Early Coffee Followed by Afternoon Grab Assing…

Posted on March 28, 2011


Dear Lovely Cappuccino,

I am positive that the barista at this particular shop was flirting with me. He made a perfect foam heart in the center of my white cup. I said,”aww…bella…” with a smile and then looked up to tell him “grazie.” I moved away from the counter and took a seat to enjoy my caffe and people watch for a moment. The tiny shop was filled with mostly older woman delicately eating cream or chocolate filled cornettos and drinking with their pinkies up. I wanted to try this cream filled cornetto once I saw all the skinny old ladies going to town. I ordered the last cream cornetto and was probably not as delicate with it as these ladies were. I enjoyed it and didn’t feel that guilty about it. I believed that the entire thing would be oozing with cream but it was only about a table-spoon in the center. Enough to satisfy a sweet tooth but the norm for these Italians for their “breakfast” treats. 

I promised to be out-of-the-way of the housekeeper this morning so I had some cereal when I woke up and threw on some jeans and boots. T was just leaving when I was about to walk out and asked me if I wanted to clean my room now or when I get back. I was caught off guard. Me? Sure I wipe down my furniture and dust weekly but I have not been asked to vacuum or mop since my arrival. I tell her later since I am going for coffee. We say an awkward goodbye and I lock the door behind me. Happy I didn’t shower yet I wondered how much I needed to “clean.” I doubt I was asked to mop. Sadly, it was raining and windy again and my umbrella felt flimsy and cheap. The umbrella that I had borrowed from mio ragazzo was super nice and huge. I should have held onto it longer…or until he asked for it back.  His giant umbrella would not be faulty in this type of weather. I carefully walked with the wind and was dreading the walk back since it was possible that the umbrella would become reversed and truly forfeit against the brutal gust. The wind is hurting my face and I have had enough. I was only gone for maybe 45 minutes and wondered if it was too soon to go home. I could just read in a neutral place and stay out of her way. I changed my clothes and began “cleaning” my room. I wiped the furniture and windows. Then vacuumed the  wooden floor and got the dust from each corner. I moved my nightstand away from the wall and got behind where all the dust really had collected. Ew, dust is so gross. I removed the head of the vacuum and ran it along the floorboards to complete my task. Next, I went into the bathroom and began windexing the mirror and the housekeeper came in and told me not to worry about the bathroom, in Italian, and just to take care of my room. Va bene. I put the vacuum back in the hall and wonder about the mop. She was mopping the hall by now so I got out of her way and found a place on the couch. Curled up with my book I read for almost 2 hours. It was near lunch after I finished my book and the housekeeper was long gone. I boiled some water and prepared a light sauce. I ate in front of the TV and watched some crazies bungee jump off some bridge. A while later T came home and asked if I had lunch. I told her that I just had pasta and would be ready to get the boys with her in about an hour. I let her have the room to herself while I went to get ready and decide which book to read next.

Together T and I left to walk to school to get the boys. We don’t really talk much and sort of have to walk like we are “following the leader” on the narrow sidewalk up the hill to school. Today I was the leader and every once in a while I would turn around to make sure that she was still close behind. She usually walks SO fast but this walk is always slow and leisurely for her. She typically is staring at the blackberry between her two hands or talking to her work on this short walk. Once we arrive we get Matteo together and I find a place in the sun to watch him and his little pal, Marco run a muck. They throw their toys and climb walls. Plus, they never neglect the dirt so we can count on dirty hands and shoes. Once T finds Tommaso we head out before we get asked to leave. The children are still not allowed to “play” past 4pm so someone always comes out (the Nun) to tell us to get going. Together we walk up and catch the bus. We always have to wait for a few minutes and the boys get restless on this tiny piece of pavement with nowhere to go. Someone always has to stop the kids from entering the tiny church through the double doors. I find Matteo inside and pull him by the hood of his jacket out and tell him to be quiet. The tiny place echoes and this he counts on. Tommaso sits down on the dirty steps below me and I stand at the top trying to look busy while actually blocking the entrance from the kids. I turn around to face the street and I feel a little hand full on grab my right butt cheek! Not like a pinch or slap either. Tommaso literally grabbed my ass like he was honking a horn on a bicycle. Honk! Honk! Mortified that a soon-to-be-7-year-old groped me in public, in front of God’s house no less, I scolded him and told him NOT to ever do that again. Thankfully, the bus pulls up and I don’t have to turn my back on him again since I make him stand and march him over to the bus. After we got off  I was walking with Tommaso and T was with Matteo a few feet behind. Once we got near our building Matteo came zooming by and slapped my ass on his way past me. Now, both cheeks have been harassed and I look at T half laughing and half with embarrassment. She laughs and tells me they do it to her as well and she tells them not to, no big deal. We laugh it off and I shake my head. I remember reading about being careful around Italian MEN but I read absolutely nothing about Italian BOYS being inappropriate! These boys are too much! They are luckily, (hopefully) too young to understand what they are really doing so it’s all fun and games. The only way to not encourage these boys is to not laugh when they do something I find wrong. Some days are easier than others. I know that I shouldn’t laugh a lot of the time but these kids are wildly entertaining and so cute it’s hard to be serious when I need to be. Sometimes, I feel like such a big kid myself its hard to not be the one to kick the wooden tower down. On purpose.


Posted in: When in Rome