Subtitled: One Reason I Will Not Be Going Back to Oklahoma, Where I Never Came From In The First Place
Hey, before I start talking about sweat—which, yes, does merit its very own post, thankyouforasking—I want to tell you something. Come in real close. No closer, come here. Pssst… I’ve missed you!
It’s been a while since I’ve gone an entire month between posts. Here at Casa Ruelle, things have been a wee bit hectic, what with Italian bureaucratic hassles (don’t ever have children because then you have to sign them up for public school, unless of course you’re rich, but if you’re not, like me, then, just don’t) and with multiple jobs (yes, I work) and trying to maintain my very fragile and tenuous grasp on stable mental health while also eating, sleeping, and occasionally even having a day of peace and quiet…well, let’s just say that yours truly hasn’t had all the time she’s wanted to share her silly and totally nonsensical observations with y’all.
And when I say y’all, I mean Y’ALL. Because today is the day folks. Not only did I get to delete a whole crapload of spammy comments from my blog, I also got to go through the non-spammy comments from February and reply, and Y’ALL is how I’m feeling because one frisky little commenter asked me why I don’t, quote—go back to Oklahoma and get lost—end quote. Now, seriously, how fun is that? Usually I don’t feature my haters because, you know, don’t give attention and what not (once I was asked if I ate a lot of paintchips as a child—such an amateurish attempt to attack my overzealous egotisical bombasticness! Of course I did! I sprinkled them on my Cheerios!), but this one charmed me because not only was it written with no H (so cute! In Italian the H is silent, so, you know, just throw it out when it appears in foreign languages and you don’t pronounce it, right?) but I’ve actually only driven through Oklahoma and so wouldn’t really have any logical reason to “go back there,” although, come to think of it, I could probably very easily get lost there. Because, one wonders: is that the state with the panhandle? Or is it just shaped like a pan? Did y’all know that the state name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people”? Serious! Wiki said it so it must be true! Oh, the good times never end around here. Big sloppy kisses to my NUMBER ONE fan! This one here’s special just for you. All Americans sing like this at dinner. Then we pass around our handguns for comparison about whose is biggest (size matters) before we go off and start wars for no reason.
Oh, but folks! Enough of the jibber jabber! Let’s talk SWEAT and I mean it!
So here’s the thing. Italians have a sort of very not comfortable relationship with sweating, especially when it occurs in children and it occurs away from the home and might also be followed by exposure to air, most especially cold air. (My hands are shaking just typing this, in fear of a lightning bolt coming down directly from the hand of God Himself to strike me down where I
I have heard parents say to their children “Don’t sweat!” and that is the honest-to-God truth.
I’ve been told by other adults to change my own clothes if I’ve sweated, and that I’ll “catch cold” and God only knows what else.
Recently my son had his birthday party with another kid in his class at a sort of kids’ play place where they have those inflatable bouncing houses and slides and the kids sort of run around for 3 hours like wildebeests (do they run?) and do what kids will do when this sort of nefarious activity happens: they sweat.
Like, to the level of becoming red-faced Oklahummas. (I live in Italy so I don’t have to be PC.)
So the mom of this child almost didn’t want to have the party there because, and I quote, “The other moms have told me they aren’t sure if they want to take their kids to birthday parties there anymore, because, well, you know… they get all sweaty.“
The mind boggles.
So, I was at a birthday party at this kiddy play place the other day (this one for a friend of my twin 4-year old daughters though) and I have no idea why I didn’t spot the anti-sweat containment area until now. Well, it isn’t actually called that, silly me! But, it should be. Because it’s sort of like a hazmat decontamination zone. Come to think of it, it should have had all sort of fun signs like this posted:
But, alas, it didn’t.
Anyhoo, here’s the thing. It’s this:
So basically, if your child sweats, you can take him into this area and dry his or her hair (shirt, clothes, soul).
I don’t know, people. Maybe it’s just me. I enjoy these cultural paradoxes and differences. I mean, you know, it’s the whole tomato tomahta thing:
Yes, calling the whole thing off would have been an option. Years and years ago. But no! I’m the paintchip-eating-not-going-back-to-Oklaoma-freak who actually loves living in a place where hair dryers are provided so that my children don’t … well, what happens if they sweat and then don’t dry themselves off? You see? So much for me still to learn. Oh Italy, mwah!
And if you think it’s just me making this observation—well, think again. Rossella Boriosi’s got my back over at Style.it. How can you not love her when her “about” bio simply says “Banned from the best mother’s forums”? This article in Italian translates as The Eleventh Commandment: Don’t Sweat.
See? I told you it’s not just me! Even people who aren’t from Oklaoma know that you’re not supposed to sweat. Or something. We even have this old saying, passed down from generation to generation:
You see? Deep down, folks, we’re all the same. Now, can’t we just sit around a campfire and sing kumbaya? (Not too close to the fire, though. Because, well—you know.)