Sunday, March 16, 2014

She's Back!
Despite the fact that my mother-in-law Anna has very little neck mobility and cannot walk on her own, she ventured out to Florence with the help of a driver who is paid 15 euros an hour. She will be met at the Savoy hotel, chosen because it offers a restaurant on the premises and which costs 350 euros a night, by an Italian guide named Saschia, a friend of her Italian teacher back in Los Angeles who will be paid 300 euros a day for her services. I will sum it up by saying that for us that is a pretty staggering amount of money.

If Lily Tomlin's monologues ended with someone dying abruptly or flying a kite, she would remind me very much of Anna. . .

We received an email from Saschia which pretty much said that she was shocked by Anna's physical condition almost as much as she was surprised by her desire to come to Florence on her own. She let us know that it would have been an impossible mission had it not been for the fact that her strong and able husband is a nurse and had some free time this week. She then went on to assure us that Anna would not have to pay extra for her husband's services.

In other news, I finally have my dream hair color. Elisa at the Morena salon is a genius. She used this velcro brush to select strands of hair to give caramel highlights without the stripey effect. I look at least five years younger. She also let me buy the salon supplies to use at home so that if I don't muck it up, I will be able to save a lot of money in the long run and not ever have to go back to witchy black hair.

I don't know if it is the sugar withdrawal, my new revamped and reduced schedule for taking the saw palmetto pills according to my hormone cycle, or the snurffling cold that my middle school student brought me this week, but I have hardly worked out all week. I am at an all time low energy wise and it is all I can do to keep my eyes open at three in the afternoon. My walking partner and personal training client is all psyched to reassume the positions this coming Tuesday and I can't imagine how that will go.

Today I met Anna and F at the antique market where she bought herself a huge ring from Nepal. She then went with F to his conversation class. Tonight at dinner she told T that she was glad that she met and even exceeded the expectations she had for her intelligence level. It would have been a shame if she had turned out to be a disappointment. She also told us about the adventure that she had with her toilet at the Savoy hotel. A repair man offered to come and flush for her every time she needed it. She got a real kick out of it. It reminded her about one of her many caregivers in LA. The one that comes on Saturday has to do all of the errands with her her on foot because she has a blemish on her driving record from a time that she drove over the limit coming back from Vegas. I bet that lady really regrets that now. She will not be able to Thelma and Louise it up with Anna in the car for another six months and is now stuck watering plants and taking leisurely walks around the block.

After dinner, my friend Serena came to meet Anna. She brought her a friend's classical musical CD with the hope that Anna could have someone important in LA listen to it. I may have overstated Anna's star status in almost Hollywood land, but at least it gave us something to do. They talked about medicine for a bit and Anna, in full posssession of that American conviction that everyone can understand English even if they can't, launched into a detailed description of her hospital in LA and her inititative to cover its walls with real works of art instead of those "posters of puppies and kittens the nurses insist upon." At some point in her recounting of her own medical career which was impeded by her being born "thirty years too soon" she made a comment about how she "didn't know why I felt it was so important to have children" and that is when I checked out for the night.

All night long Anna took photos of us with her cell phone. I then snuck the phone to F who erased the god awful photos. Then she took more. I finally gave up. This image below is the she will be sharing with her bridge buddies back home. I look great, don't I?

I know I'm a stinker.

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