Dominoes, Gucci and Indoor Obstacles

Posted on May 6, 2011


Dear Gucci Shades,
I woke up early and threw on some clothes, had a quick coffee and waited for T to tell me it was time. We were planning to shop for my sunglasses today and I couldn’t wait! I like when I have a real reason to get up and I have been looking forward to finding a designer pair since she told me that I could take advantage of her Family Discount of 30% off. Obviously, my only option was to land an Italian pair but that didn’t stop me from trying on EVERYTHING for over an hour. She didn’t mind, she tried a few on herself. I knew that the moment that I put “the ones” on that I wouldn’t budge but I still wanted to be sure so I tried all the Armani, Tom Ford, Ray Ban, Chanel, Prada, Fendi, Tiffany & Co., D & G, Bvligari and Versace. I placed a maximum in my mind (a price before the discount) so I practiced some self-control. The first Gucci ones that I hid my eyes behind just felt right! Always go with your first decision and never second guess yourself! I payed the discounted price that was half of my monthly paycheck and wore them out the store with my little gold Gucci shopping bag smiling and in love. We did some more shopping and it was a nice morning walking in the sun. T found two pairs of new shoes, she showed me the place to get real Italian made shoes for half the price, so we went there and she was happily carrying her purchase smiling out the door. We proceeded to shop and she told me that she “shouldn’t be” shopping since she should be “working” but we did stop at her work for about 10 minutes so in the end she didn’t feel as guilty. This woman knows quality and appreciates sale prices. She found two beautiful tops for the price of my shades. Shopping with her was the highlight of my day! The children still had some birthday credit at a local shop called “Imaginarium” where there is all kinds of fancy cool toys. Together we choose an indoor bowling set and I talked her into Bendominos. Bendominos is the kid friendly version of dominoes. I personally love dominoes and considered it a great game to play with the kids that I could enjoy too. After all, it is a counting game and when Monopoly gets old maybe they will prefer Bendominos?

Together we loaded our purchases into the large bag and carefully got onto her light blue scooter. We were cutting close to the time to get the children early from school by 12:50 so she told me to “hold on tight” while she flew through traffic. With my new sunglasses on I didn’t care that my hair was continuously slapping me in the face; at least I looked good! I went and got Matteo while she went to find Tommaso. The boys always get excited to go on the bike so Matteo was upset that he was told to take the bus with me. “Uffa!” he yelled at us (what a bore!) as his eyes filled with raging tears. Tommaso had a doctor appointment so we were going to split at school each taking one boy. Checking the time she realized that we had enough time to all go home before the doctor appointment so she let Matteo go with her and Tommaso didn’t mind to run home with me. Yes, we ran like the wind all the way home! I was carrying his backpack and my purse and his water in hand while trying to keep up with the kid. These children will keep me in shape, that I am certain of. We beat the other two home and were out of breath. Matteo was pretty excited about the bowling set so after we had some strawberries we set up our indoor alley on the marble floor. After tossing aside the enormous carpet we began our two-hour bowling extravaganza. I showed him how to stand and place his fingers inside the three holes on the foam bowling ball. He became pretty good but once he grew tired the game turned to “calcio” soccer with the ball. Still bowling but we had to kick the ball towards the colorful foam pins. Then it turned to basket ball with the large blow-up hoop. We threw everything we could in the basket and each time he would present himself or me with the “championship cup” which was the green bowling pin. I then tried to juggle the pins like they do in the circus and failed miserably but he was still entertained and insisted that I attempt to juggle all 6. I threw them all into the air and didn’t catch one! I am not a one woman circus which is probably a good thing. The house looked like a disaster by the time that they returned but it was easy to organize everything back to order. An obstacle course or madness to the outsiders. Together once more the four of us tried to play Bendominos. Tommaso didn’t want to play with us at all and was having more fun kicking the inflatable red ball and nearly hitting the glass chandelier and Matteo insisted we play Monopoly first, and then he would try the new game with us. By the time that Tommaso finally joined our game he stole all his mother’s property, skipped her and tried to steal from the bank. He calls himself a “giocatore d’ azzordo”, which is a something like a gambler in English! Then, Matteo didn’t want to play with us anymore. We finally got them to sit and learn to play the dominoes but it was quite the challenge explaining to all three of them how to play. I skipped the directions and played the way I knew how. It didn’t really work that way. She understood it pretty quick and explaining to them was easy for her. The dominoes are shaped like moons, hence, the “bend” in the shape and name of the game. But I finally figured out why they were shaped like so after she read the direction in Italian, there were 7 other languages, including English but like I said, I don’t read directions! The game is for ages 5 and up, the dominoes can only start in two directions (instead of 4 off the spinner/first double played) so the highest points possible is only 15! The plays are short and it is “easier” so play this way with the curves of the pieces. I was confused and Matteo won, which was strange because usually Tommaso has to win. At one point when Tommaso was frustrated, before he joined the game he did come and sweep a handful of dominoes to the floor. The kids didn’t want to play anymore but T was still interested since it was her first time attempting dominoes so we played a few more rounds before one of the kids began to cry. Right before they started fighting we were listening to them interact and we noticed that they were dropping more than few English words into their conversation together! It was always great when they spoke to me in English but to hear them talking to each other!? I was so proud! That moment came and went when we witnessed one kick the other in the lip causing a full on brawl. Blood, tears and shouting resulted in a separation of the two in two different sections of the house for about twenty minutes. It happens.

I checked my e-mail and saw that Miss Ford had invited me out. I was more than ready to get out for the night since I was on my 5th straight hour of children games and cartoons. I asked if it was alright if I skipped dinner and went out instead. Sometimes I feel like she really is my mother and I get nervous to ask to “go out”! She asked me to stop at the store before I leave to get some milk. No problem. I realized that we go through 1-2 liters of milk each day! After I got dressed for the night I ran down to get the milk and said goodbye to my boys. I knew that I would be out late but Miss Ford told me that I could just stay at her place if we went out too late and there were no buses. There was a strike all day so I never know what to expect on days like this.

I walked to the bus stop and was happy to see the bus express 40. This bus only has about 8 main stops and it is much faster than taking any other route to get to the main station. I wonder why it is “parked” but there are many people already on it waiting so I step on and wait with them. I left before 6:30 and it was already almost 7! I waited some more and listened to the mumbles and grumbles from the other passengers. Each of us wondering when the hell we were going to leave! Another 40 pulls up so we get out and go to the other bus, each of us thinking the same thought: this one would depart. All of us were wrong! Soon as we took a seat the bus then parked and the other departed with about two smart passengers still on board! Cazzo! Really?! I can’t believe this. After about 5 minutes of sitting there we finally see the doors shut and we are on the road. I didn’t know that the “Strikes” involved messing with passengers? What just happened!? I could tell that I was in a big hurry for no particular reason but my main focus was to get to Miss Ford, get a drink and get some food! I think I was just hungry and thirsty…


Posted in: When in Rome