My Favorite Dark La-La-Lettuce is….

Posted on April 11, 2011


Dear Punk Kid at the Park,

You are no more than 7 years old. How can you already be such a little conniving spaz? This little devil tried to get Tommaso to PAY him 2 euro to get his hands on (from what I understood) a tiny dead bird. That’s sick and twisted but no matter what he was hiding in his grubby hands asking someone for money from other kids is just wrong. Tommaso ran over to his nana and demanded money, without telling her why, and had a super torture tantrum. When she only gave him maybe 30 cents he really lost it and yelled at her. He kept reaching for her bag and being all kinds of crazy. She was not having it and controlled him easily. At first. As their fight over money kept on he got wilder and wilder. Throwing punches and kicks like he was under arrest and fighting off a cop. At one point he tried to escape prison (the park) by trying to climb the fence. When I witnessed this I had no choice but to grab his leg and pull him back down! He was more than half-way over the fence so this was easier said than done. I was nervous he would try to kick or fight me since I could feel his heart pumping blood and his breathing was shallow from crying. He got pretty hysterical, the kind of crying that you cannot even breath right and are shaking with pure anger. As they fought to the car the little punk ass kid watched through the fence and gave an evil wave to us as I calmed him and put on his belt. That little kid will be in trouble his entire life. Causing problems and probably will end up stealing cars before he can legally drive. Nana called him a “stronzo”  as we sped off only to find that we had to flip a bitch and pass the future felon one last time.

By the time that we arrived home the boys were filthy from the park and starving. Nana got some bread and mortadella so I fixed them each a panino and made them sit at the table. Both didn’t want the bread since they told me it was, “duro” which means too “hard.” Luckily, there was some white sliced bread that I noticed in the pasta drawer so I changed it for each and told them to mangiare. EAT! “Water please!” they request in unison. I get them their cups. Orange for Matteo, always. They decide that they want crackers with their sandwich so I get them each a pack. They don’t finish all their crackers and make a huge mess. I eat some yogurt with honey while telling them over and over to “eat!” in both English and Italian. Matteo tells me that he wants yogurt too. I tell him that if he finishes all his sandwich and he is still hungry then he can have one. He forgets after 2 minutes pass and he tries to tell me that he cannot finish his sandwich. I turn it into two last bites and make him finish it. Tommaso has his last mouthful and leaves the table searching for his DS. I ask him where he is going while I know the answer. He ignores me and I hear the familiar ding from the handheld from the hallway. Matteo asked earlier if he could watch cartoons after he ate so I told him to get comfortable on the couch. Their favorite cartoon Ben10 is on so they both sit like zombies watching the television. Ben10 is the only thing that Tommaso will put his DS away for. I offer them a tiny creme tort with fruit while they stare glossy-eyed. They surprisingly thank me for the treat. There are two episodes back to back so I relax on the other couch, where I can see them, and space out for a  while.

Earlier this morning I made myself some coffee and had a banana while making a salad for my lunch. I planned to take a long walk and find somewhere to exercise in the park then sit in the sun for lunch. It was really hot already and was barely noon. I brought my mat along to do some pilates and use for my picnic. I used the rest of my favorite lettuce, cut up some tomatoes and then  cut up some fresh tuna. All these cut with some sharp silver kitchen scissors. I drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. I am in love with this particular lettuce. I looked it up and the English name for it is Lamb’s Lettuce. I learned that it is called Lamb’s lettuce because the individual dark greens look the shape of the tongue of a lamb. In Italian this lettuce is “Mache.” It can also be found under the name Corn salad? Strange names but mache has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, B9, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is like a perfect vitamin salad. With the protein from fish or some cici or canellini its the perfect lunch. Plus, it is easy to carry in a container to go. Today was the first time that it was hot enough to wilt my lettuce! I kept it in the shade while I did my 40 minute workout but it was just too warm out for mache. I was sweating and feeling the sun giving me strange tan lines but I was happy to get a tan at all! Summer is creeping in with full force and I need some color on these legs stat! After my workout I moved my mat so that my upper body was in the shade and only my legs and bare feet soaked up the sun. I plan to go back tomorrow and hopefully everyday this week to get that summer color started. Nothing wrong with grabbing a towel and laying out on the balcony either. I think that as long as I get at least 2 hours of sun between 10-2 then I will feel a little better about bathing suit weather. Some more summer clothes would be nice but I am thinking that I am at the point of designing my own clothes with my winter stuff. There is not reason to not cut up some of my shirts and make them long tank tops. Why not? And those black pants I brought I never will wear why not make them tailored shorts. I am creative enough and I believe with the help of the Nana she could be my seamstress. The shirts I can handle but the idea of making mini cuffed shorts from long pants makes me nervous. I must find some pictures to show her so we can work together to redesign my summer wear.


Posted in: When in Rome