Monday, October 14, 2013

The calm before . . 
On Sunday I had lunch at my client Ilaria's house. Her husband Roberto was my client when I taught at Happy Gym. They made more food than you could possibly ever imagine. Why does everyone think that just because we are vegetarians we are starving to death? Ilaria is adorable for having gone to so much trouble. Luckily my friend Giada was invited, too. Not that she did much help in the clean plate department. She eats like a mouse. The most stressful part was that Ilaria and Roberto bicker over who is the most out of shape and then use me as a pawn in the battle between them. Both of them are in decent shape, as it turns out, but that doesn't matter. Roberto told me publicly to do something about the back of Ilaria's thighs and she told us that he was a tortoise with the shell on his front instead of his back. It was very War of the Roses ala Danny Devito. They've been married for 28 years so I think it is safe to say that they will survive having me to lunch. But still.

I am sorry that I look so pain stricken in this photo. Roberto made me try garlic oil and the spiciest hot pepper ever and I was trying to pay attention to his every word while also managing not to self combust.

What we learned from the Sunday afternoon luncheon was that our menu for Friday's grande aperitivo is sadly lacking in all departments and we will have to start cooking days in advance. This brings me to my next bit of news which is that our friend Eleanor, Fraser's ex boss, and Tatia's "fairy" godmother, as we called her, is coming to Lucca for three days. On day two we are having a party in her honor as everyone wants to meet the director of the mega-film Dirty Dancing. It played every hour on the hour in Italy on Sky tv when Patrick Swayze died, and even if it is known as Balli Proibiti here, it is very, very loved. We booked her the most splendid room in the best local hotel and rather than take her from door to door, we have invited about 50 people, most of whom are associated with the fancy gym or Fraser's azienda in some way. The menu has gone from under ambitious to over ambitious in the time it took for Ilaria to shake her head from side to side and raise one eyebrow and so now there is a ton of work to do. We continue not to have enough chairs and we continue to pretend that we do. I mentioned Eleanor's arrival to the fancy gym, but all the important interested parties are leaving for a fitness convention in Madrid and so I am not sure if it is worth it to bring her there. It depends whether she very much wants a spa day or meno. F has taken off work for several days to act as Eleanor's tour guide while I am at work. It is total chaos, but very blog worthy.

Meanwhile my skin is in turmoil. Some of the spots have faded since the laser treatment, but the German Barbie doctor did not warn me that as the treatment closes up the oil glands, it can provoke new breakouts as well. My dream in life is to go without foundation again like I did before T's diagnosis and be able to wash my face and maybe even shower at the fancy gym. Since so much of my hair fell out when hers did, I now have these bizarre bangs and odd regrowth that doesn't allow me to put my hair up in a normal ponytail unless I spray it down with hairspray and lacquer it with gel. Pazienza, at least our hair grew back and all the rest will resolve itself eventually. My beauty rituals are only of importance because tomorrow is the fancy gym's 30th anniversary which means even more chances for terrible photographs of me to end up on the internet. There will be three toasts throughout the day lead by our founding father so to speak. The first one is after my first class and the last one is before my evening class. They are promoting the class that is scheduled in competition with mine so I have to pull out all the stops to not end up alone in the smaller classroom. I know how superficial it all is, but my livelihood has a lot to do with appearances and so I will have to make a sweaty between lesson trip to the beauty parlour mid-afternoon and schedule a bunch of rehearsal time in piu'. Some things that I put on the calendar, I can't believe will ever really happen, and this week is full of unfathomable things. At the moment it is pouring rain. I miss F who is so popular as an English teacher that he has more than 30 lessons a week and is off teaching three lessons in a row as I write to you. I have started teaching some conversation classes too. Maybe next year I will leave the fancy gym behind and have a more normal existence. It all depends on how popular my lessons become. One thing I won't do is leave on a low note. The fancy gym is loathe to fire people; they like to reduce your hours until you are so humiliated that you quit. Luckily, I'm from New York and that shit doesn't fly with me. I won't say it. I won't say it. Okay, I have to say it. Nobody, puts baby in the corner.

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