Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes: All My Fears on (Virtual) Paper

1. We're moving to Italy, y'all. It feels much more real to be able to share it with you on the internets now that all the financial questions have been settled and the tickets are being booked. But I repeat, we're moving to Italy. With 2 babies. And we're moving to one of the oldest, most expensive, and most chaotic and beautiful cities on the planet. Also, there are no screens on the windows. And we will likely be living on the 3rd or 4th floor of some ancient marble-ensconced apartment building.

2. With 2 baby boys. If the (slightly) smaller one is anything like his big brother, I expect to never sleep again, as I will be forced to maintain nocturnal vigilance over all the windows in the joint, lest someone escape and jump out.  Because if they do, how do I call 911? And how do we get to the ER? And how will I know what to google to ask the doctors?

3. I really don't love pasta. It's a nice occasional treat, but not something I care to eat on a daily or even weekly basis. Refried beans, on the other hand...well, you know what to send in care packages. How about we strike a deal: send flats of beans via flatrate shipping boxes, and I will return said boxes stuffed with gorgeous scarves, jars of authentic nutella and bottles of limoncello. K?

4. I don't speak Italiano. I mean, I can order my espresso and my vino and gelati, and I can sweet talk my way past a Vatican guard or police officer, but I can't do much in the way of conversation. Should be an interesting time at mom's group...

5. Speaking of mom's groups....Can I be frank here? I am terrified of being friendless in a foreign city. I am a rare breed of choleric introvert, and while I get lonely after too many days of only cray cray toddlers to opine to, I kind of hate making new friends, too. It's equal parts sad and pathetic, I know. So pray I meet some brilliant Italian women who speak fluent English, or that the entirely of the Christendom Rome program wants to come over and babysit my progeny while I blow all my euros buying up the entire XL rack at H&M. (Because we all know it will be full and heavily discounted, wink wink.)

6. Where are we going to live, you ask? That's a great question. Italians do things somewhat differently in the housing department, and by that I mean it's a complete clusterfunk of bureaucracy and nepotism. Don't bother with Craigslist, you foolish expat. Romans are expected to wine and dine their prospective landlords, then sign a kind of housing pre-nup, then court for an appointed period while meeting eachother's families, etc., and finally, a spit and a handshake seals the strange, strange deal. Bottom line: we are moving over there homeless, essentially, and will be living in a vacation rental of some sort until we can enter into a serious relationship with our new place, wherever that may be.

7. Grocery shopping. But wait, isn't it romantic that Romans shop every day, or every other day at the least? Fresh produce markets, fresh bread at the bakery, wine at the wine shop, meat at the butcher's, you get the picture...there are, of course, American style 'supermarkets' of sorts, about the size and selection you'd find at a Walgreens, but here's the thing: no car, no massive stock-up trips. Shopping every day is not only romantic, it's brutally necessary when you're a pedestrian pushing a double stroller filled with human life and only one small basket to receive dry goods. One of my girlfriends suggested replacing one meal per day with a small, compact Cliff bar, and it's not a half bad suggestion.

So those are the fears, kinda silly now that they're splashed in digital ink on the electronic page. I am sure the joys will multiply and outnumber them, but they're real enough, for now. As for all you fine people, I can't thank you enough for all you kind words via email, comments, and FB.

Go see Jen.


  1. I would totally send you beans in exchange for nutella and limoncello. ;)

    I am terrified of moving anywhere in the US once my husband graduates, let alone to a foreign country! I am a melancholic-choleric, so I totally get what you mean about needing company but hating to make new friends. This move sounds scary but also super-exciting. :) You'll be in my prayers!

  2. I would be a little worried too despite how amazing of a place Italy will be! My mom moved to Singapore and Australia for my dad's job when us kids were really little. She's an introvert and managed to make friends, even in Singapore (they don't speak English either)! I will be sure to say a prayer for you!

  3. Ah! I just read your news and I'm so excited for you! Although, I totally get your trepidation. I'd be a crazy worry-ward! But still so exciting! Congratulations!

  4. After the day I had at work today, I'm seriously discerning coming over with you. I'll live next door and we can be fellow ex-pats living in Italy not knowing Italian. Deal?

    Forget H&M -- you're going to start frequenting Oviesse, I guarantee it.

    And I'll take you up on the exchange offer. We had people send us taco shells and peanut butter (not to be eaten together). You crave weird things when you are faced with the impossibility of procuring them. So the NAC seminarians are good resources for Oreos and Pop Tarts...

    But seriously, who needs refried beans when you have nocciola gelato? I'm on my way. Can we find Paolo to gelato-er when you're there?

  5. Hey I just sent you an email with names and emails of awesome American Catholics in Rome who can plug you guys in to the community. Check your junk mail folder for en email with a "" address, I use an encrypted account which google can't stand so they plunk in your junk mail or trash since Im not in your address book.

    God Bless, the friends you will make there are AMAZING!

  6. 1. I would totally send you beans. They are a staple around these parts, too. 2. I am right with you on the introverted choleric thing. Is it weird I can make conversation for a few minutes before having to return to my task that needs completed and if the person doesn't get it I seriously start thinking of excuses for why I need to depart? 3. Already sad we won't be corralling kids at mass on Sundays jut rows apart.

  7. I miss you already!!! I mean, I already do because of obvious reasons but're going to be even further away! Um, and any mexican you want, you just ask sweetie. It'll be there.


  8. Okay, more comments for you.

    1) A friend (also a UD alum) just moved from TX to Poland with her 4 young kids. She has a blog (of course!). You should commiserate with her maybe?

    2) The hubby, if you care about the language thing very much, and maybe you don't?, swears that Pimsleur is the a#1 best language learning program out there. For what it's worth.

    So exciting!


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