My first trip to Italy to visit my husband’s family was years ago. I was a young resident training at Summa Akron City Hospital in Obstetrics and Gynecology. It was early in our marriage, and we had yet to start our family.Me in a cover-up of sorts…and shopping for more.
As a wife, I wanted to embrace all aspects of my husband’s Italian culture. This included the language, the food and the lifestyle. To prepare for my first trip, my sister-in-law bought me language tapes. In addition, I tried every food they gave me. As I became comfortable with the surroundings, I noticed that some of the ladies wore loose fitting housecoats.
At first, I thought housecoats were a cultural habit. However, what I’ve learned over the years is that they are quite practical. The temperature can be roasting in the summer as it reaches the upper 90’s on the southern Adriatic Sea. Some housecoats are very thin and can be worn over other clothes. Most housecoats have big, practical pockets.
I bought a housecoat during my first visit. Since that time, I’ve developed quite the collection. My husband and children routinely tease me about putting on my housecoat upon arrival to the Italian family home.
This year on our trip to Italy, there was a stop and pause in the housecoat tale. On the last day of vacation, my husband watched me place my housecoats in the suitcase and stated, “There they go…you’ll change back now.”
Not surprisingly, when I’m in Italy, I’m relaxed. Isn’t everyone on vacation? I help cook and clean, go to the market (one of my favorite things to do), and play games (like Uno) with the family. My husband elaborated that I am a superwoman, but my laptop is like kryptonite.
As one of my bosses, Dr. Gus Kious, frequently states “feedback” like the kryptonite comment is good. So, while I won’t be wearing my Italian housecoat in Hartville, Ohio, I will attempt, at least for a while, to be a better Mom and wife. I’ll put down the laptop more often and try to enter a housecoat state of mind. However, I am still an American working Mom, and I still believe in Subway night.
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