Sunday, November 24, 2013

No, you don't understand
Well, today was T's birthday party with her friends. This is always on the weekend and should not to be confused with her family birthday party which is a much simpler affair in comparison. Well, T was brave this year and invited her 100% Italian friend from school and a friend of her friend so that her friend wouldn't feel uncomfortable. Including T, there were five girls all together. T casually dumped the job of inventing a game for all of them to play onto me. I say dumped because she didn't want the responsibility of making a game in case it didn't turn out well. The odds of the game turning out well are, well, not good. So I did some Pinterest research and found out that the coolest teenager party game is a high tech scavenger or treasure hunt with a little truth or dare thrown in for good measure.

F and I gave each girl 5 euros and we took down their cell phone numbers. They were divided into the Italian girls that she just met this term and who felt more comfortable together and T with her two besties to start out. Then I made a list of about seven tasks and I sent the two groups tasks starting from the top and the bottom of the list respectively.

1. Go to the cafe' and order yourself a drink to go. Walk out with a plastic spoon.
2. Go to the fountain in the piazza behind the cafe' and scoop three spoons of water over your left shoulder and have a teammate take a picture of you with her cell phone.
3. Go to the coolest clothing store in town and try on a full head to toe outfit and have your teammate photograph you.
3.1 The two tallest members of each team must go and switch places. (This was to try to create a bit of girl group intergration. It was a bit of a fail because the girls who switched had already done the tasks of the team they were asked to join, but, hey, nobody's perfect.)
4. Take a photo of cute kid who is under three years of age.
5. Go to the shoe store and ask for the highest pair of heels they have. Walk across the store in them while your teammate films you.
6. Buy a crazy color nail polish and give an on the go manicure to at least one hand of one of your teammates.
7. Go outside the discount store and serenade the members of the opposing team with a song.
8. Finally, everybody run together to the magazine store where the kindly owner was to have a treasure box of chocolates waiting for them after they said the magic words. Unfortunately their was a change of shift sometime in there and the store owner's daughter had no idea about the magic words. But it all got straightened out.

Teenage girls have lots of hair. Weave makers everywhere get itchy fingers just thinking about this hair.
That's me explaining the game to the panic stricken girls.

Photo of T fulfilling fountain task as sent from Giorgia's cell phone.

Now that's why they call them S'mores, people.

Things you need to know:
1. While I was furiously texting on my ancient cell phone and frantically forwarding saved and sent messages from one team to another in Italian, F and I were playing a video game on the Sephora website where you have to feed macaron cookies to an expensive looking bird. This is harder than it looks because their is an electric fan with varying air currents and you have to judge the direction of the bird's beak and the magnitude of the air current in order to get the french gourmet cookie into the bird's mouth before the time goes out. I kept yelling at F to help me keep track of the texts, but he, admittedly, got a little obsessed with feeding the bird.

2. I, in my fury to not keep the girls waiting for the texts, sent an accidental text message to F's friend Alessandro Grossi saying that he should return back with his old teammates. He wrote back "cio'e' " which means, in effect, "say what?" And I had to call him and explain the whole situation to him in Italian.

3. T stormed back into the house with her friends looking rather unhappy. She glared at me and utter the words no mother wants to hear: "Well, that was really weird. Now what?"

I went right to plan B which was the awesome S'mores cake that F made which had two cheesecake layers, two chocolate chip cookie layers, two brownie layers, four marshmellow layers, and lots of chocolate icing. Later we heard giggling which I took to be a good sign, but F and I retreated into our bedroom to watch The Great British Bake Off on the internet with our piece of cake. T told me after the Italian girls left that there is sort of a formula for Italian birthday parties that is not supposed to be violated that involves a mandatory film watching, present opening segment, potato chips, and I believe chatter. We were pretty much a total fail by those standards except for the presence of superfluous potato chips.

P.S. Also the morning started out with a new English student for me named Pierluigi. He is an adorable person who loves New York and New Yorkers and he was quick to explain that he was devastated by the events of September 11th and how it changed the world. He and his wife have three children between the ages of 19 and 11. He needs to speak English because he has a job in Qatar where he has to explain to laborers how to use an Italian instruction manual for putting furniture together. He described himself as an interior designer, but the job description he gave me doesn't match with the title. I had all of these outdoor construction vocabulary sites up on the computer and then I realized that he basically is putting together furniture on a massive scale. But we got along great, and he wants to keep up with lessons even after the job is over. Yay! It was fun to teach him how to make a "th" sound so that he doesn't keep saying I fink all the time. This is good news because it means that I was right about that being an English teacher is a satisfying job for me. I could seriously teach the th sound 24/7 and be happy as a pasqua. Maybe I have just been lucky because all of my students are pretty chatty.

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