If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

27 May 2005

I knew it would happen ...

... it was just a matter of time. Today, I fell in love. With not one, but TWO boys: Leonardo and Lorenzo (Italian names are just incredible, aren't they?!!? Those are BIG names to live up to!!) I got a big kiss (bacio) from each at the end of the night, and they understood everything I said ... even with my marginal Italian. Of course, I was ABOUT at the same level conversationally as the two year old ... and the four year old was perplexed that I didn't speak better Italian, as I seemed to be an otherwise perfectly functional grown-up. Funny. I can imagine how confusing that must be as a child! I played with them in the yard while their Mamma fixed dinner, and I knew the important things ... guarda! (careful ...) and fermata (stop...), delicato ('don't kill your brother') and I played spaldi (swords) really well (there might not be anything cuter than a super-serious four year old saying 'in guardia' (odd that we use the French -- En Garde, but the Italians do it in their own language...!) I did a puppet show with a dragon on my hand saying things like "mi piace mangiare i piedi di ragazzi" ('i like to eat the feet of little boys), and we played an old standby game trying to find something hidden: caldo o freddo (hot and cold). Of COURSE he would assume I spoke his language! The unconditional acceptance of children is a wonderful thing.

Today was a blur. It's been a full week since I landed, and I'm now brave enough to start to meeting the neighborhood people on my own. Ida and Luciano (the parents of the aforementioned ragazzi are the neighbors to the South -- he is a doctor (ALWAYS a good neighbor to have.) She is bubbly, sweet, and very patient, close to my age, home most of the time, I'm thrilled to know her. She seems genuine and not at all freakish. I think she's relieved to have another woman under the age of 60 in the neighborhood, too...! I also went for a quick cup of tea this afternoon (a tradition we simply MUST revive in the states) at my neighbors to the north -- Rita and Alessio's house. Yeesh. What a f*****d up story this is: Rita is the mother, who (I thought this stuff wasn't real...) has her 31 year old son still living at home, watching his every move like a hawk. Crazy protective. She apparently was quite a catch in her day (and you can tell she has the 'bones' of a once-stunningly gorgeous woman), but is now keeping her (also very attractive, well-spoken, perfect gentleman of a) son under her thumb like a concubine. No kidding, there's a word -- mamone -- for this in Italian. In English, we'd just say 'mamma's boy'... Thankfully, the Diplomat and Ida had both warned me about the situation, so I was somewhat prepared, but it was still really odd. Admittedly, the 'family business' (I say this in the non-Sopranos way ..., they run a B&B of sorts) probably keeps him close at hand, but this is an obviously bright, attractive guy who I can't believe isn't driven a bit crazy by this (then again, maybe he is). Literally, she wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise. Odd. Maybe it's just that I'm the 'new single American woman living next door' so she's preening and peacocking for me. Who knows. Will be interested to get to know him a bit and see if I can suss out the real story. Luciano (the Doctor) did say at dinner that Alessio is 100 percent different -- (better!) without Mamma hanging all over him. Weird. I felt really sorry for him, actually...

One thing Luciano mentioned at dinner in his helpful 'trust me I'm a doctor' way was il Vipero. Yup, that translates pretty closely -- Vipers. As in snakes, which are apparently relatively common here. Yeeesh. As if I wasn't already worried enough about the rest of the woodland creatures. The good news is that they apparently move pretty slowly, and they aren't likely to be able to kill you, but it's definitely very bad if they bite you. Just have to remember to dial 118 if I run into the fangs of one, and then somehow in (panicked) Italian (with my vision blurring from the venom) manage to tell the ambulance where my totally remote house is located. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Suddenly, the Pippistrelli don't seem so bad!


Anonymous Corey II said...

Damn...when I told you to meet some "boys" I was hoping that 25+ was a given. Well, at least is sounds great for the postcards home.

Hey, maybe the cops are an option...hmmmmmmmm.

6:06 AM  

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