Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nonstop Femininity, people!
In Italy we have a holiday to celebrate women that is completely different than Mother's day. It is the eighth of March and everybody gives out these mimosa flowers which are small and yellow and to me they smell like almond cookies, but that might have been the almond cookies, come to think of it. Anyway, they day started off with the fancy gym's Open Weekend where everyone can come for free to take any class they want. My boss came in and pointed out to me that there were a lot of older ladies in the room and he told me to take it easy on them. That was a nice gesture and all, but I had one second before the class that I had all mapped out was about to start and it was kind of too late to turn back. It ended up that there were a lot of really miserable old ladies and some of my regulars who thought the class was too easy. Some days you can't win. I went home and reformulated the class for the afternoon session. It went great and there were twenty five or so happy campers who loved it.

This woman who takes my class named Carmen and who loves Argentinian tango and cats invited me to her house for her Women's day party. I could not refuse. I went home on the bus with Cristiano. He felt my muscles four times and we chatted about my new contract with the gym which says I can't work for anyone else and the gym tee shirt that I finally got after three weeks of begging. On the way home there is always that cheery moment where Cristiano, who always sits opposite from me, and I both spot Naked Running Man who throughout the winter runs in his bare feet and bare chest and his bare, bald head all around the walls of Lucca in his red tiny tiny shorts and then stops to stand on his head and do almost naked yoga. We giggle. Our other tradition is that when the bus passes us by going in the wrong direction before it loops back to get us, I always make up some story about how this is the day that the driver is not coming back because he decided he needed a vacation. This day I tried to convince Cristiano that the driver was definitely going to Disney land but he wasn't having any of it. On our way through the mud and wind back across the stretch of land we have to cross to get to our final destinations I realized that Cristiano is very type A and he probably doesn't talk to me ever when we get off the bus because he is concentrating on not missing his second bus that leaves seconds later. That is a relief because I was starting to think I had bad breath or something.

Mimosa flowers look like this:




















The florist lady Tina gave me some for free so I bought some to bring to Carmen's party, but it was very redundant because she had a table with a huge centerpiece full of them and then a single rose surrounded by them on top of each of the eleven napkins. I had no idea it was a dinner party so I had to address my vegetarianism through her friend Sonia who had given me a ride there and who speaks English, although not with me, and took care of me the whole night like the needy outsider I am. I asked Sonia when I should eat my special salad of rucola that Carmen made me to make up for the meat I wasn't eating. Not that I needed any more food because there were bruschetta and cheeses and almonds and olives and sformatini made with artichokes and a breadcrumb crust. I know the salad usually comes last in Europe, but I missed my moment and they took it away to bring out this mimosa inspired cake with strawberries on top like roses and I felt sorry for the whole bag of rucola she wasted on me, but I was drunk on prosecco and it was after midnight so that's that:


 Carmen has a really nice group of friends including these two guys who were allowed to come to the party because everyone loves them. They are also gym members who had taken my class once. They are instantly recognizable as being just adorable and they served coffee to all of the women and fawned over Carmen and her friend's mothers. Everyone was dressed very elegantly and the conversations was filled punched with raunchy jokes that I mostly did not understand, but whose theme were meatballs. There was also a line of conversation about how funny it is that American women design their pubic hair into shapes. Two of the women told me that they were widows and there was a lot camaraderie around the table about women taking care of each other which was nice.

 Today I had 35 people for my class and my friend Serena came. Two of the Ego ladies gave me their phone numbers in case I ever need a ride and they said that they would ask my boss if I could personal train them, which would be awesome. Shilpa who I met on the Lucca women's club website was there and she gave me a great pep talk as usual to calm my nerves before and afterwards. It went really well. They applauded after my Beyonce' and Justin Bieber choreography sets and it was all very exciting. Afterwards, Serena talked  me into taking the Tribal Dance class of Ginetta(who I have referred to as Jane Fonda rather accurately) with live drummers which was really fun as was the Sexy Chair and Broadway Dance classes she taught the day before that I checked out with my friend Elena. We danced to Hello Dolly using Fred Astaire type canes and then did burlesque to some Christina Aguillera song. I wanted to go back for Claudia's Fame Dance class this afternoon, but I just couldn't because I have three more classes to choreograph for tomorrow.

That's the Italian Jane Fonda and her drummer. 
I am hidden behind the seated lady on the far left. At least they got a good shot of Elena in the white tee.
Also it turns out, for the record, that the fancy gym had checked out all the season's fashion catalogs and knew that pink and beige would be in every store in Lucca for Spring --unfortunately, not as early as I needed them to be, but they knew. It is like a weird color indoctrinating conspiracy. Now every day I hit my head against the wall because that photo of me in the beige long underwear could have easily been that awesome tube dress or something else that is in every single shop window throughout the whole town. F keeps telling me to let it go, but somehow I know I will obsess over it until April.

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