Tuesday, March 01, 2011

An International Incident . . . or two
In Brooklyn, a sleepover is dinner through breakfast and may, or may not, involve sleep. In Italy, a sleepover is a marathon twenty-eight hour lunch, dinner, three cakes, breakfast, lunch, a snack, and a huge amount of commitment on everyone's part.  We always felt that if we threw pizza in the general direction of T's sleepover guests and then provided pancakes the morning after we were well within our rights to demand that all parents come to collect their charges immediately after swallowing above mentioned pancakes so that we could all get over the trauma of the sleepless night whilst bickering amongst ourselves and staggering our naps while maybe also perusing the Sunday Times. So imagine our surprise when the following happened . . .

First we had a dinner planned for K's new friend who is also her hairdresser, Federica. Federica and her boyfriend Marco have horses and K wanted to share with them the clip from the documentary Horse Boy (thanks Ian) about how horses were used by this Australian family to help their child with autism.  Federica and K have a friend in common whose child is autistic and they are both interested in helping in some way.  Luckily the film which has not been given italian subtitles as of yet has been translated by the giant editing house Rizzoli and so K ordered copies for each of them. Dinner was lovely.

During dinner K received many texts/SMS messages and T seemed liked she'd rather come home sooner than later.  So K, honored to have the inside track, started trying to figure out how we could pick up T from the party given the fact that she was deposited in the country by our friend somewhere outside the walls of our city and that we don't have a car to pick her up. Sunday morning K's brain made some quick calculations: Invitation number one to visit Federica's horses is canceled on account of the rain and the mud; Invitation number two to take a walk with Massimo is canceled on account of his sore throat and great tremendous dislike of getting wet; Invitation number three to have lunch with Monica. . . wait a minute, this could be perfect! Monica invited us knowing we don't have a car so she must want to pick us up so we can just ask her to pick up T as well. Yes, except her car is a two-seater. So she will have to send her husband in his car. Except he has a soccer game after lunch and it is his one day to himself. Monica seems strangely exasperated by the request and K can't figure out why it would be a problem considering that they live practically next door to where T is sequestered at the slumber party.  We agree to meet outside the walls at noon. Monica's husband Luca picks us up and he wants to see the map and seems not to know the area where we are gong. Strange! Then we get slightly lost and the mother of the party girl guides him around to the house.  She has pleaded with K not to pick up early, but K has written that up as one of those "ye who protesteth too much" moments as there are  for the sake of politeness people say the opposite of what they mean and so this could be one of those instances. We hope.

When we arrive with Luca, our driver, in tow at the birthday girl's house, the festeggiante/party girl burst into tears and explains that we have ruined her party.  It seems she had a treasure hunt game planned that they have waited until hour 24 to play and yet another cake to devour. Now we feel truly horrible. This is the last thing we wanted. Did I forget to mention the part a day earlier where K, too embarrassed about having to on top of everything else get the party girl's momma to give T her antibiotics from this weeks' strep throat after her meals, neglects to mention that T is also a vegetarian which turns out to be bad since lunch is the party girl's father's specialty--meat sauce on pasta.  Anyway, T is mortified. K tries to backtrack and say maybe we'll come back later but the party girl's mother says it's too late.  We run out and get back in the car where K suddenly remembers that after Monica's wedding she moved really pretty far away from where she used to live and that is why this was too big  a favor to reasonably ask someone who is preparing lunch for your entire family in the rain.  Is there a UN delegation assigned to such matters? There should be, there really should.

1 comment:

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