Pasqua (Easter) AND La Migra Part II: She Probably Kills Kittens

So this is a really long post and I am sorry but I’ve been swamped so I’m going to cram everything into one giant update. What you should do is just read it in parts. It’s not that long if you just read a paragraph or so in between something more productive like working or being a mom, or dad.

Between last friday and today has probably been one of the most frustrating weeks of my life. Really, part of me died inside when I realized I couldn’t strangle anyone. It started with our four-hour drive south to my in-laws home in the tiny village of Cassino. The lights on our car burnt out and Francesco had to pull over to fix them. Luckily, you can buy car bulbs at the gas station. Italy, good for you.

We arrive to the in-laws house and were immediately under fire before we even set our luggage down. The mom and dad demanded to see the seating chart I had worked twenty-plus hours to put together in the weeks prior. They hated it. The font was too small. The font was too gray. I used heirloom names for apples instead of the common grocery store types. The mother made a strange sound like air escaping a balloon when she saw the first table name was an apple in French, Calville Blanc d’Hiver.

She stepped back, pointed with one hand and rested the other on her forehead before she screamed at the top of her lungs.


“It’s not English, it’s French.” I smiled.


“I speak English, it is not English. It’s French.”

“We can’t have things IN ENGLISH.”

“But it’s not French, It’s English.”


“Golden Delicious is in English.” I turned to Francesco for help and he nodded in agreement that Golden Delicious is indeed an English name.

“No. It’s Italian. We have to have ITALIAN NAMES, like Golden Delicious or Fuji”

“Golden delicious is in English. I speak English. It is in English. Fuji is also not Italian”

“Golden Delcious IS AN ITALIAN WORD.”

No shit people this conversation went on for forty-five fucking minutes until the mom threw down her hands and demanded I throw away all thirty million hours of my work and redo all of it. Right then, in the middle of the night while they crowded over my shoulder and gestured wildly at the screen. They made me set the table text font to THIRTY TWO. My husband and I suggested we just put the fucking thing in braille also, just in case. They didn’t laugh.

One hour later…

The mother and father were still convinced that I didn’t understand the concept of increasing font size and adjusting to have only four names on a table instead of eight. So, the mom ran to get the table cards from Francesco’s sister’s wedding where she thrust the table arrangement in my face while pointing wildly to the name of Francesco’s ex girlfriend. We’re not going to talk about this but trust me when I say that something fucking traumatic as fuck happened in regards to that girl. No, he didn’t cheat on me with her, but let’s just say the thing was really shitty and we almost broke up over it. Understandably, I do not like seeing her name, seeing her face, or being reminded in any fashion of that incident or that she’s alive. Francesco looked horrified and screamed for her to put the card away and to stop. I could feel the tears building up so I tried to smile and choke everything back for another fifteen minutes until bedtime. We walked into the room and Francesco started apologizing immediately, “They are crazy, you don’t deserve this, you don’t deserve this, let’s just move away, I’m so sorry.” And then I cried hysterically like a huge wimp for an hour with my face in Francesco’s chest. I appreciate the fact that he at least understands that I put up with a lot, which is pretty nice since a lot of people don’t realize what they put their partners through. So, that’s nice at least.

The next day we awoke at seven a.m. and spent twelve hours doing wedding stuff with his parents. By that evening I was so exhausted that I could barely talk. My eyes were black and I was pale. Stress can cause really serious physical ailments and sometimes I think that their nagging is literally killing me. I don’t have a personality for being told what to do. Don’t you fucking know who I am!? Whenever we spend a lot of time with his parents I start hating Francesco. I know that it’s not his fault but I start wanting to hurt him. So I did what anyone in my position would do, I gave my sexy lingerie to his mother. I mean, I’d never worn them and they are technically made for wearing under gowns but Francesco likes them for other things. When his mom complained that she didn’t have the right undergarments for her gown I told her to buy a certain type but she contested saying that I was crazy because it didn’t exist. Tired of being told I’m dumb I brought mine out of my suitcase, the one I had brought to make sexy with her son (but again had never worn it yet) to show her that it did indeed exist. Then she asked if she could try it on and I told her sure because I am nice. But mostly because I had to. What else could I say? While this was happening I ran into the living room to tell Francesco that his mom was trying on my thingy. “The thingy you brought for se…oh dear god, NO!” And he looked sick. His mom came out in her gown and Francesco was thoroughly traumatized imagining his mom in my “sexy clothes.” So, that’s what you get for making me spend all day with  your mom. I give her my lingerie. Oh, and yes, I did give it to her. “Oh no, really, I don’t need it, you keep it.”


My (new) sexy thing after it had been gifted to Franny’s mom. Sharing is living. And sometimes vengeance.

The following day was Easter and we spent the day at a restaurant eating for the usual five hours.


Traditional Easter Bread With Eggs Cooked Inside

I complain about this a lot but it is miserable for me. I’m not a foodie. I like food but I eat so that I don’t die. I’m not the kind of person who lives to eat. Unless it’s something expensive and delicate aka finger food. I’m one of those food snob assholes who likes to eat little jars of expensive truffle puree on tiny cracker thingies and I’ll just have that for dinner because IT IS AMAZING and I’ll eat enough of it to gain a solid five pounds in one sitting. If it’s not something ridiculous and over-priced, I’ll just let myself starve until my husband comes home and feeds me, like a chia pet. Point being: I am mentally five and can only eat finger foods because they entertain me, I am not grown up enough to sit at a table for that long shoveling food into my mouth. It could probably be fun with friends but at a table with twenty, sixty-year-old Italians, let’s just say I’d rather get a pap-smear.


Also they don’t let us do anything. My husband and I couldn’t even thumb wrestle without everyone yelling at us for being inappropriate which is irritating because Francesco’s dad was sitting on the floor at one point and the other men were throwing food. I think it’s because it’s like the 1950’s and you’re not supposed to hang out with your wife in public. All the dudes sit and talk together and all the women sit and talk together and me and Francesco sit together and talk the entire time which is a mind-fuck to these dinosaur people. Whatever dudes, you’re jealous.

But it’s not ALL bad. Sometimes people sing.

Then the next day on Monday we had to go to Naples for immigration and because Francesco is insane he invited both of his parents to come with us. No sleep and another twelve hour day with the parents. Suicide.

Immigration step 1:

Francesco had to be checked for STD’s because he’s Italian (just kidding, everyone has to do it, I think), have a lung x-ray, and have vaccinations. He had vaccinations when he was a kid but he decided to believe that he didn’t. So when I said, “oh but babe, just ask for your records.” He replied, “Uhm, I didn’t a have dem my mom she justa let me getta deh diseases to builda the anti-bodies.” I shook my head and said, “No dude, this isn’t Ethiopia, you had vaccinations.” Instead he ignored me and because he refused to listen he had to have three shots. And after, his mom smacked him and told him that he did in fact have them when he was a baby like every person from a “developed” country.

Step 2:

We had to go to the Embassy. They make you wait outside in the rain for about thirty minutes before they let you in. This paints a sad picture and makes your immigration stories to your grandkids more impactful. I think that’s the point. After they let you inside you go in a big room and sit for three hours while they call each person one at a time to give fingerprints. Done. Afterwards, Francesco’s mom bought a gorgeous black Valentino gown for the wedding and then we ate pizza. Pizza from Naples is the best in the world. Really.

Immigration Day 2

The second day we had to drive one hour from Cassino to Naples again to spend another twelve hour day in Naples. We arrived at seven a.m. and stood outside in the rain for one hour. A building nearby was falling down and Francesco was very interested in it. He kept saying, “Babe, seriously, it’s just falling down. LOOK AT IT!” And I was all, “Yeah, duh, cause we’re in the hood.Yawn.” The Italians were all screaming early in the morning and having huge fights in the street over traffic. So at least that gave us something to do while we waited.

Once we were inside we sat in the same stark, white, large, disinfectant-smelling room for three hours while one woman called every person up to submit their packets. Then we had to take a seat and wait another hour to be interviewed by an immigration officer.

The Immigration Officer: This Woman Probably Bites The Heads Off Of Kittens When She’s Bored

Our names were called and we approached the window cautiously where the young woman with a very strong sort of Wisconsin accent stood. She was mean. We had watched her yell at a number of old ladies already and were prepared for the worst. She screamed at the seventy year old woman before us for putting up both hands when she asked her to “raise her right hand.” She rolled her eyes and screamed, “YOU ONLY HAVE ONE RIGHT HAND!” As though the old Italian woman was disobeying on purpose. She looked at me first with her mean little eyes, “Are you the petitioner?”

I smiled, “Yes I am.”

She took a deep breathe, “What do you do in the United States?”

“I work as a writer. I’m an independent contractor I guess.”

“Where do you live?”

“Right now I am staying in Italy.”

She shoved our papers under the window towards us and said, “We’re declining your application because you are not domiciled in the United States. Go home without him and then eventually he can go over if he passes.

“I’m sorry. How long would I have to leave for?”

“Let’s just say a week would be a vacation.”

“Okay. But I read everything and I think I am technically domiciled, I mean, I still have all my American bank accounts, monthly bills, my mailing address and residency, I have a company the…”

She put her hand up to shut me up.

“Where are you standing RIGHT NOW?”

“In Italy?”

“EXACTLY! So no. You have to go home first then he can come back without you.”

And we left. I was so sad I didn’t even know what to do. 1000 euros, two twelve hour days, weeks of preparation, vaccinations, and in one minute she decided our fate. In one minute she attempted to throw out my case and separate me from my husband as though our marriage wasn’t as real as other marriages, more American marriages. It didn’t make sense. So I went to sit on a rock.


Immigration is rude.

The next day I called an immigration lawyer who told me that the immigration officer didn’t understand the word, “domiciled,” nor did she give us a fair interview. Asking two questions then refusing to answer questions is not an interview and it’s not the treatment that I deserve as a taxpaying American citizen. She works FOR MY FAMILY, and all of us who pay taxes in the United States. It was completely unacceptable and I never expected to be treated that way in my own embassy, the fuck? Also, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DEVIL WOMAN!? Anyways, the lawyer recommended that I call my congressman and ask him to call the embassy or write a letter on my behalf. My husband was fascinated by this on a level I can’t even describe. The idea of being able to contact a senator or congressman was completely incomprehensible to him. He was telling our friends at dinner about it as though he’d learned that I’m allowed to go to Dolly Parton’s house for afternoon tea. Oh, and after he read this blog he said, “Oh! Is Dolly Parton a congress person now?” So cute, right?

So, I wrote my congressman and I asked my parents to do the same. I’m hoping that our congress people can help us  fix a fair interview. Nothing special, just fair, for 1000 euros I think fair is the least we could ask for.

Cross your fingers for us!

6 thoughts on “Pasqua (Easter) AND La Migra Part II: She Probably Kills Kittens

  1. You are a fantastic and very entertaining writer! I’ve been living in Italy (Torino, now Genova) since 2007 and have laughed and cried through many of the same experiences. My husband and I also went to Thailand for our honeymoon… and found the Beach so over-crowded with tourists that I prefered to keep my nose stuck in the movie-adapted book. Anyways, we just sent in our I-130 because we’re planning on moving back to the States this fall and I am just starting to try to comprehend domicile and what the hey kind of proof I need to produce to prove it! I would love to know how you’re story ends and when/where you’re hoping to go in the States. Good luck!

    • Thank you Michelle. I’m sure you can relate since you’ve been here even longer than I have. Regarding the immigration stuff, my recommendation would be to OVER PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING. When you go to the first meeting, bring tons of relationship, wedding, travel photos with you. Bring letters from friends showing that you guys are a “real” couple. When it comes to the interview in Naples, first thing let him go alone. Second thing, “domicile” is tricky. They want proof that you are going back to the US at the same time or before your husband. Open a bank account, sign a lease, get a job, do whatever you can to show a strong connection to the US but more than anything to show that you are returning WITH him or before him. Apparently they have a fear of “citiizenship swapping.” Basically, they don’t want to give him a greencard so he can go to America while you stay and enjoy Italy. That was our mistake. I even work for an American company and it wasn’t enough proof for them because I can work online. So she was like, “I’m evil, I hate babies, and how do I know you’re going back if you can simply stay and work here from the US?” The second thing we messed up on is his financial sponsorship paperwork. It needs to be the ORIGINAL signiture (it doesn’t say that anywhere online), and if your family is helping to support him it has to be the I-864A paperwork. It’s very, very confusing because the I-864 and the I-864A are really similar and basically say the same thing. We have our second run for it on July 3rd, and this time we have a support letter from our congressman which I hope will help. That’s not a bad idea for you either. Even a tiny mistake and they won’t let you through. Of the fifty people ahead of us I only saw like 5 of them make it. And most were denied by the young American officer. She had zero patience. You will have to go through Naples as well (everyone has to do the second part in Naples). Pray you get one of the Italian officers. . .

      • Scary! Thanks again for the heads up. So far Rome has just deposited our check but has sent no word… (we mailed everything in). Maybe I’ll have my husband bring our kitten to Naples to calm window lady’s appetite?🙂 Anyways, keep writing, you’re awesome and it’s great to see new arrivals go through the same emotional pyschoness as me! If you’re ever in Genoa or nearby, I’d love to get a drink, or two.

      • Michelle,

        Let me know if you have any more questions. I will update you after July 3rd to see how it goes. Same goes to you, if you come to Florence let’s grab a drink. Yeah, four years has been an interesting ride. Not sure how you’ve done it since 2007. RUN! lol. Thank you for the kind words. I’m happy that you’ve enjoyed the blog so far.

  2. Ciao Misty, nice and overwhelming story… I have to pass thru all that s#*t in the future and I am trying to get real and live informations (like yours). I am italian and right now we are just in an LDR (she is in SD). Just think that if it is a mess to apply for a green card, it is even harder to visit the US if you are visiting as much as possible the country for LOVE reasons (when I was asked why I was entering the US last time the CBO officer scolded me because “LOVE” cant be just enough and they sent me in the interrogation room)! I will file for a K1 VISA as soon as I get my italian divorce done, because I heard that if you visit the US under a VWP (ESTA) and then apply for a green card right after marriage, you could be investigated for a VISA misrepresentation (you entered for tourism and instead you got married, for which you need a K1), get your GC not possible and signaled to the gov as a fraud criminal (just imagine the mess). For the K1 I will have to pass thru the same process in Naples…I am a bit frustrated hearing your story. Why international love stories seem to be illegal in the US? In bocca al lupo, Marco

  3. Wow, the woman at the embassy reminds me of the woman I dealt with at the SLC Honorary Italian Consulate when I applied for my student visa to come here to Italy. I mean, she really tore me a new one and I don’t think I did anything to provoke her.

    My fiance and I have decided to start getting the paperwork ready for our wedding, so I hope everything will go ok. I have only been here for a few months so I’m wondering if I won’t run into the domicile issue. On the other hand we have a different set of issues going on related to his previous work history in the US so anyway I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Thanks for the great post!

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