Friday, December 12, 2008

Auguri (aka Merry/Best Wishes for the Holiday)

Last night, Trofie Wife officially became a dues-paying member of the expat club while attending their Christmas gathering. She got incredibly lost trying to find the venue, and nearly turned around after spotting both the funeral home and hospital on the creepy street seemingly leading to nowhere, but luckily spotted the hotel before turning back. (One bonus to getting lost: locating the Genoa Grom gelato shop, conveniently near the Brignole train station! I resisted temptation…)

Trofie Wife met additional expats and Italian wives of expats and continued to be charmed by their welcoming demeanor. I have to say that Martello and I come across as rather boring, two Americans married to each other as opposed to the exotic combinations that they’ve all managed. Many of the husbands were in attendance (Martello was still in the office), and it’s funny to pair up these dashing, older Italian men with the statuesque and chipper American women (many from the Heartland) that they met decades ago; some just seem oddly mismatched, the men far more glamorous than the women in a few cases. Despite our lack of intrigue (well, the Judaism that some have uncovered or deduced intrigues some), people do, however, enjoy talking about New York (especially the Italians, who all seem to adore it). Trofie Wife had her debutante moment when she received, in front of the assembled crowd, a white rose for becoming a new member. The one advantage to this bizarre ritual is that I was introduced, along with another young woman, as the two new members bringing down the group’s average age. Turns out that the fellow giovane (young woman) is a Texan who came here as an au pair and fell in love.…Although she resides in Mom World and is quite occupied with her toddler, we had a great, loud conversation (it’s that great New York–Texas chemistry, right LCH?), and Trofie Wife looks forward to paling around at future events. Interestingly, Trofie Wife seems to have the most in common with the Brit (who could probably be my mother) whose kids are all grown and off in the UK, leaving her to figure out her meaning here (I’m not sure if she left behind a job, but I suspect so).

Fellow Arenzanoans offered me a lift home, which was welcome instead of having to find my way back to the train. An Italian husband drove three Americans and a saucy Aussie, and the conversation turned morose (due to my mention of getting lost near the funeral home, which it turns out is not a funeral home in the American sense; apparently they don’t have them here; bodies wait for burial either at home or in the hospital) to funeral rituals in Italy, while driving on a slippery road…

I’m glad that I joined the group, but I also don’t foresee spending oodles of time with these women outside of official events. While age is just a number, I have to admit that they, for the most part, just simply are not my peers (especially when they talk about their kids who are either my contemporaries or slightly older!). Nevertheless, a little non-electronic chatting every so often is probably good for Trofie Wife. However, she is looking much more forward to the local party (several blocks away) at Martello’s co-worker’s house this weekend where attendees will be either our age or slightly younger/older.  I will try my best not to fall asleep.

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife


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