George told me today that I am “lousy” at doing laundry. His proof? He says he’s been wearing the same underwear for seven days. He also complains that the house is messy, there’s never anything good to eat, and I don’t plan fun weekends.
What do I say? Welcome to a life without helper-fairies, buddy. Welcome to chores.
Life on the domestic frontlines without a housekeeper and babysitter is like fighting a war without weapons: We are always improvising. My house in Rome is never Martha Stewart tidy. Dinner sometimes is a pot-luck of leftovers or fare from the cute little pizzeria down the alley. Fun is a crap shoot on weekends when you have three kids who can’t agree on anything. And yes, George may have to flip his boxers once in a while…
But does any of this matter when you live in Rome? If there is a place where cleaning and cooking must yield to leisure, surely it is here.
The majesty of this city demands attention and her orders are clear: Discover the riches of history that layer every street; Ramble through ancient neighborhoods; Sit on one of the walking bridges and watch the world go by.
Do I scrub the bathroom or meet Jim for lunch at Costanza, a cozy restaurant built inside the ruins of the Teatro di Pompeo? (And famously known as the site of Julius Caesar’s death.)
I ‘pranzo’ of course…
(In full disclosure, I did just hire someone a few mornings a week to help me keep the underwear fresh… and to quiet the complaining.)
It’s difficult to top our last four Thanksgivings camping on the banks of the sacred Ganges. The only option is to stick to the traditional. The kids were nostalgic for India this year and mildly disappointed with the ordinariness of our Roman-American holiday. Still, we had a lovely meal and celebration with 18 people seated for the feast. And in true thanks, I invited the couple who rescued Akbar.
Here’s a peek of our neighborhood, a bit of our local routine, and (for you Jon) the house: