Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting for the other foot to fall 
Today my courageous mother-in-law Anna spent the day with Giorgio who is the husband of F's friend Katy. He speaks English and works at the night desk of the Hotel Noblesse. Giorgio was happy to earn extra money by giving us a hand or two. I dare say that Anna learned more about Giorgio in four hours than she has learned about T in the last four years.

I hadn't seen Anna since before she broke her neck some time ago. The doctors miraculously put her back together in such a way that her head is at an odd angle. She isn't able to turn from side to side or to look higher than about four feet off the floor. Given the situation, one wonders why she is so hell bent on going to Florence by herself with the help of a guide who comes highly recommended by her Italian teacher. I have to assume it is on her bucket list. Since hiring her Italian teacher, Anna can read Italian a little, but she can't understand or speak it. This is good to know as is the fact that she is deathly allergic to garlic.


The little tripod with wheels of a girello that she uses to get around now is about a foot too short for her tall, albeit hunched over, frame. She has had it and dealt with it for at least two years, I believe. After a thwarted visit to the Botanical Garden with Giorgio (it is inexplicably closed on Tuesdays) she spent the afternoon with F at the mercatino that sells used furniture with the idea in mind that she could find me a new couch. This was very generous on her part, maybe even overly generous. She came back to our apartment making gutteral sounds and moaning with her shoulder and what is left of her neck in full spasm. 
It was impossible that during her visit Anna would not either have some issues with her garlic allergy, her penchant for losing important documents, or with her challenged balance and posture; and the thing that got us all this time was behind door number three. I still harbor the concern that she will end up in an Italian hospital which would be about the same story line as Piper ending up in federal prison, for those of you who also watch the television series Orange is the New Black. With tremendous difficulty we were able to get her to lie sideways on our couch and shove a support under her angled head. Once she was horiziontal, I gave her a massage to free up the nerve that was jammed behind her shoulder. It is so badly placed that the lightest touch causes her shoulder blade to make the sound of crunching bones like the wishbone of a chicken being pulled apart. After some tylenol, the massage, and a generous glass of red wine she seemed to regain a bit of lost ground. 

F has let his WASP flag fly high during this little visit. T and I can hardly recognize him as he uses a stiffly, psedo-royal vocabularly and only speaks in long, well-punctuated sentences about the weather and all things botanical. I have no interest in many things that Anna likes to discuss such as plant life, insects, architecture, and all of the particulars about the deaths of people with whom I have never spoken about plant life, insects or architecture.

Today Anna will be having lunch with Giorgio who will then be paid to drive her to Florence for the next three days. During this time, I will try to see if I can de-program F by making him watch bad reality shows and forcing him to eat unwaspy food like falafels and kettle chips. I'm not making any promises, though, as Anna has really done quite a number on him. It is like Downton Abby around here. And I'm P. Diddy.

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