Dear Blog Readers —
I am drowning in the Vatican’s Synod on the Family — ever since the Relatio (preliminary document) came out on Monday, the conservatives are blaming the progressives for going to far and the progressives are blaming the press for spinning the story. Members of the press are interviewing other members of the press and asking them who is to blame and who is spinning what. The Sala Stampa della Santa Sede (the Vatican Press office) is bombarding the press with documents in Italian, English, French and Spanish, everything seems translated in different ways and it is becoming a bit of a free for all. This weekend is the end of round one, so I will attempt something more thoughtful after that.
In the meantime, I am going to tell you about some real spinning I was doing this week.
Yesterday was one of those mornings that most of us have sooner or later when you can’t find a decent pair of underwear in your underwear drawer. So, half asleep, I went digging around in the back of the drawer and pulled out a pair of gigantic, nun-size and style, purple underwear. Whatever. Put them on and went to work and didn’t think any more about it.
(I actually remember why I have that dreadful underwear. I bought them at Remy’s in Bridgton, Maine when I arrived there from Italy on vacation and realized I hadn’t packed any underwear. Anyone who has been to Remy’s in Bridgton, Maine knows it is not exactly Victoria’s Secret. You could tackle a moose in that underwear and you wouldn’t even get a wedgie. Actually a moose could probably wear that underwear.)
I got home late from work and obviously no one had walked the dog so I grabbed him, shuffled down to the park and plopped my tired tail on a park bench. Now anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that my dog’s name is Settimo (which means seventh in Italian), and we call him “Set” for short. And if you read this blog regularly, you are well aware that Settimo is a total wimp. (see blog posts: Doggy Blues or Settimo Cielo and Vampire Mamma).
As I was seated on the park bench I got a phone call and I began chatting. Settimo snuffled around — he should be a truffle hunting dog, all he likes to do is sniff around– never straying far from my bench. As I spoke, I noticed a great big, chocolate-brown bull-dog heading across the park. The dog looked mean and he wasn’t on a leash. There was a young woman trailing along behind him. I couldn’t help noticing that the big bulldog was lifting his leg and peeing on about everything in sight as he headed our way. Talk about a virile male letting us know it is his territory. Settimo noticed him too and came and sat close to me. I continued to chat but held his little harness-collar.
And then it happened — the bull-dog charged, I tried to hold Settimo and suddenly I found myself spinning like a top on the ground between these two dogs, desperately trying to hold Settimo to keep him from escaping straight out of the park, and madly trying to push away the bull-dog and keep him from eating Set for dinner. I was spinning amid a cacophony of yelps and barks and growls. And, in the middle of all this spinning, it occurred to me that my dress had flown up and my purple underwear was exposed to the whole world. Oh horrors!
Then the young woman arrived and dragged off her dog and a crowd gathered around and stared down at me on the ground clutching onto my hopelessly frightened cocker and trying to get my dress back in place. My sunglasses had flown in one direction, my cell phone in another, my purse in another, and I was missing an earring. I was bleeding on my elbow and my ankle.
The bull-dog lady took her dog a short distance away. I got up, got Settimo back on his leash (he was fine) and everyone began looking for my earring. Suddenly the bull-dog lady was back declaring, “I have to bring him back, he can’t get away with this, he needs to learn, let’s try again to see if they can get along.” Fortunately, I didn’t have to open my mouth, several people shooed her away.
This morning I bumped into my dog-walker friend Lucia as I was heading to work. She immediately asked if Settimo was ok. Although she had not witnessed the event, word apparently travels fast among the dog-owners in our park. I told her Settimo was fine and she said, “funny about that, Otto is usually such a sweet dog.”
“Otto — so that was the name of the bull-dog,” I thought. (Otto means eight in Italian) How strange Eighth versus Seventh and the Spinning Mamma in the middle.
Moral of the story: Don’t wear your purple nun underwear when you walk your dog
(post-script: If there are any nuns reading this, I hope I am not offending you. If you feel your undergarments have been incorrectly described or unjustly maligned, you can feel free to correct me in a comment)
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.