Oh My GodMother…”Pretty Good for an American!”

Posted on July 31, 2011


Dear Girasole,

Sunflower. I really like this word in Italian. Gira means to turn and sole is the sun. Fields and fields of sunflowers in Italy, especially in Tuscany. A while back when Tommaso was still in school he brought home a tiny plant and I did not know it was this until sometime in the last two weeks when it grew up into a tall mini sunflower! He watered and checked on it every time that we came home. It was exciting to see it finally open and “turn” (gira) from the sun. Gorgeous yellow and perfect green stem. Then sadly, last night I was out on the balcony and I saw that it had been decapitated! I was so sad for the young flower that had its head tore off! I am unsure who did it but I sort of have a feeling that if Matteo was angry at his brother he would do such a thing. I still have not asked what happened to the innocent flower. Girasole poveri! (Poor sunflower!) It was not an accident that is for certain.

Matteo can get feisty very quickly…the other day he asked me if I had a wedding (matrimonio) and I assured him that I was not married but he argued with me in the car that I was indeed married! We went cartoon style back and forth with the “si” and “no” until he accused me of being married to Mickey!!! It was seriously so funny we all laughed in the car. It was T and nana and us kids in the back of nana’s tiny car after a day at the park. He then began to chant that “Mickey e tuo marito!” (Mickey is your husband!) and T put him on spotlight and asked if he was jealous and he said no but then Tommaso chimed in and declared “si!” and then they went back and forth! Nana and T were clear that both of the boys were jealous of my “relationship” with this mystery man. No we are not married. He is not my husband. And I don’t even think that he is officially my boyfriend in this moment of time. I saw his yesterday but I will go into that later…

First I need to share the best pick-up line I have heard lately and share my Friday night. The family didn’t leave town for their weekend outside Napoli so they were pretty disappointed. As was I about not being able to “sleep in” a little over the weekend. I lucked out since Miss Ford asked me to come out with her to some special bar where her friend was going to be singing. She explained how far we were going and made sure that I knew that I could crash at her place. At first I was not into getting dressed and ready but then I knew that this was my only chance to be able to sleep in this weekend so I jumped on it! I got dressed and ate dinner at home and told the fam that I would be back sometime Saturday.

An hour of “traveling” later I arrived at her house and of course she was still not ready! We left her place around 11pm and after a while we finally arrived at the bar. Her friend sang beautifully while we enjoyed our spritz cocktails in this tiny bar. Everyone was very friendly and very easy to talk with. Soon as I walked in I did notice the Foos-ball table but waited for my chance to play. I have played on a teeny-tiny one with the kids (which does NOT count when you’re up against real Italian die-hard adults!) so I was a little hesitant to jump in the game. Miss Ford told me that she really liked it too and would call herself “pretty good” so I knew that I had a great partner!

I got in on someones game towards the end but did not win! Three goals shot right past me and I was failing! I did not want to give up so I asked Miss Ford to be my partner and we would start over. Then..we kicked some serious ass! No one could beat us and we “skunked” some guys and they were not happy. They didn’t score at all and we had over 5 so what we do is just start the game over. There is an Italian word for this term but I cannot remember how to say it..let alone spell it correctly! Towards the end of our night we always must have a “Godmother” drink which is half vodka and half amaretto. The bartender had never made this drink so we had to help him out…he was trying to give us way too much vodka! After we drank only half of our cocktails we could not stop saying, “OH MY GOD…MOTHER!” I had just as much fun watching the others play biliardino (Foosball) when I wasn’t playing. These Italians are CRAZY for this game. The table would get moved around within a two-foot radius from their wildly intense games.

Here comes the pick-up line: “Do you know how to spell “Alessio?” I had already been introduced to this character but forgot his name immediately. He has the crazy hair and he is pure Sicilian. He is pretty cute in a strange “he plays guitar and sings” kind of way. He also was really good at biliardino and complimented me on my skills…saying that I was “pretty good for..an American!” I thought he was going to say “for a girl” (as most guys will say to me!) but he was shocked (seriously wide-eyed in amazement) when I told him that I have indeed played foosball in the states and that it is NOT just in Italy! I died laughing with this comment. Anyway…back to his pick-up line asking me if I knew how to spell his name. My answer was, “umm are there two “L’s” or two “S’s?” and he laughed and told me how to spell it correctly. Then he went on and asked if I knew about James Bond. Of course I know about James Bond! He then shared that was his last name but with an “I” (in Italian it sounds like “eee” so Bond-eee!) Pretty smooth way of telling me his full name so I can “find” him on Facebook if I chose to do so. I talked to him for a while about my trip here in Italy and that my sister and friend are coming to visit in September. I told him that we really wanted to try to see Sicily and he told me that he was leaving this Monday for Holiday to Sicily and that if we wanted to come there he would be there! I asked where in Sicily and his answer made up my mind: Palermo! Duh that is exactly where we want to be. He told me that he would take us girls on a “tour of food” that would blow our minds. Um yes please!

Soon we all went back inside for some more live music. There were about less than twenty of us including the owner and it seemed like almost everyone could either play guitar, sing, or play piano! Quite the free “show” it was. We drunkenly sang and played together until the neighbors threw stuff out the windows at the bar telling us to shut the hell up! It was past two am by then and there are “rules.” We closed the doors and continued our drunken ballads of The Beatles, The Cure, Oasis, Elvis and some other Italian songs that were both new and some old for me. It was a great night and I am glad that I chose to come out and meet all the new people!

Miss Ford and I arrived to her house around 4am and finally went to bed. I had crazy dreams (like I always do at her house!) and woke up at 9:30 am after an intense dream about Mickey. I was so angry in my dream that I woke up and thought for a moment that it had really happened! “Who the EFF is Ashley!?” I was asking him and it was all crazy! Miss Ford was in it, my sisters, my uncle Jo and aunt Ro, pretty much my entire family. He had come to see me wherever we were in the states and then he just left. No goodbye or nothing so I was really upset and Miss Ford convinced me that she would call him from my phone and pretend to be me since she said I was clearly too upset to speak with him! I let her but made her put him on speaker so I could hear him and he told the “fake me” that he had to leave and that he needed to be with “Ashley”…hence..”Who the EFF  is Ashley!?”

It was a crazy one and when we finally woke up around noon (aww so nice to sleep in!) I told her about my wild dream and she laughed and the rest of the day it was, “who the EFF is Ashley!?” We laughed about the night before and how great we were at foosball together and the singing and dancing lots of fun. After we had some wheat pasta with pesto with her room-mate we still all felt tired so we went back upstairs and took a two-hour nap! I love it here..this is so normal to do after lunch. This is why everything is closed…everyone takes it easy from 1-4pm. I told Miss Ford that I would go with her to the supermercato to help her carry her groceries but we waited until after 5pm. I love the store so I was happy to help her since she announced that she would have to take two trips with the long list she was creating. Not that she was reaching for my help but I had nothing I had to do at my house and it sounded like fun. One of the stores was closed so her list wasn’t complete..not that we had it! She forgot it anyway! After I helped unload everything with her it was near 7pm. I decided that I wanted to head home to shower and change my clothes. I said goodbye and thanked the girls for everything and was on my way.

I put my iPod on and began my walk towards the bus…I made up my mind that I was going to stop at Mickey’s work since I knew he would be doing nothing at this hour. I have not heard from him all week and I wanted to ask him about this “Ashley” chick from my dream. My heart began to pound as his work became closer. I cannot believe that I still get so damn nervous to see his face. What the hell is the matter with me? I stood in the door way and just looked in instead of taking the steps down. He saw my legs and boots and he knew it was me! He smiled really big and seemed happy to see me. “I didn’t know that you were in Rome!” he says. I tell him, “Umm that is because you don’t listen to anything that I say to you!” I went there in a mood and felt like I was going to say something more with attitude but it all goes away when I see his eyes. I think that I have some serious issues with thinking everything is much worse and negative when I am away from him. When I see him and the things he says to me are simple and I am reminded that I shouldn’t doubt him so much. The second thing that he said to me was a real apology for NOT sending me another message and that he knew I was upset with him. He is working ALL the time. Why would I expect all these texts from him when I, myself have nothing that I want to say to him either…unless we are making plans to see each other what is there to say? How is your day? How was work? That is boring…not that I don’t care but it seems like a waste of TIM minutes! I stood around with him while he “worked” at trying to get people to come inside the restaurant to eat. He did alright but mainly just made people laugh when he would speak fragments of their language. Some Russian, a little Japanese, some Chinese and of course: Italian. He jokes around outside and makes time pass this way. I told him that I was leaving again this week but we can try to do something soon. Again, I leave on his damn only day off…this is just the way it goes. His boss came outside to chat with us and mainly say hi to me. He wanted to know if I was taking Mickey home with me in September! I guess he talks to him about me since he knew my departure month. I told his boss that he is more than welcome to come home with me or visit whenever he wants to but it is up to him. “He must get his visa in order. That is what he must do” he says. “I know this…and he should right now if he is trying to come to the States anytime soon!” His boss tells me that he knows that he “wants” to come and see me and I told him, “yeah well he tells me a lot of things too…I don’t know if he means them.” His boss then winked at me and said, “He means more than you know when it comes to you…” Then turned to go back down the stairs into the restaurant. Right then Mickey was entertaining some people walking by and I caught his eye and got one of his winks. When he winks I think that I forget what day it is. Stupid. I stood around with him a little longer then made myself say goodbye. Not that I had to be anywhere but the sun was going down and I wanted to walk a little before I took the bus. He took me by the shoulders and kissed both my cheeks and said goodbye while staring into my eyes. I had to look away first…I lose all contests like these with him. I walked away and did not turn around to see him one last time. I still felt a little sad for some reason but I think it is normal.

I am realizing just how soon that I really will be saying goodbye…


Posted in: When in Rome