I don't know if you heard about how intellectual I have become?
I drink real Italian cappuccinos and make art of real Italian things and read (well started to, at least) Sylvia Plath, who I'm not sure has anything to do with Italy.
I think if I wanted to, I could even grow a beard - I'm THAT mature now.
And the second I was done skyping my mom for the first time, I broke down and cried because this huge wave of homesickness washed over me and there was nothing I could do, but float in it.
I love Italy, I really do.
But I also love regular-flushing toilets (I'm convinced that they spend their free-time thinking, how many different/increasingly difficult ways there are to flush a toilet?) and soft clothes from the dryer (clotheslines are cute and all, but they make your clothes feel a bit crispy) and Dr. Pepper (because I have yet to find it and the soda here tastes like something you could put over pancakes).
Granted, Italy does have ITALY and canolis and lots of other pretty things, but I think I have reserved the right to be homesick at least once in my life. (Because up until now, I have never really been homesick? Not even when I went to summer camp for a week when I was 8. I was so ahead of my time.)
Sometimes a girl needs here Mama and a couple of hours of Golden Girls and a Dr. Pepper with crushed ice.
Is that so much to ask!?!?
I think a lot of this is coming from the multiple encounters with nuns I have experienced within the last 3 days.
We met one here in Orvieto, but then we took a day trip to Assisi where they practically ran us down in their Habits and Birkenstocks (so fashion-forward).
Before we left for Assisi, we had the opportunity to meet with a cloister nun who lives in Orvieto.
Being a monastic nun, she never leaves unless she's on her death bed and even then...the lines were a bit blurred.
We sat in this small room, while she sat in an even smaller room and we were all divided from her by this rod iron, floral-esque partition.
She was beautiful. I'm not just saying that because I was amazed by her sheer holiness...she was really pretty.
She had these dark circles under her eyes and I imagined she had trouble sleeping at night and I wondered why.
She was youthful and spoke with such eloquence that even though I had no idea what she was saying, I imagined that she talked to small animals in her spare time and even delicate butterflies felt safe in the smooth dialect of her voice.
And she made me so sad.
She was 27 when she decided to be a nun.
She was engaged to a man and studying to be a psychologist.
I imagined the conversation they must've had and the fact that she wanted to be a psychologist, made me wonder if perhaps she was a bit crazy herself.
She's 42 now.
She didn't look 42. She still looked 27.
I imagined the nuns to be like the Lost Boys and they just never grow up. (But then how would that explain all of those old, fragile nuns you see in churches?)
She never had a bit of sadness in her voice and yet a part of me wanted to save her. And I wondered where that man was. And if he ever visited her.
Her family is only allowed to visit 3 times a year and even they have to stay behind the flower rods that separated her and I.
I wondered if she liked the other nuns.
If they were friends.
If they had pillow talk and inside jokes.
If they ever got homesick after brief visits with their moms.
If they liked Sylvia Plath.
If they ever watched Sister Act and secretly wore bright socks underneath their outfits.
If they talked about boys and if they ever wondered "what if?"
And I thought, what if I'm supposed to be a nun?
Granted, I'm not Catholic and I don't think they accept outsiders. And I don't think they watch Dance Moms, but isn't God greater than Dance Moms?
Would I be willing to give up everything and live a life of poverty and chastity and obedience?
I don't want to sound like I'm harping against her lifestyle, because I think we all have a purpose, but thinking about it just made me so sad and scared.
Scared that becoming a nun was like catching TB - you just can't help it.
When we were in a Assisi, a nun from Germany told us to be careful because we might encounter holiness.
In our attempt to experience holiness however, we encountered a fleet of terrifying black gnats that kept swooping in our hair, along with a wild boar that looked like it wanted to bite our faces off...
But just like Regina said, God can be funny.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Italy is a lot like the water temperature in our shower - always surprising me.