I am 25 now.So that's something.I'll try not to question whether or not it counts as an accomplishment of any kind. Although some of my family members might find it amazing I haven't managed to get myself killed yet, since my lack of common sense means I make a lot of dubious decisions....more

Thanks! Your well wishes are well received :)more

Life at the HOUSE of JOES - or - When it Comes to In-laws, Sometimes Divorce is the Only Way Out - 8

The next few months at Cousin Cyril’s were spent in sunshine, food, wine, oil paints, boisterous children, and, most importantly, figuring out where to dig the next hole under the cypress tree, which served as a sort of outhouse area, as the farmhouse did not have any indoor plumbing. Joey and I were, for the most part, undaunted. When we first arrived, Cyril had said that toilet, sink and tub installation were in the offing, however this task, like many projects under my cousin’s purview, was subject to ongoing delays and postponements....more

I'm new to Blogher, and came across your story as I was surfing around. Compared to some of the ...more

The Happiest Day of my Life....

If there is one great lesson I have learned in the short time I’ve been married, it’s that your wedding day (if I may be so bold to say) is not the happiest day of your life.  I would even go one step further and argue it shouldn’t be the happiest day of your life....more

I completely agree! I think you put it very nicely. How sad that for some people that process ...more

Don’t Marry Her If ...

Again, this week, I have given men somewhat of a rough ride and the article Don’t Marry Him If: The Mother Load is a case in point.  Men, I know - you are a sensitive people and, those of you who can read, probably sat there seething “Yeah, what about those crazy women and their antics?  What about all the things they keep from us so we marry their mad selves?”Okay, okay, I get it.  Here, then, some pointers on what to look for to ensure your ‘fatal attraction’ isn’t cut off in the middle of the night by your new and, as it turns out, psychotic bride:...more

Life at the HOUSE of JOES - or - When it Comes to In-laws, Sometimes Divorce is the Only Way Out - 7

“Benvenuti a Firenze!” cousin Cyril exclaimed in a big, booming voice as he walked briskly towards us in the arrivals lounge at Gallileo International. His wife, Nicoletta, reached us at the same time and they embraced us both with a firm hug. Nicoletta smiled at Joey, then back at me and gently stroked one of the bags under my sleep-deprived eyes, “You both musta be very hungry. Come, we go home and you have nice long bath, and I make you some pasta mosciamme – that’s with a dry tuna an’ the oliva oil.” To me, hearing Nicoletta speak English was like listening to music....more

Realizing Purpose Before Letting "The One" Slip Away

It’s funny how people pop into your life—some are just supposed to be around for a moment; either to teach you a lesson or inspire you. Others stay around for a lifetime, constantly teaching you, inspiring you, motivating you, and energizing you.…The difficulty is discerning those people who were meant for a moment in time versus those who were meant for the entire journey…...more

Don’t Marry Him If: The Mother Load

How often have we said after the event “Why on earth did someone not tell me?”, as though when we are hell bent on a course of action any advice anyone gives us is going to make an iota of difference.  Especially when that advice is coming from our mother and no matter how diplomatically put.In my first unfortunate liaison, my Grandmother was unusually mindful of my feelings and subtle in her advice.  She said “Don’t Marry Him, He’s A Jerk.” If only she could have been a little clearer....more

Life at the HOUSE of JOES - or - When it Comes to In-laws, Sometimes Divorce is the Only Way Out - 6

Big Joe pulled the car up to the departures area and jerked the automatic transmission lever into “park.” Pausing for a moment he said gruffly, “Well, this is it I guess.” By this time Derba had stopped crying. Still clutching a damp Kleenex in her tightened fist, she opened her car door, stepped out and then opened the back door for Lamilla, who had not said a word for the entire trip. Big Joe stayed in the driver’s seat, his eyes seemingly fixed on the license plate of the taxi parked in front of us. “Aren’t you getting out, Dad?” Joey asked. “Nawww....more

Piercing My Nose. Or Not.

This was going to be a story of feminism and self-ownership: The search for my nose began as a child. Mine was round and very unlike my mother's regal Roman nose. My birth father was long gone, but old photographs bore evidence of a nose bent and flattened from repeated breaking, a hazard of soccer and Spanish blood run hot. My nose did not have the narrow British look of my grandmother's nor the prominent Italian bulge of my grandfather's. It had no match, no ancestry, no belonging. ...more
Tamara, I saw on Facebook you did get it after all. Originally a small dot, and now a beautiful ...more

Life at the HOUSE of JOES - or - When it Comes to In-laws, Sometimes Divorce is the Only Way Out - 5

For the first few years we were together, I regarded my ex-husband’s family as nothing more than strange, uptight and slightly irritating. And that opinion was only formed after a long time of trying to establish some sort of connection with them - and multiple attempts at forging a lasting relationship. I continued to fail miserably on both counts. What they never seemed to get – and ultimately never would – was how much Joey and I loved each other....more