Friday, December 24, 2010

Buon Natale!


So in the last week we finally had Norman the exterminator saturate the apartment in poison. This involved us packing up all of our stuff as if we were moving again. While T was having a great time with her friend, we huddled in the freezing cold at the Fattoria--which usually gets heated in advance during the winter, but in our case there was no time. Under twelve wool blankets our feet still went numb.

The second night, we all bunked in with Alexandrina and her mom on the most generously offered, but to no fault of it's own, uncomfortable sofa-bed in the world -- F misunderstood  Alexandrina's directions in rapid fire Italian, so that we slept on top of the blanket instead of under it. We were just wrangling an invitation for T, but then Alexandrina's mom said that she had to work until midnight and her daughter would be all alone otherwise so we might as well all sleep in her apartment. We offered to take Alexandrina out to dinner, but there was an accident on the road and it ended up being a really late dinner. I felt bad that we had missed Alexandrina's end of the year concert that I had promised to attend because of all of this insanity. The girls had school the next day and in the morning it was pouring rain as we hustled for five of us to use the bathroom and get to two different school gates before late passes were issued out. After no sleep and no special Jim tea to keep the acne cysts away I stumbled with my share of the bags walking home from the rental car with my face all broken out, my unwashed hair, the circles under my eyes from not sleeping setting off my rumpled, third day of same slept-in outfit and the umbrella hooked between my neck and left shoulder.  The Italian ladies in their stilettos and coiffed hair-dos seemed to look through me as if I had purposely offended their beauty loving sensibilities. Mi dispiace.

When we returned to our apartment we had to scrub all of the floors with soap and water to get the poison off, pick up the cats and lock them in the bathroom, and then vacuum everything and unpack. But I sure hoped the new bite on my finger wasn't from a flea. And then there were the three in the band of my underwear and then I realized that all of our clothing was infested and that we had to both wash every article of clothing we own and spray down all of the dry cleaning. Norman said that the floor boards of T's room were harboring bugs so F had to fill every crack with wood stucco on his hands and knees. Jim says the reason bad things happen to good people is that the bad things only happen to people who can handle them and so that is what we're hanging on to. 

F then rode his bicycle to get the last fake Enormous christmas tree at the supermarket and had to hold the box with one hand while steering with the other.  We did get the tree up in time and Alexandrina helped us to decorate it. The formerly pristine cats have fleas again, but since they are now poisoned up flea killing machines there is nothing we can do about it until after christmas.  When we will have to see if we have to evacuate for a second time. T's school gave out enough homework to ruin the vacation for everyone so I have declared the days up until Christmas official national no homework days so that she gets a well deserved rest. T still has a horrible cough so we have to force her to breath in steam with eucalyptus oil and use the asthma spray three times a day. But she doesn't have the wheeze at the moment, which is good.

It is a beautiful home and eventually maybe it will be the most flea-proof on the planet with all of the work we are doing. We gave out the potpourri the girls made to all of our friends in town, but the lady who worked at Max Mara waved me away. She had been so nice when F surprised me with the necklace I wore to Monica's wedding a few months back. I went back and, thinking she didn't recognize me or thought I was trying to sell something, and I said, "Excuse me but I just wanted to give you a present we made and not sell you anything."  She laughed at me and said no and finger wagged me out of the door.  Everyone else we gave them to was thrilled and the ladies at the fruit & vegetable store/ortafrutta smiled and clapped their hands and hugged us. So it lets you know who your friends are, right?

And that's the thing, life can be buggy. It can be buggy and uncomfortable and it can cause you to break all of your promises not to curse anymore. But buggy as it may be, it can also be beautiful. Happy Holidays!

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