The mother in law came an left and all went well.
I say surprisingly well ,considering that the last time she was over was 7 years ago and we are back talking to each other only in the last three years.I won’t go into details but I would just say that the all three of us learned something from the past.She,in particular,learned not to run over people like a bulldozer at full speed.The woman is pocket size but with the will of a giant:she is a kitten with the ego of a lion.
The expected awkward moments didn’t really come.We managed to hold our tongues when told that her best friend grandchildren,who are the same age of the girls, fluently speak eighteen languages already and ,on the other side,she managed to hold her tongue when she didn’t find branded clothes inside the girls wardrobe.We are obviously cheap parents.
The fact that her visit was very short and without drama,doesn’t mean there haven’t been few twisted moments,don’t worry.
Friday passed in between collecting her from the airport,showing her around the village and the house and then we went out for dinner.Ice was broken successfully.The girls were happy to see her and immediately asked about the great grandmother’s dog they haven’t seen since last summer.He is still alive and kicking.The poor grandmother instead,died two years ago and,not being particularly fond of her own family in general,left her house to her her beloved dog along with a trust fund to be used to pay for the lady who is looking after him.
The following morning,the girls made breakfast and set a beautiful table in the kitchen.Myself and the traveling husband were the last to come down.I am still not sure what to make of that look we have been given:was she complimenting us for our parenthood skills on raising such independent and well trained girls?or was she more acknowledging us like lazy and lousy parents who oversleep while their daughters have to work in the kitchen?May be better not to know.Whatever it meant, at the end,she very much enjoyed her toasts and coffee .
A good night sleep and a big pot of coffee never failed to relax a soul.She was chatty and soon unleashed herself on updating us on the latest gossip of the little busy hometown.
I have to say that the little fisherman village my husband comes from was always interestingly peculiar.His family owns an hotel for 3 generation now,(as the brother took over the business in the recent years),but neither of the grandparents,on both side, were local. In a way the family is still a “blow in” to the born and bred villagers’eye.Nonetheless they are indeed well involved in the community.
Summer time the village is busy with tourists but winter time the population might not be over ten thousand,surrounded areas included.Everybody knows everybody and nearly everybody is called by their nick name.Except for my husband’s family’s members who are not pure native blood.
After all these years of absence,(happy absence),we are totally estranged to that life and with curiosity we listened at the fate of our old time friends.
The place might have the idyllic setting of Mrs Fletcher’s Cabot Cove but, it has the hearth of the most infamous Peyton Place instead.Divorcing seems to have become one of the most popular sport along with breeding children around for then forget to take responsibility. Affairs wouldn’t even be a topic of gossip any more,unless something particularly juicy is involved. Despite this relaxed attitude,in the recent months, a scandal managed to shake the entire village at every level.
A big narcotics police operation resulted in the arrest of a couple of local drug dealers.That really didn’t surprise no one as they were in business since we were in our early twenties.We,our self ,were on the contrary surprised they haven’t been arrested already.Obviously, they were skilled and good in what they did. What cause the hullabaloo,was that the two criminal masterminds totally lost it in prison and named all their clients.Half of the village has been questioned and is now at the house arrests.The other half, the local royalty, probably collaborated and cut a deal.Smart move but,in fairness, they had the best attorney in town:The Mayor himself.Allegation about his involvement have been made but up to now he is still clean and still running the town.
A long and boring winter indeed for what was left of the village population deprived of the main recreational facilities.With the same police operation, in fact,they also shut down a clandestine brothel.Coincidentally,the brothel was run on the property of the the former governor who,was already house bound for bribery.
If that was not bad enough,the village was also left with no doctor.The old golden bachelor GP,was a regular of both illegal activities.It must be said ,at this point,that nobody was really upset when the doctor was arrested and why but,they apparently are all annoyed with the young and fussy substitute who refuses to prepare prescriptions over the phone.
I say that for a Saturday morning these are enough information to take in. We were actually hoping she would go more in details about the family old friend she is hanging out with in the last year.She didn’t and it almost looks like she feels to justify herself when talking about their trips and time spent together.Thing,this one, that I find very sweet but totally unnecessary.Both her sons and me too, are in fact more then happy she found a companion and,for what we heard,so are the man’s two sons.
We eventually dress up and go out.
The weather is cold but sunny,we had fish and chips outside on the pier.The blue sky made us attempt a stroll bu the sun is not warm and before heading back to the car we treat our self with a hot chocolate and some macaroons.
Back home the girls and their grandma plays an endless game of cards while I even have time to write and the husband to watch tv. Wow,I am sorry to say that to have the mother in law here is nearly easier then having my own mother. Probably because she doesn’t require or want my company.She is just happy to spend time with the girls and I am just happy to get rid of them for a while.Win Win situation.
Sunday presented itself as an other weather wise beautiful day.This morning I have to do breakfast myself. After freezing at the hypochondriac daughter’s hockey match,we all go out for a late lunch.The afternoon proceeds quiet and lazy in the house until, the mother in law mobile rings .A text came in.She read it and her face changes every color of the rainbow.She is sitting straight in front of me as I am serving her some tea. I pretend not to notice.She is a bit puzzled.I can’t resist any longer:”is it everything ok?”.”Yes,just probably a mistake”,she replays and starts texting back.A couple of more texts arrive,she reads them and start laughing.
Long story short:The text came from P,their family friend who have been a womanizer all his life.The wife stopped bothering about a while ago and the two daughters always tried to keep things under control and limit the damages.The man is now 84 and hasn’t lost his “mojo”yet.Now that he is retired then,he has plenty of free time in his hands.Over the years he got smarter and bought himself a sort of boudoir that, is really not a secret.He bought himself a second mobile phone too that,instead,was a well kept secret until today.The man might still be able to handle two mistresses at the time,(with some chemical help I guess), but as the age is what it is and his memory and sight are gradually failing him, he texted from the wrong phone.Destiny,in all it’s meanness,played against him and had the two mistresses share the initial letter of their names with my mother in law and his eldest daughter. Probably in the rush of the moment, he grabbed the “family”phone,scroll down the agenda and, most likely not wearing his glasses, he texted the wrong recipients.Oh my,if we all had a laugh about the little misunderstanding, I don’t want to think what his daughter reaction could have been instead!I can assure you,the text was not for innocent eyes or ears.
This is my truly madly ordinary mother in law and this is the truly madly ordinary life of a little fisherman village in the truly madly ordinary Italian province.