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  • Advice for the Italians
    Find out what the homebound Italians should be doing
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    The last few weeks have been a major bummer for Italy and its people. The economy is going bust, along with those of other friends in the Euro Zone, and the rain is pouring down. Last weekend, the Naples v. Juventus soccer match was canceled for fear that flooding from the torrential downpour would trap thousands of fans or at least make the traffic impossible. This bad weather has been attacking the entire country for some time now. Since many people are homebound avoiding the storms, I thought they could use some suggestions on how to pass the time.

    Have a personal Renaissance.
    Ancestors of the all-mighty Roman Empire, today's Italians should shake off their lazy bones and start leading and inventing and creating again. While I realize the return of the Fiat 500 seems like a great achievement, there's so much more that can be done. Where is today's Michelangelo? Who will rule the post-Berlusconi era and bring Italy and the Italians back to former glory – or at least further away from the irresponsible Greeks? Media reports in the last week have announced that the dolce vita or sweet life, which had Italians retiring before they were 50 and taking long, luxurious vacations, was long over. A whole bunch of experts think Italy could follow in Greece's footsteps and could possibly face default. This should be motivation to get back to work and start contributing. Create works of art. Come up with great ideas and share them. Fight a system that is filled with bureaucracy. Come out of retirement. Get a job. Or just work through a vacation at least.

    Give up on housework.
    I once read that the women in Italy are the hardest working of any in any country. This is easy to understand because they seem to carry the nation. They work outside of the home all day and then come home to do the chores there, too. They receive little to no help from the men or at least that's how it seems with the Italians I know. If Italian women are locked in a house, you can be certain, they'll be cooking, scrubbing, washing, doing laundry, and ironing. The Italians are notorious for ironing everything, and I do mean everything, even rags, underwear, and sheets, all of which should be outlawed. Now that they're homebound, I beg these women to give up on housework. While they should put their energy to good use in the workforce to revive the country, Italians could loosen up when it comes to removing the dust bunnies from under the bed. Your nonna won't roll over in her grave if you don't dust every corner of the house for one day. Take a vacation from housework and think about more pressing matters.

    Make love.
    Let's face it. The world might be crumbling around the Italians right now. But they are known for making love, not war. They are known for not noticing reality and seeking that dolce vita even if everyone else says it's dead. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that the Italians, who are stuck in the house with this embarrassing economic struggle and torrential downpour, are using the time to play video games, cook and eat elaborate meals with their family, and make love for hours on end. After all, they can always worry about their troubles the next day or the day after that, right?

    Di Meglio is the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com, and you can follow her life and work at the Two Worlds Web site.


    Article Published 11/7/2011

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