiting. I received a phone call from T that her mother was coming over around 11am and wanted my help with tinting her hair. This was a complete surprise to me. One, that she trusted me enough to get close to her with hair dye but for two that she believed that we could understand one another enough to do this successfully! We understand one another better everyday but there are still words that I have no idea what they mean and we have to look up translations in my little book. She came and set up our “station” in the bathroom. She had the foils, the color bowl and brush ready to go! I was under the impression that she wanted help with the back of her hair using all one color?! What is this a full on salon service? I have been speaking with my own mother about wanting to touch up my own hair and felt nervous! Now the boys grandmother was insisting that I help her “do” her hair!? What madness. She begins to foil her hair in section without mixing her color. I don’t even know how to ask her why she is doing it this way and in this order so I shut  my mouth and watch. Then she asked me to do the same: foil without her color, just dry hair sectioned off throughout her head. Once she decided that there were enough we then mixed her color and she motioned for me to do only her roots. Va bene…OK I got this. I helped with the back and worked around her foiled pieces.  While I was standing in front of her she jabs my stomach and tells me that I am “small”! Such a Nana thing to do! I don’t feel that small but this woman tells you everything (like all Nanas will) so I believe her! When I am not feeling very skinny it is nice to have someone tell you that you look small… sounds even better in another language. After her  hair was complete we realized that she was going to be tardy to pick up Matteo at 1pm. I told her that I could go alone and that I didn’t mind. Since I have never got him by myself midday this was a very big deal. She gives me a bus ticket and tells me to hurry! It is only a little after 12pm. Walking there takes less than 15 minutes. I arrive at 12:22 and the doors don’t open until 12:45. I decide to shop around  while I wait for him. I stumble in a little shop and find a black skirt (finally!) that is only 8 euro! Score. I have been looking for about 3 weeks for this simple black skirt and now I have found it. What a deal too. Once I go and find Matteo and get him back home we have a “snack plate”. He only likes prosciutto rolled up like mini cigars so I roll them up and some ham for me, cut up an apple with cinnamon (cannella), grab some crackers and cheese and tell him to join me at the table. He invites his entire bin of animals to our snack session and pours them out on the table to eat with us. Sometimes he needs a distraction to make him eat. I am happy that I shared the cinnamon apples because he liked it. That was yesterday. Today when I fed him the apples again he told me he didn’t like it. Always the contrary with this one. Yesterday I go the finger in the cheek with a smile. Now its “non mi piace” with an attempt to dump the bowl…va bene.

I am still thinking about why the Nana asked me to help with her hair. I bought myself a foreign flat-iron and finally did my hair. When she saw it straight two days ago I think what she was asking me was not if I styled it myself but perhaps is I had colored it myself!? Another misunderstanding but either way in the end her hair looked pretty good. She told me thank you in english and told me, now in Italian, that she had something for me. It was a tiny lipstick holder with the mini mirror! I actually have been wanting a smaller mirror to carry in my smaller purse! Thanks Nana I do appreciate the thoughtful gift.

Last night I was asked to go Ice-skating. Mickey and his friend Mario (of course) came to pick me up around 9 and we drove for about 45 minutes to the place. By the time we arrive it is pretty dark. Prior, he had called a friend that works there to make sure that it is open. His friend assures him that it is up and running. There is a sign that says that it is “Chuiso per Lavori”. Meaning they are remodeling or working on it . Too bad! Again, this is the third time that I was supposed to skate and have not! Maybe I am just not meant to go for some reason. We all don’t have a plan B so we stand around staring at each other with disappointment in every exhale of our cigarettes while cursing the air. It is  mutually decided to go to a pub back in the center to play pool and have a drink. I was looking forward to skating all day! He was telling me that he would teach me but I told him that I have been once before. He tells me, “you cannot be born knowing all; you must learn.”  I have a lot to learn from this guy, this I can sense each time that we are together.  We stopped at Mickey’s house to drop his skates (yes! he had his own) and grab some more money to go out. He tells me to come in with him because his mother is sleeping. I look at Mario and ask him if he just told me to go in with him? He told me yes go, go! (si, via..via!) Once we’re inside we realize that we did wake his mother but she didn’t seem to mind. I was sitting in his room and she was talking to him in the hall and then they both came in talking about something. She sees me and I jump up to introduce myself! It’s almost midnight, what a strange way to meet a man’s mother. She is in her pajamas and slippers and surprised to see me! Not in a bad way luckily! I politely ask her how she is and she responds then looks at her son and says (in Italian) “I thought you said that she doesn’t speak any Italian?” I tell her I understand more than I speak! She smiles and continues her exchange of foreign words with him. We are saying goodnight and goodbye and he holds his mother for a split second and kisses her goodbye on each cheek. So sweet and polite! I kiss her goodbye as well the same way and tell her it was nice to meet her (Piacere). She gives me a nice embrace and kind smile. She is very beautiful and looks really young to me. I tell this to him as we leave and he tells me that she is almost 50. She looks amazing! He tells me that he was sorry for me to have met his mother in this way and he would have prefered to have lunch or something and met that way. I tell him that its fine and make sure that he is not upset about it. He is alright and seems pretty comfortable about it all. No big deal. The three of us head for the pub to play some pool and have a drink. Sitting there in the car I am thinking how nice it was to see him kiss his mother so sweetly and tell her he loved her. Right then he slams on his breaks and curses another driver and cusses at his breaks. That is when I think, “Wow. And you kiss your mother with that mouth.”  Such a Sailor mouth he has.

Playing pool and drinking cider beer reminds me of London. Perhaps it was the English lads drinking at the table next to us? This was probably one of the most worn out looking tables I have seen in a long time! I was very excited to play pool I have not played since I left. Pool reminds me of home. I am good at pool and can admit that I am very competitive in this game. I don’t win my first game but still play again. The rules of pool are a little different but we all three agree to play based on a mix of each preference. For one, I don’t play that the last hole that your ball sinks into you must call your 8-ball shot but they do. When someone scratches you have to play balls only past the side-pockets, again their rule. These short games were not very serious to me since I was literally using a hole in the wall for the chalk and the table creaked when you walked around it… A few different rules and the most warped cues ever handled we finish our cider brews and headed out. Another late evening turned into morning.

Call me Mrs. Right

Posted in: When in Rome