My mother’s sister is a lunatic LA lawyer. She specializes in Entertainment Law, and lives the life style that goes with it. I think that she also deals with child advocacy issues now. Which is ironic because 1) she doesn’t have any children 2) many of my many hang ups came via her 3) she was doing Paris Hilton’s lifestyle long before PH with her BFFs were.

Joan (she has changed her name so something much more FAB. So I don’t mind using her real name) did however give me three great gifts 1) my love of Art History, and the stories behind the pictures 2) my love of all things Italian  3) some really awesome Benetton sweaters (some of which I still have).

Joan was always traveling somewhere fantastic, and that mostly involved Italy. Every year during the holidays she’d fly up from LA with loads of things she’d bought in Europe.

When I was around 12 she sent us a postcard from Sardinia. I remember the water on that postcard was crystal clear and the most beautiful shade of aqua I’d ever seen. I looked at that postcard and said, “before I die I’m going there”.

Skip ahead 25 years to 2009. The other day I was trying to figure out why 2010 was worse than 2009. In 2009, I left the job I’d been at for almost 9 years, couldn’t find another one for 9 months, I ate through my savings trying to support my kids, and left a beautiful apartment in Har Homa for a total and utter dive in Ramat Gan.  And then it hit me, that’s right Sardinia. That was the year I did something I promised myself I would always do. I went and spent a week in empty corner of a beautiful Italian island.

Oren berated me for going. “What kind of mother leaves her children for five days.  “You’ve got a lot of chutzpah going to Italy for 5 days when you still haven’t found a job” (may I point out, I bought the ticket with the money my mother left me and I was still supporting him even though we were separated).  I think he even called me selfish which is totally the pot and the kettle thing.

It was one of the best things I’d ever done. It was also the first time I’d absolutely put my needs before everybody else’s.

I spent five days sailing around Alghero. It was amazing, even the way the beaches were set up was amazing. The lounge chairs had umbrellas like the ones they put in cocktails. The men were beautiful (to look at), the water was warm, and the scenery was incomparable. The food, wow, delizioso! Well,  maybe not the Casu marzu or worm cheese. This I found out about the hard way.  I even improved my Italian by adding an essential word to my vocabulary, spiaggia otherwise known as la playa.

I long to get back to Rome and the museums, to wander the streets and drink wine in my favorite bistro. I know that being in Rome is essential to being Anna. It feeds my spirit. If I never get the opportunity to return to Sardinia it’s OK.  It’s like having the love of one great man, as long as you get it at least once in a lifetime you’re golden.

Everybody needs a handful of once in a lifetimes.

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