My mom died when I was four, but I have never felt like she was far away. Two years ago, we unearthed her journals that she had started when she was 13 years old. Through them, I have gotten to know her in a way that I never could otherwise. This is her Wacky Wednesday story. Although it’s not an exact excerpt from her journal, and I may leave some parts out due to error of memory, it is otherwise a true story.
It was a warm Saturday in Italy, the perfect day to do exactly what I had come to Italy to do: paint. The morning was beautiful, and my host family was out of the house visiting some relatives for the day, so I had it all to myself. I sighed contently as I pulled out my paint and brushes, and set up my easel facing the window that overlooked a small garden. I knew exactly what I would paint today.
As I practiced swirling the colors in my mind, I realized that I didn’t have anything to rinse out my brushes in. I searched around the small room that I shared with my host sister, and finding nothing, I sat on my bed to think. As I stared out the window, racking my brain for a container that could hold murky water without worry of it getting ruined, I noticed a gelato stand out on the sidewalk. Figuring the man running the stand would have some sort of disposable container, I happily flew down the stairs to ask. I approached the older gentlemen with a smile on my face, and asked him in Italian if he had the sort of container that I was looking for. He held up an empty yogurt container with raised eyebrows, and I nodded excitedly. I was thrilled. So far, it was turning out to be the perfect painting day. I was about to grab the cup and dash upstairs again, when habit had me pulling out my purse and asking the man how much I owed him for the empty yogurt cup.
With a twinkle in his eye, he said that there would be no charge if I spent the night with him. As in slept with him. I was stunned, and he laughed at my shock. I expected it from a younger man, but this one was going on fifty! In frustration, I tore the cup away from him, which made him snicker louder, and stomped up the stairs, slamming the door behind me. I buried my head deep into my pillow and screamed so loud that I am pretty sure the pillow did little to muffle the noise. I didn’t care. I was sick of this country and their sex jokes. I was sick of being shocked by men because of my innocence. The nerve of that guy, joking about something like that!! I no longer had any desire to paint. As I was shoving my brushes in the yogurt cup, it occurred that I had probably one of the most expensive used yogurt cups in the world, worth a price that I would never pay.