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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

On being a new housewife

Being a housewife is not an easy job but then it’s not a difficult one either. (I’ve only had this job for two weeks and I manage a small apartment with cleaning ladies that come every Friday. I may feel differently when I move out of the Expo Residence and into a bigger place.) About 6 months ago when I told an old friend that I was planning to move with my then boyfriend Demetrio to Italy for 6 months and have an extended vacation, she was all for it, as were most people. She told me that the one experience she had never come across in her life is having a man take care of her financially.

Having been 31 at the time she and I had this talk, I can’t say that is true for me. My dad helped me through college, paid my bills, tuition, and even encouraged me to budget in entertainment costs (eating out and movies). I’ve had my living taken care of by someone else before but not to the same extent as now.

Every other morning Demetrio asks me if I have any money. If I don’t answer because I’m still buried in the covers, sometimes he just leaves cash on the kitchen counter along with a note. I am responsible for all the grocery shopping, the cooking, the tidying up and the laundry. Since the dry-cleaning is so expensive, I have decided to wash, dry and iron all his work shirts. Last Friday, I laundered twelve shirts and ironed them all. It took me 10 minutes a shirt, so 2 hours total. This is not bad for two weeks worth of shirts and I just don’t see paying someone to do this when I do a great job and am not employed right now. He says it’s the Chinese laundering gene coming out in me, I think that was an insult but he loves his shirts and says if I want to do them then I should feel free. Part of me would love to just send them out but I am much more frugal than my husband and see it as a bad value for the money. Also I feel a bit guilty spending money. I know from talking to friends that stay home with kids that they sometimes feel guilty not working and spending. On that note, if I don’t get pregnant soon, and finalize all my papers in Italy, I will get a part time job teaching English or maybe working in hospitality associated with the Olympics in 2006.

My Italian classes begin in a week. I will take 2 intensive classes in a row. On Saturday, we did a trial run of my two bus routes. After I felt confident, we walked to a public market, then downtown. My darling husband has been encouraging me to get out and enjoy Turin, which I do on occasion but he and many other people know that I am from a big family and doing things alone is not really my cup of tea. Whenever I mention that I had a particularly uneventful day he gets a concerned look on his face and says “that’s because you did not go to the center and are not taking classes.” I tell him not to worry, my blood pressure is better and hanging out at home gives me time to blog, read and write letters.

The one thing I as a housewife or casalinga cannot seem to get a handle on is the amount of dust that accumulates from living in the city. Whenever I open a window for some “sort-of-fresh air”; dust tornados in. The partial solution to the problem is for us to get an air purifier when we move. The other solution is for Demetrio to stop smoking.


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