This morning, someone asked if I was pregnant. Again. *Sigh* And she was a beggar. So, it was practically a hate crime.
Since this faux-pregnant gal is all for improving human-relations, I just graciously smiled (and swore off eating) as I assured her “No, bambini! No bambini! Mi dispiace.” I actually apologized. For not being pregnant. Does this country make me look fat? Apparently. No thanks to my steady diet of wine with a side of wine.
Here are my (unsubstantiated) anthropological findings: Italy is a study in contrasts. Legislation and liberty. Restraint and moxie. Beauty and decay.
For example: The Italian government gives trash removal the same oversight a TSA agent grants a passenger named “Kamil” with pilot’s license. Clear plastics must be separated from colored plastics which must be separated from glass which must be separated from paper and so on. Basically, it’s the IRS of trash laws.
So, you have that regulation. And then you have this liberty: While recently dining at a local trattoria, the proprietor/probable mafia godfather approached my entourage. The invariable first question is always as to whether all three are mine. All. Three. Friends, “three” does not even qualify me for a TLC reality show. But, maybe I just seem that overwhelmed. Or like a child-trafficker. You decide.
*Tight smile* Yes, yes, they are all mine. But, we aren’t sure about the father.
Then, suddenly, this hairy godfather reached down and plucked my toddler right out of his seat, holding him in his floured arms as he pinched his cheek and kissed his head. Kissed. His. Head. And I hadn’t even signed a “photo release” form yet. Liability release forms. That was my first thought as he affectionately stroked my toddler’s chubby face. On one hand- I can hardly blame the guy. My man-child is edibly adorable. It’s his fatness. (An unfair asset for only the very young.) But, still, can you imagine a comparable situation in say- an Olive Garden? Um, never. You would be on Megan’s List, labeled as a predator before the day ended.
But, to be honest- my “creeper radar” registered nothing on this old mafia kingpin. Most likely, he was one of those fabled Italians, who actually love children. And frankly, it is the trash police that we could do without. Cause ain’t nobody got time for that.
About The Author:
Melissa Kulp Frankenfield is a washed-up high school actress. Obscure pageant finalist. Child-wrangler. Homeschooler. Wannabe spy.