Saturday, March 24, 2012

Maybe, Baby.
You know, I finally figured out what the Olympia Club in Lucca reminds me of. It reminds me of Soviet Russia. Every time I stop to chat with the women (once about an exercise and once because I wanted to make sure they come over tomorrow for a Metamorfosi class party) Rocco comes strolling in, as if by chance. I guess he just watches my class the whole time on the telecamera and monitors me. It pissed me off to such a degree that I have made a game out of it. I am now going to start pretend chatting and count just to see how many seconds it takes before he comes authoritatively strutting in. Rocco is probably around 30 years old but his face is usually expression-less and so it seems as though he is an older lady who has received a ton of botox/botulino. His humor is served up dry and with a twist. His lips hardly ever turn upwards, and when they do, it is a rather satisfying tooth baring snarl. Imagine Frank Sinatra mixed with Joan of Arc. That kind of a deal. Anyway, I have rather low expectations regarding the turnout to this shindig and am expecting three to five people. If I'm lucky.

There is this Italian response to an invitation which takes a little practice to interpret. The answer is maybe and it sometimes takes the form of the words "forse" or "magari," but more often it is a lack of eye contact and a brief lift of the eyebrows which is the international symbol for "If you think I'm going to a stranger's house on a Saturday afternoon, you are drinking before noon." Otherwise, it takes the form of a long list of possibilities: "If my husband would pick up my young son from catechism class, I would gladly come to your party." (Read between the lines: I have the will, but there is no way. Seriously NO way.) I, as a socially optimistic New Yorker, always used to interpret this as "Great! See you Saturday!" but now I just interpret it as "Aw. That sucks. I'm going to clean the whole house Saturday morning, and no one is even going to appreciate it."

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