Things Have To Be Destroyed Before They Can Be Rebuilt

I’m a firm believer in establishing boundaries. It’s a necessary evil since most people aren’t as altruistic as we’d all like them to be.  In order to have healthy relationships with ones partner, friends, or family it’s often required to lay down the mother-fuckin-law. I know that sometimes it can be more difficult than we’d like it to be but it has to be done especially when you’re dealing with archaic people. I love tradition, culture, customs, and the beauty of the different, the old, and it’s great when you’re only observing. It’s way less fun when you’re participating in someone’s 1855 throwback fantasy. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with humans who are stuck in the “old ways” there isn’t anything you can do except for throwing a fucking monkey fit. Some people ignore logic, avoid communication, and intense arguing becomes the only way to break down stubborn ideas. It’s like Rooster fighting.

I’m pretty good at setting boundaries because I learned pretty early how to do it and that it had to be done. My father, a born and bred Iranian man, has a last name longer than this blog post, and lives by the ideas that anything before the eighteenth century was the very best ever. Some people assume that because he’s been living in the US for 35 years most of his “Iranian” went away but those people are mistaken. Culture is not an easy thing to change, it doesn’t usually melt away. My father, even after decades in the US, doesn’t like for us wear tank tops, or allow us to talk about dating, or talk with male employees in the mall. When I called home and said, “I have an Italian boyfriend. I love him and want you to meet him,” My father hung up on me and didn’t talk with me for a few months. I was 28 years old. I might be American but I’m used to old-school people who think that they’re always right and that you should dump tea in your eyes when they’re dry. If I learned one thing from my dad is how to set boundaries and check your answering machine in private. Otherwise all of your friends will hear a crazy man screaming in broken English that , “You are a god-damn Misty!” It wasn’t easy to go against his old-school tide, however, eventually, after many fights and a lot of making up, things are decent. We’re not perfect, and in fact I think he’s certifiably insane, but we have a relationship of mutual respect. This did not magically happen when I was born, but rather it came after 29 years of trying, failing, fighting, and trying.

My husbands parents have a strong case of, “I grew up in a tiny fucking village and everything that I say, believe, or have done is right and everyone else in the giant world are vile or mentally handicap.” They’re not easy to deal with as a foreign person, as a daughter-in-law, as a non-catholic, actually, their just not easy. We’ve fought with them countless times, they’ve made every step of our relationship difficult, and things escalated to a point where a few weeks ago, I did the unthinkable: I emailed the mom. This started a long dialogue of denial and absolutely nothing was resolved. Finally, this past weekend, I agreed to go with my husband to his hometown (because he begged me to go) to make some final preparations for the wedding in Cassino. For those of you who are new to my blog, we were married in the United States in September 2012 but we’re having an Italian wedding here in May.

The first day was okay but awkward. We walked in and I said hello to everyone, then I grabbed a towel and ran to our room to set down the bags I was holding and dry off my soaking wet, dirty dog who was dripping water all over the floor. This was apparently rude and Francesco spent the rest of the night ignoring me. The mom and dad spent the evening watching a movie in a small office room, Francesco took the dog to pee, and I went to our room to read. This was also rude apparently and so he yelled at me. We went to bed with him mad at me. We woke up the next day and he seemed in a better mood. Though, I was already sad from the previous night. At first things seemed okay, nobody was at home, I made some coffee and started to get ready for the day. Then the mom came home and shit got crazy.

It all started when Francesco came into the room while I was getting dressed and asked me if we could show his mom the invitations we made. “Sure, they’re right over there, go ahead and show her babe.” He gave me a dirty look and grabbed them saying, “You should come too.” I thought they were pretty cute, and I was pretty sure she would like them. He took them into the kitchen and started showing his mom. I walked in and glanced at them, and her, to see if she approved and she seemed to like them. I was still drinking my coffee and getting ready so I walked out of the kitchen to finish doing things. Francesco came running into the room after me to tell me that I was being horribly rude. And that I had to stand next to him while he showed her the invitations. I didn’t understand why, but I said okay and walked in the kitchen. I leaned against the counter about a foot away from them drinking my coffee and listening to them discuss where to buy ribbon and envelopes. Oliver, my dog, jumped up on my leg, I smiled down at him and started to ruffle his head. Out of nowhere Francesco stepped forward, grabbed Oliver and tossed him away from me, glaring at me with this look on his face like he hated me. I’d pretty much had it at that point. I burst into tears and ran to the bathroom.  Yeah, I know, me running into a bathroom with mascara running down my face over something so little is fucking crazy, but it’s been three years of doing everything wrong, of being yelled at constantly, and of Francesco being frustrated with everything I say and do in front of his friends and family. It’s a lot to deal with, people, so stop judging me.

Apparently when I ran off crying, in a fit of anger Francesco told his mom he wanted to cancel the wedding. No, I don’t understand why either, I think he was just fed up and frustrated too. This sent her into crazy-land and she came running into the bathroom after me screaming that I have to learn to “smack Oliver in the mouth like people smack their children”. The fuck, lady? I didn’t understand what she was talking about. I told her, “I’m upset because Francesco is being mean to me, this has nothing to do with Oliver.” She screamed something about my mental problems and slammed the door closed. Then, things escalated from “shit” to “holy fucking shit”.

I went into the room and started packing my stuff because clearly I’d made the wrong decision. I needed to get out as soon as possible. I heard the front door open and close and heard Francesco’s dad. The mom ran and told him that Francesco cancelled the wedding. I still didn’t know what had happened or what was happening. Francesco came in the bedroom and told me that he was sorry for being mean to me but I have to learn how to behave differently and when he explains things I need to stand next to him and explain things at the same time. This makes absolutely no sense to anyone raised in England, Canada, the US or South Africa. “Why?” He took a huge breathe, “Because if you don’t explain things the same time as me everyone things you don’t like the wedding!” I shook my head, “But I made the invitations, also, you didn’t stand next to me when I explained wedding stuff to MY parents in September. Why would I feel compelled to simultaneously explain something the same time as you. I think you’re competent in doing it yourself.” This pissed him off even further. “That is NOT how WE do things HERE.”

It was about this point that I heard his dad screaming that, “She is worse than the Africans. Even African people have more manners than her.” referring to me. I was thinking both, “Wow, that is fucking rascist.” He was screaming so loud his voice was straining and cracking, then I heard banging. Francesco ran out of the room into the kitchen and it was like Clash Of The Titans shit. They were screaming, the mom was crying, and it sounded like they were breaking the furniture. I packed faster. This was the first argument that Francesco had ever had with his dad, ever. Take 28 years of pent up rage, and you can imagine the amount of hostility exploding in the small apartment.  Tables were flipped over, blood was all over the wall (from Francesco punching it), and I heard his dad scream something about me having “no manners”. I was thinking, “You, sir, are an asshole.” Suddenly Francesco appeared in the bedroom and tells me we’re leaving. We grab our stuff and run out the door with his dad yelling behind us to, “Never come back,” and his mom crying hysterically telling us not to leave and trying to block the door. Yes people, my life is EXACTLY like a shitty lifetime movie. Thank you for noticing.

We jumped in the car, it was raining so hard we could barely see out of the windshield. He drove fast and I tried to talk with him.

“Honey, what is going on?”

“I’m sorry but I don’t want to talk to you right now.”


Then we drove for one hour towards Florence. I felt like I was sinking because I was causing all of it, that everything was fine before we started dating and now he’d abandoned his family. Way to go, Misty, you fucking suck! His sister started calling over and over but he refused to answer. I finally answered for him. I told her I don’t know what happened, maybe everyone is mad because I didn’t say “hello” loud enough? I apologize to her for not saying hello loud enough. She tells me that Francesco cancelled the wedding and I told her that he didn’t. Finally after trying to figure things out for thirty minutes I convinced him to take the phone and talk with her because she’s very worried about him. He did. Then he told her he never wants to see his parents again, and that he is done with them entirely. I’ve never heard him talk like that and I was getting worried for him. He loves his family a lot and no matter what they’ve done he’s always stayed polite, nice, and done what they’ve wanted. And now this?

How confusing. I want Francesco to be happy. That has always been my priority. Often though his happiness is in direct conflict with mine. We’re literally opposites so most of the time we don’t want the same thing. It’s very difficult, and confusing, but I try to make him my priority. I’m not trying to make myself sound like a saint. I’m not easy with my concessions, I make it known that I’m not happy with things and sometimes I’m an asshole. “No, I do not want to raise my children Catholic, No, I do not want get married in the church, no I don’t want to spend time with your friends who keep telling me how many girls you used to fuck, or your parents who tell me that I’m a horrible person with no manners.” In the end I do what is best for him but it doesn’t mean that I fucking like it. I do not like it. The point of this long paragraph is that my life would be awesome without his parents. However, it’s not good for him so regardless of how much they suck, I had to fix it.

I had to be sneaky. Now, he always reads this blog so he is going to see this and think, “You sneaky bastard.” And I’d just like to say, “Suck it, I did it for you.” So, the first thing I did was call his sister when he went to the bathroom. I told her that he didn’t know I was calling so please don’t mention it and I told her to call his parents and start fixing things with them. While she did that I would work on calming him down and hopefully get him to turn around. I hung up and erased the call. She agreed and started making the necessary phone calls to calm down the parents. Now, Francesco is stubborn. Incredibly stubborn so I knew I couldn’t tell him to do anything because he would do exactly what he wanted anyways. So, all I could do was help him see that it wasn’t that big of a deal, that fighting with your parents is normal, that I’ve done it many times, and that it had to happen at one point in his life. I teased him and made him laugh, and reminded him that old men can be like animals so while his father loved him maybe he didn’t know how to express it in a productive way. “In his frustration he acted in anger” I said. I reminded him that if things were turned around and it were me he’d tell me the same things, and he’d want me to go back and fix things. One hour of this, of story telling of the millions of times I’d been “disowned” and us laughing about his Hulk temper, he decided to turn around. He went pee again and I called his sister to say, “We’re heading back.” And she said, “Okay, I’ve talked with them and they’ve calmed down. Things should be fine.” Then I deleted the call. You’re welcome, Francesco.

We headed back to Cassino and I’d like to add that it takes a lot of character and strength to return to your parents house after you’ve had a fight where your dad tells you to never come back again. I’m a much, much more stubborn and I wouldn’t have returned for at least six months. It really takes a lot to swallow ones pride, and go back and try to talk only a few hours later. I have a lot of respect for him for being that kind of person who can humble himself for the greater good.

When we returned the mother opened the door with swollen red eyes. The dad was on the phone in the office. We walked slowly in the dark apartment-no, I’m not making this shit up to make it sound more dramatic, seriously, all of the fucking lights were off and the house was dark as shit-and sat in the living room in a little triangle. They stared at each other for ten minutes before they both started speaking at the same time. The mom screaming, “You cancelled the wedding!” And Francesco responding, “I was just mad for a minute, I didn’t mean it.” Then the focus almost instantly shifted to me. The mom, tears in her eyes, “I don’t have any problems with you. Yes, in the beginning I did, but now I don’t.” I nodded and said, “Yes, okay, but when you are not welcoming to someone it is very difficult for them to feel comfortable in your home. I don’t feel comfortable here. That’s not my doing.” Then she said she wasn’t trying to be mean because she introduced me as Francesco’s girlfriend instead of his wife. “I didn’t see a point in telling people you were already married when we’re planning a wedding.”  I nodded. “That’s fine, but you can’t do whatever you want without an explaination. I think it’s normal for me to be offended for that, especially given your protest of our marriage in the first place.” Then she shook her head frantically and told me that I’m offended by stupid things. The dad at this point had stumbled into the living room and was watching us argue. Then he finally jumped in, “We don’t have a problem with you! You just sit there like a timid animal and you never talk! You can’t act like that in THIS FAMILY. You have obvious self-esteem issues and problems with yourself” Francesco jumped in at this point and told them that I am not Italian and that my culture is more reserved. I don’t scream when I talk, I’m not passionate, and my rules of conduct are different. They ignored this entirely. Then they did that Italian thing where all of them started yelling at the same time. The parents both yelling at me about how I have to act like a different person and learn how to be Italian in their home, and Franceso yelling over the top of them about how I can’t “be Italian” because I’m not Italian. Just like he can’t be American and it’s not possible to ask that of someone. This went on for about five minutes. Then the parents both addressed me again about how I have to change who I am and learn how to act like a different person. At this point I saw that I had no option but to say, “Okay.” And apologize for being rude and difficult. Ouch, my pride.

We went out that night with his friends and I drank too much and then barfed my guts out because I’m awesome and that’s how I deal with stress. The next day we woke up and Francesco voted NOT for Berlusconi, and then we drove home. When we left everyone seemed happy, content, better. The dad, who hasn’t really called Francesco since our marriage in the US has been calling and chatting about wine. Things do seem better, Francesco is really happy and seems to feel like everything is fixed, fine, the boundaries have been set and life is good.

I’m feeling very confused and very heavy. All of this “happiness” is my responsibility now and it depends on my ability to change who I am and become someone else. Rationally, it’s not even possible for me to change the core of who I am. And, I’ve always liked who I am, I’ve always remained true to myself, and prided myself on my strong character in the past. Asking me to change who I am is crossing many of my personal boundaries, and forcing me to question who I am. But sometimes things have to be destroyed before they can get be rebuilt.



To Be Continued On: Finding Common Ground With Italian In-Laws

30 thoughts on “Things Have To Be Destroyed Before They Can Be Rebuilt

  1. I’m sure Francesco doesn’t expect you to change for him. And you shouldn’t change for anybody–not just because it’s wrong to try to change someone to meet your needs (how egocentric is that?), but because you’re an amazing person as you are (see your gaggle of diehard friends who would take a bullet for you). It’s obvious you’re just uncomfortable in an unfamiliar (and apparently hostile) situation. It sounds like Francesco is trying to have your back. You just both have to be persistent.

    Whittle away at the mountain. You’re water, Misty. Have you ever seen the effects of erosion?! Erode away!

    P.S. You are amazing and smart and beautiful. The whole package. You must know this. I miss you like…disgusting amounts.

  2. Misty there are a lot of things in this blog that are very reminiscent of a battered housewife and I don’t approve. Imagine one of your nearest and dearest coming to you, saying that they have to destroy who they are because they are responsible for their partner’s happiness. Your father in law deserves to be repeatedly punched in the face with an iron fist. Your mother in law is a slave-bot with Stockholm and your husband is spoiled rotten. You need to get out of that fucked up country and come back home before you start telling people you were asking for it or that the door knob jumped up and hit you. You’re being emotionally abused.
    I know you know all of this. But sometimes it helps to have someone else say it. So let me be clear: YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT. I love you very much and if someone wants to come and tell me I’m being very rude in saying all of this to you, I WILL FUCKING TEAR YOUR FACE OFF AND WEAR IT TO MY DINNER PARTY.
    You were mine before you were Italy’s or even Francesco’s. I am very open to sharing you and up until now, I’ve been awesome at it. But when someone starts changing the things I love most, I am not beyond freaking the fuck out and I have always like the taste of blood. I WILL FREAK THE FUCK OUT.
    I love you. I love you. Italy sucks. I love you.

  3. Ladies, ladies, ladies. Yes, I would be worried if you guys were trapped in la-la land and dealing with a bunch of crazy people. Completely. I love you guys and you know that poison or beat someone to death for any of you. Nixon, I agree with you that it’s emotional abuse. For F, I think this is a big step in setting boundaries with them. He’s kind of one of those, “perfect sons,” who was raised to “keep peace” and keep quiet, he doesn’t know how to deal with all of this. All of the arguing and fighting is a lot for him, which is fucking weird because I’ve been fighting with the world since I shoved out of the womb. Remember when we talked about your future in-laws and how your fiancè was dealing with them in the beginning? Now, imagine your in-laws were sent from hell and increase their narcissism to an unmeasureable quantity. One of my very wise Xosa friends said it best, “Rural people see the entire world as children do, as though every person and object is an extension of themselves.” They see US as the same extension, though, instead of me being one of their arms I’ve decided to be a pirate hook. DECIDED. They don’t understand that people are different and it’s not changeable. They think I CHOOSE to be a fucking weirdo, I CHOOSE to be reserved, and I CHOOSE to complicate things. When in reality, It’s just who I am.

    The moral of this is, you guys should be worried. It’s a really fucked up situation but I have a ridiculously strong personality and there is no way I can, nor am I willing to change for anyone. I’m trying to be patient and see how it works out, and if it can work out, but I promise you, I won’t let myself feel like shit forever, and I won’t put up with things forever. In fact, I’m right at my breaking point so the world won’t see any more bending from me. I like to give chances to avoid regret, I like to give people a chance to grow and figure things out, but I’m not a doormatt (though I’m sure in this I sound like it). You guys know me, I’ll put my foot down when I decide that things are unfixable or I’m suffering too much for it. Which is now. I’m done feeling like crap now. So my next post might be about mass homocide. Stay tuned.

  4. Its very important to set boundaries with your family when you are married. this pre-marriage workshop i’m taking says it is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE to put your spouse FIRST before your parents. if your marriage has ANY CHANCE of surviving its important to ALWAYS take each others sides NO MATTER WHAT, you are now a team for life so it needs to be known BY EVERYONE, FRIENDS AND FAMILY that he or she comes first and you will protect each other to the end no matter how it may make you look to others. When you get married you commit to grow higher with someone forever, when conflicts arise its important to SELF REFLECT and see what part of your marriage needs to grow in order to deal with each other with love and compassion moving forward. What your parents think no longer matters half as much as what you think of your life partner. Setting boundaries will cause friction and tension in your family but eventually they will respect you for putting YOUR FAMILY FIRST and fall in line accordingly. This will take lots of work on your side and its your job to deal with your family NOT YOUR SPOUSES. Remember to set those boundaries with lots of love, patience and consistency, it wont be easy but it will make for a much healthier more fulfilling marriage. Always ACCEPT EACH OTHER for what you are, nothing hurts more then to be rejected for being yourself. And NEVER EVER take each other for granted. Real love takes work it wont grow by itself so get in there plough the land you will reap the rewards. Well thats advise from a couple who have been ecstatically married for 20yrs so yeah, enough said

  5. I can not imagine how awkward and shitty it would be to be stuck in a tiny apartment with angry Italians!

    I commend you for instigating the trip back to Cassino. I would have wanted to go back…only so I could chuck blunt objects at the faces of all the parties involved. It is ridiculous for them to expect you to magically transform into the Italian wife they dream of for their son. And it was sweet of you to keep the peace and momentarily placate them…although…we all know this is not a long term solution. Once they realize you haven’t become the perfect catholic submissive Italian wife…shit will hit the fan…

    It sounds like Francesco is a people pleaser. This of course is one of the reasons we all find him so charming. He wants to make everyone happy. But, when he is with his parents…their happiness is the top priority. This is a huge issue. You, my sweet Misty, are his wife and your happiness should ALWAYS be at the forefront. I know that Francesco is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He is trying to please his parents and you at the same time. His parents want you to be a different person and that is just ludicrous. It is obvious that Francesco is madly in love with you and in his own way he is trying to find a balance between these two opposing sides.

    Francesco needs to stand up to his parents and also stand up for HIMSELF. By letting them push you around and make you miserable they are controlling BOTH of you. This is a recipe for disaster that will lead to years of resentment.

    The only way to minimize the tension with the in-laws is for you and Francesco to be on the same page. That means that when his parents berate you…he puts his foot down and says “This is unacceptable!”

  6. Your blog is seriously amazing. Thanks for sharing the crap for our reading entertainment (how voyeuristic of me). But seriously, you had me sitting in that little apartment right alongside you, baffled at the picture playing itself out. Your writing made me feel like you probably felt you were watching the whole thing unfold on the big screen even though you were sitting RIGHT THERE.

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  8. I thought I was the only one dealing with old school die hard Catholic relatives. My grandmother insisted that I needed to get married like a “good girl” (even though my relationship was at its end and she well knew it) because that is what “God” would want for me. After I told her that I wasn’t getting married to that guy at that point or probably ever (with the way things were going) and that besides even if I did get married that it wouldn’t be in the Catholic church as I have been non-practicing for a while she looked at me like I was the devil incarnate. I am someone who respects peoples’ beliefs (or lack thereof), but I think for anyone stuck in the “old ways” it is difficult for them to see outside that bubble. From what I have read so far you seem to have overcome a lot of shit and the person you are now is because of all that you have survived, I (for one) hope you never change. I think my best friend says it best “they have two jobs: to get mad and get happy,” people can choose which way they deal, but that is all up to them.

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  12. You’ve met a crazy, mad people. I’m Italian too, but I can’t understand all their sick behavior. It sounds like they don’t want to accept a foreign element in their family. I know how jealous could be a mother when it’s about her boy, even though I can’t stand it, but it really a lack of respect. Fortunately we Italians do not are all like that…

    • I HAVE met a lot of crazy people in Italy. I’ve met a lot of really great people too (but talking about how much I love some of my friends on every post would be kind of creepy and weird. LOL). I tend to meet weird people anywhere I go. Once in the US I was stabbed by a spoon (I wasn’t hurt, obviously) by an angry homeless person. Seriously, I attract assholes.

  13. Reblogged this on che io sappia and commented:
    I haven’t found the courage to start writing, maybe thats an excuse for not making time? In any case, this girl read my heart this morning as I walked into the office with my head hurting because of how much I had to scream in traffic (not a common act on my part) and the fact that Italians, as nice as they are, are straight up assholes on the road…choose a F***ING lane already! Phew, anyway…as I was saying, it’s just nice to not feel alone in this expat journey. So thanks Misty!

  14. Pingback: My Italian Family And Religion: To Be Or Not To Be, And Why Is Jesus Punching My Kids? | Living In Italy.Moving To Italy. Loving In Italy. Laughing In Italy.

  15. Holy… this could be me. Seriously… So glad I found this blog, I thought I was the only one! Seriously, don’t change for anyone. My fiancé’s family have only just learned to accept this, and it has taken the best part of nine years. You don’t need to change to keep them happy – keep the peace as much as possible, compromise when possible etc yes, but NEVER change who you are. It won’t work. I wish you the best of luck, I know it’s difficult.

    • You’re not the only one! I’ve been with my partner for over 10 years, and his family is STILL trying to change me, LOL. I’ll just leave it at this…. I’m not changing for ANYONE. Tolerate me how I am, or go take a long walk off a short pier.

  16. Pingback: Finding Common Ground With Italian In-Laws | Living In Italy.Moving To Italy. Loving In Italy. Laughing In Italy.

  17. Love your blog. Love your sense of humor. I completely sympathize and empathize with you. I love my current in laws and life is awesome now. In my previous life, it was less than ideal a more of a horror movie with no set ending. I was not good enough and his ex attended all of the family functions although I was the new wife. They also snapped pictures of the cute couple…uhm him and her!🙂 Whatever effort you can give do and when you need a break do that. I have the best mother-in-law now but I work hard to make it work. Keep up your awesome blog and please check out mine.

  18. Hey Misty, you got your work cut out for you, hon. I’m American, have a little girl with my Italian companion of over 10 years (and no, we’re never getting married because I aim to intentionally piss everyone in his family off, thank you.) All the things you talked about are authentic and spot on about Italians. They’re a loud bunch, and they think those of us who are reserved suffer from low self-esteem, while we believe they suffer from arrogance and lack of manners. It’s a cultural clash, that’s all. IIt’s frustrating on both sides, but nothing a few dozen bottles of good Italian wine can’t smooth over, or at least end by your passing out.

    It sucks for me because I’m an introvert, so everyone thinks I’m dim-witted and stupid (I’m an Engineer, and I understand and speak Italian just fine). I don’t yell, and I don’t talk over people. I listen. Which, as you know, never gets you an invitation anywhere much less into a conversation here in the country of “let’s see who can talk the loudest without yelling.” Italians aren’t listeners, unless they’re Psycologists. And probably they don’t listen either, never been to one, and surely not going to pay an Italian to blah-blah-blah at me more than they already do.

    We used to live in Milan, a city I despise as much as hemorrhoids and foot fungus. But we moved to the countryside to a little village with more cows than people (and the Italian cows are even better listeners than most Italians). Here, people are friendly, they listen, they’re kind, and polite. (When we first moved here, I was constantly asking everyone, “Are you really Italian?”)

    Girl, please DO NOT CHANGE for anyone, especially not these spaghetti-heads. If you change, then they’ll talk even more smack about you, saying how you changed, how they liked the old Misty, how you have low self-esteem, blah blah blah. It’s a never ending cycle of criticism and arrogance coming from a people whose opinions come from watching endless hours of pointless bad Italian TV programming, regurgitation of incorrect “facts” learned in their failed educational system, and still believing that Berlusconi is their savior (2nd only to the Pope who has more money than, and lives better than them.)

    Stand your ground, be proud of who you are. Italians LUST after the USA, and most of them are dying to get their green card ticket to heaven. Don’t tolerate their crap. For us, it’s like we have to be a “bitc£” to get respect here, when really, it’s how they all behave every day. If you don’t give a little back of what you get from them, they’ll constantly steamroll you. What we consider “arguing” is really just a “discussion” for them. It’s not even serious once the hands start waving like an airplane runway guide.

    I love Italy, it would be such a wonderful country if it weren’t for the Italians. I don’t always get along with my partner’s family, heck, I don’t always get along with my partner. But the thing is, we signed up for this ride by hooking up with these guys, right? So suck it up, buttercup. Stay true to who you are. If they don’t learn to at least tolerate you, that’s their problem. It’s a culture of tragedy, misery, and victim mentality here. But like I said, nothing a few dozen of good Italian wine can’t remedy.

    Love, peace, and all that hippy stuff that makes life grand.

    Your fellow American ex-pat in Italy.

    • And please forgive my spelling and grammar errors. I was typing this, and also on the phone “discussing” with Tim, Wind, and Vodaphone why they should definitely NOT call me anymore because I’m not Signor Capuccino, and I don’t want to upgrade my Internet to fiber optics (where we just now got dial-up).

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