ast week I sat by the Atlantic Ocean soaking in cancer causing rays and basking in the glory of all that the US of A has to offer. With all of it’s convenience, efficacy and consumerism. I’d just paid discount for a boatload of Chinese-made crap that I didn’t need, forked over full fees to see a specialist at Johns Hopkins, was driving a borrowed S-class, and eating organic veggies and fresh tuna caught off shore by my father and husband. Clearly, this kind of privileged existence isn’t completely realistic for the everyman — not to mention my husband and I.
Still, my mind drifted and I dreamt of living back in the Land of Dixie with my offspring and their Italian father. What would it be like to be reunited with convenience and conspicuous consumption?
I fantasized of a life where I could take 45 minute hot showers (screw you, Africa); where I enjoyed fluffy toilet paper and even softer towels; where I watched 427 TV channels; where I could buy in bulk and have pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less; where gas costs less than four bucks a gallon (it’s nearly double in Italy); where people thought outside of the box and where the shortest distance between two points really is a straight line.
Then, shots were fired in Aurora, Colorado and my lust for an American life quickly waned.
Before I decided to move to Italy and start a family with Marco I weighed the pros and cons with a point system.
George Bush had just been re-elected… so that was a point for Italy. However, buffoon Berlusconi was still in office. Politically, we were looking at a stalemate.
As far as food was concerned, there was no contest. Point to Italy.
Sex. In 2003 I’d briefly dated a Jewish Republican with a hip girdle big enough to birth triplets. I’d also met a midget online. I was living like one of the Little Sisters of Chastity on the Island of Manhattan. So this point also went to Italy.
Besides food, sex and politics, what else is there? (Okay, yes film, theater and music… but I’d figure out how to get access.)
So when the points stacked in favor or Italy I also thought, “As a bonus, boys don’t unload automatic weapons in schoolyards or shopping malls in Italy.” The bonus point was super important then and even more so now.
Why does this epidemic-like phenomenon continue to occur? Why don’t Italian males go postal and shoot 100 rounds of ammo in public places? Why do Americans?
Well, the obvious first answer is gun control. Italians don’t have access to the weaponry we do. But for the rest, I have a theory.
Italian men are wussies. They are sniveling, sensitive mama’s boys who unafraid of feelings. For the most part, they’re not wound up by bottled emotions. If anything, they might emote too much. I often refer to my husband as being “halfway to homo.” And before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, this is an enormous compliment, as I adore gay men (and women)! My husband provides me with the same emotional companionship that my gay boyfriends always have (and the bar was set high) and he’s good in the sack.
I count my lucky stars that I not only found the man I did, but that he will also be shaping the men I am raising in a country that still appreciates children being children.
Still, do I long to be a mother in the land of the free and home of the brave? Of course I do. But for now I don’t have to consult Dr. Drew Pinsky on how to talk to my toddler about gun violence. And I can get really good wine on the cheap.
Gun violence is now everyone’s problem — but every parent to a boy needs to pay special attention. Maybe American mothers should think about raising wussie-like boys. Maybe we as mothers need to applaud our boys for crying, encourage them to speak up, and support them in whining. After all, it does seem to work in Italy.