Wednesday, March 09, 2011

If you need to make friends in Lucca, Italy and you are an American this is what I recommend: Go around to all your favorite stores and talk up the nicest employees and then invite them to dinner. They will accept. You will make menu 1 or menu 2 (both of which feature pane fatto a casa) which are fool-proof-even-the-italians-will-think-it-is-decent, both of which all three of us are sick to death of, and then you will be friends.

A lot of the time our new friends live in the province of Lucca and not the city of Lucca and some have never actually ever been in one of the city apartments before. Then we find out their best stories and what they like and sometimes what their dreams are and then find out if we can make any new connections between the people we like. I am spoiled rotten because F does all the cooking and I do all the inviting, but I do clean the bathrooms for lord's sake and also polish the table, and dust. T gets into a cute outfit and does the house tour and occasionally tidies her room. They ask us what the heck we are doing here and why we moved and if I got more sleep I would make up new and exciting answers, but usually I just tell the truth.

This past weekend we had the manager of a snazzy dress store and her long time boyfriend. Right after we had dinner with her, T read in People magazine online that Prince William's fiance Kate Middleton just wore a dress from her store's line and that now we hope she will get loads of great opportunities. T showed her the Shoes of Prey website and, two of our favorites, and she invited us to do some weekend exploring together, which would be too good to have a generic adjective (insert here) as sometimes Lucca is super small.

Two of my energy clients this week are the very cool interior designer guy who gifted us a beautiful piece of fabric that we loved so much that it took the place of our television set. And the other is the son of the fabulous man who runs the dry cleaner and who fixed my treadmill with a kitchen knife. 

Next week we hope to have the young ladies who work at the candy store and the underwear store come over because K likes their cheeriness and quirky charms. They are way younger than us, but maybe that means they know where the secret fun places are.

When all else fails I tell the story of how my 93-year-old grandmother wanted me to take her to see the movie Sex and the City and how when I looked over in the dark theater to see how she was enjoying herself -- her head was cocked to the side, her mouth was hanging open, and her eyes were closed. Then I explain the various prayers I recited that she had not made her final adieu at that particular moment during that particular film and how afterward she had no idea she had dozed off and has a completely different idea of the plot line than I do. If that doesn't get them, I relate to them how she said the movie made her rather blue about something to do with my grandfather and how, when I inquired further, she replied, "I had no idea there were so many positions!"

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