Monday, May 15, 2006

So, Greece does NOT suck

There's something about meeting a significant other's parents that could make even the strongest of personality types puke the day of. I'm not implying that I would ever be reduced to such an undignified state of fear and uncertainty, but I can certainly see such an occurrence happening. Of course, not sleeping for over 48 hours straight and then eating a pork gyro, pork being the foulest of meats, and apparently the national favorite (and here I thought lamb, but what do dumb Americans know....) could also contribute.

It's not so much the meeting, as it is the horrible anticipation, the growing fear and alarm, that nervous pit in the bottom of your stomach, that slowly spreads to your limbs and causes your knees to knock together under your beautiful Tahari cocktail dress as you teeter on your stilettos while you are presented to a small, white haired, kind faced woman who speaks no English, and actually appears more afraid of you, than you of her. Kind of like when my mother used to try to impress upon me that the spider, 1 millionth my size, was probably quaking a tad more than I was upon our introduction and its inevitable encounter with the bottom of my shoe.

Not that I would ever liken a parent to an insect, more closely to Jabba the Hut. But I think I won her over. I do. No really. My hello was flawless, my smile, although somewhat wobbly, was sincere, as was my firm, but polite handshake.

And of course, the coup de gras, when the groom left the dance floor to single me out and drag me to the dance floor to display my inept ability to learn line dancing, my EL's mother actually stood up and took pictures of me. I personally think it was to have something to identify me to the hit man she hired, but nonetheless, it was a nice gesture. Of course, if I find a dart board in their living room with a startling resemblance to me, I won't take it personally.

It also appears, that in countries outside of America, lawyers have earned a certain modicum of respect. I guess in Europe lawyers are more trained to cover up the slime mark they leave in their wake. Or, maybe the level of ethics is different. Maybe they actually practice ethics here. Amazing.

Either way, Greece is a lovely country. I am slowly getting over my fear of venturing out on my own. Venturing out in a country where you look like the natives is somewhat daunting. Mainly because everyone expects you to speak the language. And when you stammer your apologies that actually, you don't speak any Greek, but rather English, and not British English, but the twangy American English, they look almost disappointed. They look at you as if you failed them. I think they think I'm Greek, but I haven't bothered to learn Greek in my native America. An insult of the greatest proportions, especially in a country that prides itself as being the "cradle of civilization." (Enough to make me puke again, but I'll refrain.)

But, I have managed, in the past week I've spent here, to learn the alphabet, and I've taught myself to read, at an amateur level to be sure, but certainly impressive for a weeks worth of hanging out. I may not know what the hell I'm reading, but by god, I won't be categorized as illiterate. NOT in the "cradle of civilization" of all places. (You'd think the cradle of civilization would eat something OTHER than pork all the time, but civlized must mean different things to different people).

The kitchen in my apartment is a Jewish girl's dream come true. There is no stove or oven. NO STOVE OR OVEN. Utterly fabulous. What's for dinner dear? RESERVATIONS. The ultimate bachelor-pad has backfired.

And there is a lovely strip of coffee shops and restaurants right by me. You know, to go, sit, read, have a coffee. Apparently, it's ok to sit and drink a coffee for two hours. This doesn't jive with my New York go get em mentality, but I will persevere to acclimate myself to this alien ideology. When in Rome and all that.....Ahh the travails of being on holiday for an undetermined period of time. I know, you all feel so sorry for me. Me too.....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bathings suits, check. Tank tops and shorts, check. Kevlar body armor, check.

So I'll be arriving in Greece on Saturday morning, and meeting my European Lover's parents on Saturday evening, at a wedding where my European Lover is the Best Man.

Good thing is, they don't speak any English. Bad thing is, they're going to judge me on my behavior instead. I don't think anyone is too keen on having a daughter-in-law who goes drink for drink with their son. Maybe I'll refrain, ok TRY to refrain, from dancing on any furniture at the reception.

I'll definitely refrain, ok ok TRY to refrain, from drinking too much as well.

My mother insists I wear something eye-catching and fancy. I'm thinking, simple black cocktail dress might throw them off long enough to think I'm a nice girl, at least as a first impression. I'll have lots of time to disabuse them of that notion later. They've got plenty of time to get to hate the real me, why ruin a perfectly good party.

I usually take this sort of thing in stride. It's not that big of a deal for me to meet a guy's parents. I always know the outcome anyway: Dad loves me, mom hates me. Same with siblings: Brothers love me, sisters want to see me get hit by a car. Repeatedly.

I'm not quite sure why it's always like that, but there seems to be something about me that's very off-putting to women who don't know me. I definitely don't have that problem with men. It's very easy for me to make male friends, hang out, chit chat it up, have a great time out. Maybe women sense that I don't have the patience to sit through "Girl Drama", a play of endless acts and costume changes, with worse billing than Cats.

The European Lover's brother likes me. He's quite charming actually and there are no sisters in the picture. Thank goodness. So, most likely, only one member of the family would like to see me on the bottom of the Mediterranean. And I don't think his mom is strong enough to hold me under water long enough for me to drown. I could probably take her.