Monday, January 3, 2011

Unusual New Year's Eve - Capodanno diverso

Dancing behind strangers in a conga line after an expensive 20-course cenone (meal) with the fireworks outside and songs like The final Countdown, Macarena and YMCA!... "Come on, Germany is not far from here. Will you give us a lift in your car?", my friend asked, looking for love... You tell the guy you are dating that you are sick so that you can go out with your mates. What? He's at the front door with a get well card and flowers!... Don't fancy table dancing with strippers this year. Nor I like the idea of having to wear a swim suite in the club with snow outside. "Ok, you are all coming to my house!" (which really means we'll go to my local pub because my studio flat fits two people maximum)... Maybe we could go drinking at Charterhouse and at 26 Smithfield before Zodiac opens. Let's just hope that this year nodody vomits on our dresses...

"Sweetheart, let's simply have a candle lit dinner at my favorite restaurant in Fulham. Then we can look at the fireworks on the river and walk home" "No taxis? Can I wear your shoes?"... "Honey, this year we'll celebrate New Year's eve in Italy." "Cool!" "Sorry but we'll be at my parents' place watching a magic show with old people"...

Well, this year (2010-2011) I have not made plans. Nor I had any hope that we would do something special. I figured that John and I could take William to the Children Museum to tire him out, have the three of us dine early and then, with William nicely asleep in his bedroom, we could terminate the year in front of a Spanish movie (not Italian as they always end up in tragedies). And we could make progress eating the pandoro, still intact in its blue box, while sipping Moscato d'Asti wine.

No, things didn't go as expected. Naima, William's little friend, invited him to a party. My husband and I went along with it. The party started at 3 pm, we opened the Prosecco wine at midnight (midnight in Italy was 6 pm in Boston) and by 8:30 pm it was all over. No hangover. No need to sleep the day after to recover. But we all had a great time, Italians and Americans. Naima's mother planned it well. I felt we were all "party moms and party dads" there, all trying to have a good time while making sure that our children were safe (one of the toddlers got caught with a glass of wine in his hands. Luckily there wasn't much in it). At some point William was ecstatically giggling with Naima and a couple of older kids. Meanwhile the grown ups got to chat and to savor the porchetta with the lentils (the traditional Italian New Years Eve dish I could barely remember, having lived abroad for more than 14 years). Eating that means "Good money and good health for everyone!", reminded me Naima's mother. No doubt, this was a nice start for all of us.

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