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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Monday, June 4, 2012

27 Contact


27 Contact

      I had fun trying to figure out how to write to Carlo via text message, even though we all know that it is a probability that with the language differences there was bound to be difficulties that would end in a misunderstanding. I mean texting my loved ones in my own language has gotten me into communication problems in my home culture. If I have irritated my family through texting, and I still jumped on the chance to text with Carlo, probably the thrill for me was playing with the words as much as Carlo. Besides I understood that here there was no real possibility of a romance….I mean I am leaving in 3 weeks and who knows when I will be able to swing getting over here again? And every moment my son and I are enjoying this experience together…I have no real intention of a wild romantic tryst. I always think of myself as Eliza Doolittle wailing, “I’m a gooood gooorl, I am!” ….E io sono una buona ragazza. No punto in cambio oggi in Italia.

     But I luxuriated in talking to Spencer about my careful phrasing and using my Rick Steve’s Italian phrasebook to give myself some pretty good borders of Italian to work with and also maybe make some sense with my little messages. I had written and rewritten each response on paper before putting it into the telefonino. Carlo and I sent nice messages over the next day back and forth. I asked what genre of books he liked. I enjoyed carefully writing out my responses and spent hours making sure I answered with some sense. He was charming up to the moment he disappeared.

     Of course there came a point where he stopped writing! I am not sure if I sounded like I wished his job was with the government when I was in fact telling him dream jobs I would like when I graduate. Either way, it was great for my Italian and way more interesting then a class on Italian. I couldn’t get over how much easier it was to learn out here in the real world rather then in the classroom where I had originally planned to go! What was I thinking before?! How could I have ever been so angry with my school for having a funding glitch which cancelled my school? A couple of months ago I was mad over not being able to go into debt another $13,000 for Italian classes in Siena!? It is so much more wonderful to have this experience with real people and a great dialect in the Abruzzo with a multitude of teachers and experts who are gently correcting my huge missteps with a smile on their face. And they are carefully teaching me the differences between dialect and use-anywhere Italian so I am not learning a rare dialect and missing the chance to learn Italian. I am getting the highest quality education right here with the front line experts who are using the language!

     The contact might have ended with Carlo somewhere in my text messages, but my contact with Italians grows stronger with every day of shopping in the local shops or chatting at the Bar. I love listening to conversations and being part of them with all of my friends here, oscillating between being a quiet fly on the wall and chatty Patty.

    I was most excited about one of the card players from a few posts back. His voice is just lovely to listen to. He seems to trill the rrrr’s longer then the others. There was a commercial for Taco Bell years ago, in which the announcer rounded out the rrr’s in that lilting fashion. I remember liking that voice too. I like this guy’s smile and his Italian manner. I know absolutely nothing about him. He could be married or anything.
    
      But my interest is completely innocent…I just love listening to his voice. Actually I love listening to all the men’s voices here…I do tell them that they sound like music to my California ears.

    In deference to my healing process from having a bit of a bruised psyche, I have to allow myself little luxuries. You see my Ex Fidenzata, who I was devoted to when I left California, to the point of even wearing a bracelet with his tiny picture in it my first 2 weeks in Italy…well, he is now living with a female co-worker last I heard. He is a good man who has been a bit erratic due to huge difficulties he has experienced in his life. It all happened while I was gone…and I feel somewhat distanced from its occurrence since I was not actually there. I could be kicking myself, searching in vain for something I did to bring this on, but I oddly feel that his implosion had little to do with me. It made me feel a bit like I was shunted aside and prevented from feeling the brunt of it all while here in Italy frankly having the time of my life. I mean I am in my own Indiana Jones style, adventure of a lifetime.

     So for me, I have to admit that listening to the masculine sound of Italian men and enjoying my Italian experience sure feels like a successful way to have fun in the aftermath. And it is completely clean cut good fun.

     In my cobbled together Italian, (that is the way it is with every language, you kind of cobble together words you know…into getting close to what you were trying to say!), it felt good to finally explain why I had an Ex Fidenzata who is so gone from my life. I said it out loud yesterday and in Italian and my girl friends here completely understood. Even in Italy breakups happen. But just because I picked out a man who now seems obviousy to have been a mismatch for a choice, I have to admit that contact has not been something I have shrunk back from. In fact I feel stronger about getting out there and talking to people. It feels like the best way to rebuild my self esteem. I think it is important when you have been kicked around to smile and become a part of the human race instead of shrink from it.

     And it is rather easy when you are in the most beautiful culture on earth…the Italians make everything seem so easy! Eating, relaxing and rebuilding my self esteem…sort of the way of this culture…if you can’t get your confidence back when you are amongst confident people, where are you going to find it?

    

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