13 Missed Calls, 3 Umbrellas, 2 Dinners and One Boyfriend

Posted on March 17, 2011

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Dear Pioggia,

Rain. Pioggia. Pioggia tutti il giorno! Rain all day…I only left the house to pick up the kids from school with Nana. Too much moisture in the air. Or I just took a shower too late? My hair looked like semi-electrocution but mostly wet at the same time. I could care less. For once in my entire life I did not care what my hair was doing. This is a record people! I almost (and by almost I mean literally) started to cry once in Chico, California when it began to rain and my hair was just straightened that day. If I am not prepared for the invasion of curls I am a mess in the rain. Today, I must be growing into my hair. Finally. My mother always said that I would “grow” into my hair but I think as my hair gets longer and bigger I get smaller so it’s not a win-win situation. I assume that my hair will probably be the longest that it has ever been since I don’t have a hairdresser (I cannot even pronounce the word: Parucchiere without stuttering) and don’t really intend on getting close with anyone enough to take the fobici to my head. Forbici is scissors. A word I can pronounce. We use forbici not only to cut nails but to cut food. Not the same pair, obviously, but they are used frequently in this house. In fact, I cut my lunch today, which was fresh white tuna and white beans with oil and balsamic. It makes sense and I used to laugh when my own Nana would use her scissors in the kitchen. This is probably the most important utensil in this kitchen!

Once we arrived at school I grabbed my umbrella and a mini Pooh Bear one for Matteo and a Cars one for Tommaso. I got a message earlier from T to “take home the orange bag” that was in Matteo’s “locker” at school. I was wondering what was in there and when I arrived I found it was the boy’s rain boots! I helped Matteo to change while he trusted me with his brand new Italian flag that he created in class. A straw and piece of paper is beautiful artwork for a 4-year-old! There are many “festas” celebrating the 150 years of Unity in Italy this week. Many roads closed off and building lit up and decorating in the green, red and white. I help Matteo open his tiny umbrella and we go outside to face the heavy drops and large puddles to the car. He hops in the front seat while I try to hold his things, the bag, his flag, the other boots and attempt to close two umbrellas then get in the backseat since he claimed shot-gun. Once I fumbled with all these items and got myself seated in the back I decided to wait and look at the Italian People magazine (Gente) that Nana collects. I have no idea who the “stars” here in Italy are but I recognize some stories about the celebrities from America. I pretend/attempt to read for about 15 minutes and then it is time for me to find Tommaso. I take his boots out of the bag and take the two umbrellas. I find him and the first thing he asks me is if his Nana has the DS game he wants. Mama mia! “NO, no DS ricordi!?” (No DS remember?) “No DS e no calciatori(soccer player stickers)..mi dispiace….(sorry!)” I help him to change his shoes into his boots while he uses my mass of hair as balance. Which just adds to the mess my hair is already in. He whines and says some things to me that I half understand. I take his heavy backpack from him and tell him let’s go (andiamo!) GO! VAI! Once we get to the car I realize that I lost my front seat to a 4-year-old and there was no use arguing. So for the first time I sat in the back with Tommaso. I listened to him whine to his Nana all the way to the “Mac” that he wanted to go to the newspaper stand. Nana told him over and over again that is was not happening. I think I even heard her say it was closed!! Made me think of my own Dad. He would always say places were closed if he didn’t want to take us; and we believed him! I know for a fact I will say this to my own children one day. I didn’t look forward to this attitude or the infamous smell of the “Mac” french fries the rest of the ride home. What is it about MacDonalds that kids must have? Once we get home Tommaso is still pretty upset and marches right over to the phone to dial his mother. Nana and I roll our eyes and try to get the phone from him and this turns into a battle. I stop and realize that I am hungry too and that it is almost five in the afternoon. I did not have lunch yet and I knew this would take a while. Long enough for me to prepare a light lunch and sit my happy ass at the table and watch todays episode of “Tommaso and the Never-ending I want” show. Tommaso zero and Nana one. He pouts and sits down on the couch and finally takes the french fries that he DIDN”T want nothing to do with twenty minutes prior. I love it most when they say something is schifo! and then eat it all. Sucks= Schifo. Really sucks=schifoso. For the next hour the boys eyes are glued to the cartoons, mine are glued to my laptop and Nana’s to her gossip magazines. I was catching up on e-mails sitting on the couch with my boys when Matteo had to sudden urge to hug my head. He went Vidal Sassoon on my hair and added some more volume to my growing mass of curls with excess moisture. And now extra salt from the schifoso patatine. Gross french fries. He is such an artist after all. I continue to type and he laughs at my fro. I point and show Tommaso and he chuckles and tells his Nana to look as well. I don’t think that she actually looked up from her magazine since she replied, “awww che bella.” I went to put my computer away and start cutting some fruit up for another snack before dinner. I see my phone lighting up and see that I have 13 missed calls!!! I don’t even know 13 people here in Rome, let alone their numbers. I get a bad feeling and hope that everything is okay when I see its Mickey blowing me up! I try to call him back and it is busy. Of course it is he is probably calling me at the same time. I bring my phone in the kitchen with me to finish cutting the fruit and wait for the 15th attempt. It rings. I answer. He sounds both panicked and annoyed. I still have those photos from the fender-bender and he just needed me to double-check the license plate number of the Ferrari. Okay! Va bene, wait just one minute! i find my camera and search for the right photo. I read it off to him and understand that he is arguing with someone about the letter “N” versus “M”. I tell him “N’ as is “no/never” and we are clear. The officer had written down the wrong number at the scene of the accident and according to some records Mickey was in no accident. This, obviously, upset him and he swore that his “girlfriend” had the proof in her camera and he would prove it to them. If only I answered the phone! Sucks, he probably looked liked a total liar since I did not answer my phone til the 15th try. I even changed my ringtone to loud and a new tone but I still never hear it. Case in point. So he called me his girlfriend and then told me the story and I heard him call me his girlfriend again. I am someone’s girlfriend?…I was unsure since our relationship is like once a week and I didn’t bother to ask. I suppose it is official. Mio ragazzo…my boyfriend. Mio ragazzo came to pick me up to go to dinner (after I just had dinner of course) and I told him that I just ate but I would have dessert at least. We met with some of his friends and drove through traffic (it is a mess since the celebration) and finally sat down at almost 10pm. He came to get me about 8:45. He force-fed me some buffalo mozzarella and some of his steak (perfect medium rare by the way) but I really did not want any more food since I had creme brulee on the way. The other chick that was with us did not order dinner either. She did not speak English so I had some short, short words with her in Italian. She also spoke Russian which makes sense. She looked like a typical Russian to me. The restaurant that we went to was their friends so we got a table way too close to the kitchen and made small talk with the staff during the boys meal of “meat and potatoes!” It doesn’t matter where you are in the world I think it is universal that men eat steak and potato. Here it is french fries. Siempre. ALWAYS. This was a nice place. I only ate the sugary burnt part of my dessert and the other girl was offered some whipped cream and fruit and she said no but they brought it anyway. I don’t think that “no” is understood in places with food. Hers was way prettier than mine. Just fresh whip with extra vanilla and sugar then strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries served in a mini cup made of hardened sugar. Simple and delightful. SO good, in fact that mio ragazzo wanted his own with extra raspberries. They are his favorite I learned. I better start paying more attention to things that he likes since we are now in a relationship and it isn’t only about me. That is what a relationship is, right?

By the time we are finished and payed up it is after 11:30 and time to call it a night. We say good-bye and I get dropped of at home. I decide that when I am finished blogging that I will read some more of my book that I started yesterday. I am laughing now since I almost forgot that earlier when we got home, after Tommaso calmed down, he asked me to listen to him while he read. I was happy to! “Ascolta bene..” he tells me. Listen good. While pointing to the chair next to him he motions for me to sit and listen good. This kid can read well! I follow the words with him but still have no idea what the hell he is saying! I understand a few words here and there but not enough to interpret even at the pace of his reading level. Ascolta bene…I need more practice. During dinner tonight I did a lot of smiling and nodding. So not me! I have never been so quiet in my life. I hope I figure out more to say and soon.

Jessica

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Posted in: When in Rome