Tales from My Substitute Family

Sunday, November 27, 2011




There's a funny thing that happens when you spend a large amount of time with someone, even if you haven't known each other that long. At some point, the other person will start to call you on your BS. This happened today with my host mother. We were finishing up dinner, and she asked us, as she always does, what time we were leaving in the morning. (This is so she can decide what time to turn on the heater, as Italians aren't supposed to heat their houses more than 12 hours a day or something.) My housemate responded that she would be leaving at 9, and I said 9 as well, as I had decided to leave early to get some work done.

My host mother laughed at me.

"You always say that," she explained, "but then you leave around noon."

This is closer to the truth than I like to admit. And it's not that I purposefully do it. I always mean to leave early, I really do. I wake up at eight. But then, I hear the call of the internet, or feel the pull of whatever book I am reading, and time gets a bit muddled. By the time I find some sort of inspiration for dragging myself out of warm covers and into the cold, it is usually about 3 hours later than I meant to leave.

This is one of the truths I know about myself: I can't stick to plan to save my life. Well, now my host mom knows that truth too. Perhaps, I'll fix this particular shortcoming someday. In the meantime, as my host mom told me, "Well, that's fine, if you get up at noon, you'll just have to be cold."

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