Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Best Laid Plans  
And this was the day, after months of planning, that Patrizia and I went shoe shopping. I convinced her that F needed shoes, too, because I am too car phobic to relax with her at the wheel. Patrizia is one of the best friends I have in Italy. We have absolutely nothing in common. We don't like to eat the same things, for the most part. There are four things that we have found that we can both eat, if we are forced to share a meal. I can't eat for days afterwards due to the fact that they have the caloric content of a case of gatoraid. We don't have the same taste in books, clothing, movies, entertainment, vacation destination, furnishings, or hobbies. We are both mothers of girls, so we get each other on that level. She sometimes loves F more than I do, as he can do no wrong in her eyes, and this is also adorable.

But being friends with her has taught me what I do value. She is the most fiercely loyal human on the face of the earth. She took me to the gynecologist when I had an ovarian cyst and was convinced I had moments to live. She stands in her own way and is her own biggest enemy and, if she spoke English as a first language, I might enjoy our conversations less than I do trying to decipher what she is going on about in Italian. But I love her. She talks a lot about her cat and household errands, but this is also more charming in Italian than in English. I am sure she is equally bored by hearing me talk about African refugees and my drama of the week. I met her when she was virtually my only regular student at Happy Gym, back when I was a fitness instructor. It is so unlikely that she would pay money to exercise that I have to believe our friendship was destined by a greater power. Anyway, she told me she knew the best shoe store in the world, and, for some reason, I was surprised to find out it was not really my type of place. However, the prices were amazing; so, to make her feel like she didn't leave the house and get her hair done for nothing, I bought a pair of boots that I would not have bought under any normal conditions, as they are practical and comfortable and aesthetically grandma chic. 

I hate my orthotics. When will I be able to 3D print my own shoes from home?
Patrizia & me!

In the car, Emmanuel called me to say he felt sick. He refused to tell me any of his symptoms and asked if I could get him a doctor despite the fact that he doesn't have an Italian health card/tessera sanitaria. I could take him to the emergency room where he would not be treated well and where we would have to wait for at least six hours minimum. F and I decided to pull the car around and go to the Esselunga supermarket that has the pharmacy with the nicest pharmacist, who we usually give Christmas cookies to every year. Last year, we didn't because of the focus on the refugees, but now I regret it. Anyway, she spent ages with me and gave me several different nutritional options for Emmanuel, who stopped eating normally over a week ago. Emmanuel made it clear that F driving the food, money, and medicine to him was not what he really wanted. He want me, his weirdly age inappropriate "mother." So I went. We took his temperature and made him sip ginger ale and eat biscuits. We explained how he could take the nutritional supplements and then we left before I managed to catch whatever he has, pretty much the same way I did last week.

I staggered up the stairs to go home and Jennifer called. Despite my suggestions that she do so over a week ago, today was the day that not having a working toilet made her angry enough that she wanted me to call a technician for her. Her landlord should pay for the repairs, but he is refusing. She sent me a phone number to call and I made the mistake of assuring the plumber that I would pay for the work, if she didn't have the money. Jennifer who-gets-as-crazy-as-her-Hollywood-namesake Lawrence, started yelling at me hysterically. She got mad and went on and on about how it wasn't her fault she didn't have money to pay for the repairs when I innocently inquired as to how she was going to pay the guy if he actually fixed the problem. It took ages for her to realize that I am on her side, but that it isn't the plumber's fault that her landlord is an asshole and that she doesn't have money. He will still need to be paid. It is also not my fault that I have to deduct the money from that put aside for her, if the plumber does need to get paid. We agreed she will stiff her landlord at the end, after she finds a new house, like any true New Yorker would do in a similar situation. 

There goes any chance I had at a relaxing weekend. 

Did I tell you about the part where T let us know that any summer vacation plans we had that involved quality time alone with us would be lacking any appeal for her, and so I ended up proposing to take a group of girls from her school to live with us at a beach house, the problem being that three of them have never met us? Also I had wanted to go to Girona or Lisbon, but they seem to prefer to remain in Italy. And so now we are having this get-to-know-you pizza party with a bunch of girls from the class above hers, during which I have to convince them to come away with me and not have it be creepy in any way. Also the SAT stress is palpable in our house and will not be fully over until next November. T wants to do a first round this May and June and a second round next October and November. I feel like medical marijuana could become a viable option until she finds out which university she will attend. For me, ok, not for her. I know which pharmacist exactly I am going to ask for the prescription, and the Christmas cookies are going to be phenomenal this year.

P.S. Toilet is fixed and Emmanuel feels better as of 18:25.

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