If Christmas and New Years’ Eve have been a bit sloppy, the Befana day followed their path. This year she had to throw herself down a chimney of an undecorated house.
Not being religious one of my favourite event of the festive season is the arrival of the Befana, a pagan ritual that mainly in Italy is highly celebrated. I have imported the tradition, and so my daughters do not hang their stockings for Santa but the Befana. The Befana is a good witch who arrives the night between the fifth and the sixth of January and fills the kids’ stockings with goodies if they behaved or coal if they didn’t. Traditionally it is only after her arrival that you take down the Christmas decorations. Over the years, I rigorously followed this rule, but not this year. I had enough of the festive season and didn’t want to waste my Sunday, or worse my first Monday after the kids were back to school, taking down the decorations and fighting with the Christmas tree’s light in the usual unsuccessful attempt to not tangling myself with them.
To be completely honest, the post-Christmas holidays’ reality, had already hit me on the first day back to work of my husband when Alexa cruelly kicked me out of bed at seven and I, even more cruelly, tried to force myself into a pre-Christmas pair of jeans.
So, without waiting for the sixth of January, on Friday the fourth, I boldly and disrespectfully of every tradition and rule took everything down and declared the festive season done and dusted. Even the girls agreed that the Befana doesn’t have anything to do with the Christmas tree and all the rest: she just need a chimney to come down and a glass of wine with some cake. If at this point of the story, you are wondering: yes, the Befana arrived, none a bother!
A bit more of a bother was instead the fact that the new year started with both our cars broken down. Well, to be precise one broke down, the other(mine) was made to break down as the travelling husband engaging the handbrake must have pulled it with a bit of too much force. Thankfully we had great timing and the second car broke just when the mechanic had fixed the other one: I only had to swap them!
Less straightforward was to explain how my car’s handbrake was now on the passenger seat.
“wow, is your husband a very strong man?”, the mechanic asked ;
“not in particular but he is a big man ” I answered, “but mostly I had pissed him that day”, I then felt to add. And in fairness I did, a little.
The day of my handbrake was murdered,in the morning, I went to the embassy to collect my new passport. While waiting for my turn, I received a text saying that there was a Husky available for fostering if I wanted her. I knew we said we waiting until the Monday bust as I was already in Dublin and the shelter is on the south side,( on the opposite side of town from where we leave), it made perfect sense to go and get her as I was already halfway. “Be practical”, the traveling husband always says, and so I have been. Because I was simply applying his predicaments, I didn’t feel to inform him about the change of plans. What I didn’t know was that men could have a sixth sense as developed as the women’ one, and so right when we were discussing if tell the travelling husband of our little detour or just surprise him, he rang and, of course, the dog started hauling. The man of the house was not upset. Who was instead upset, was the other man of the house, The for legs one. As soon we arrived home, Kurt didn’t manifest any of his usual enthusiasm for the new playmate, and the two dogs ended up having a few nasty fights. This fostering undoubtedly started with the wrong paw, but the worst only arrived in the evening when our guest attacked poor Clara with no reason or provocation. I firmly believe the dog was not vicious or aggressive but just jealous of her humans and unfortunately for them, Clara and Kurt were on her way.
Unfortunately for me, I had now two dogs with their ears pierced by the husky teeth and their faces bit; a foster dog to relocate, and a very pissed husband.
Against all my expectations, late in the evening, the travelling husband was so gracious to drive me all the way down to the southside. I still think he did it to be sure that I wouldn’t come back with some other creature but, as they say, “an act of kindness must never be questioned”.
I suppose I don’t have to specify that the journey was a reticent one and became even quieter when I received a phone call from the lady we were supposed to leave the dog with saying she was on her way out for an emergency and gave us another address where to go. Nothing upsetting if it was not for the fact that we were just ten minutes away from her place and had already driven for forty-five minutes.
When the travelling husband, made one of the hysterically fastest u-turns of all times, I hold on my seat belt as tight as I could after picturing the poor husky dumped in the dark on the side of the road and me with her.
Once the drop was done, and we were eventually on our way home, I tried to ease the atmosphere: “at least I had plenty of petrol, for once”, I said even attempting a laugh. Except I was immediately reminded that he filled the car for me a couple of days prior.
“Ops”, maybe I was better off to stay silent, but actually, there was another thought bothering me: I had to know if this little misadventure put him off from fostering or not. Sure it did not put off me!
Now, because my mouth is at times faster than my brain, once in front of the house, I spat it all out: “I don’t think we are going to foster anytime soon now, do we?”.
The travelling husband didn’t give me a proper answer but more a prehistoric grunt whose meaning was clear only when he parked the car and left still holding my the handbrake stick with a bunch of wires attached.