Mr. X and I took a whirlwind trip through Europe this weekend! Be jealous. Well. Sort of. We did it without airplanes. We did it without leaving the confines of the beltway. Sort of.
Italy: Saturday Morning
I finally got to cross off something on my to-do list. It is a rare moment when I find something about D.C. that I love. For City Paper’s “Best of,” I had several votes of my own, but I didn’t submit them because I hate letting a great secret out. So my hairdresser? The best. But I’ll never tell. My favorite restaurant? Better than the best. But I’ll never tell. But Saturday morning, Mr. X and I trotted off in search of something I had heard of before but had never ventured out to find.
I feel like I’m channeling Cube right now with a post about a D.C. attraction.
Litteris is this little Italian Grocery Store and Deli hidden in the much grittier Northeast but in a neighborhood I can’t help but liken to the Canal Street of my childhood when my parents would drag us down to the Bowery in the wood paneled Ford LTD…
Litteri’s had excellent reviews and since I have been in search of how to make a low fat low calorie Cannoli, this was the place to start. And end. We spent a lot of time and a lot of money, but it was well worth it and we’ll soon be going back to visit the store again, probably when I run out of Cannoli shells.
Germany: Saturday Night
Craving an Indie flick, Mr. X and I decided to head to E Street and catch The Reader. That movie was so good. That movie was so good. That movie was so good. That’s all I can say about that. Only one thing would have made it better. If the guy in front of us didn’t pull out his nail clippers during the previews and start cutting, wait for it, his TOENAILS in the theatre. And it wasn’t like, “Oh, my pinky toenail is hurting me,” it was more like, “Now would be a good time and place for a pedicure.” It was beyond gross. When I was saying loudly enough to Mr. X so that hopefully the guy could hear, “THAT IS SO GROSS THE GUY IN THE NEXT OFFICE AT WORK CUTS HIS NAILS AND I AM OFFICIALLY MORE GROSSED OUT NOW THAN I AM WHEN HE DOES IT.” Mr. X said, “Well, then don’t look now.”
Who doesn’t look when someone says “Don’t Look?” Really. That’s the last thing to say when you want me to not look.
Very bad idea.
Greece: Sunday Morning
So I met the mom. Mr. X’s Greek mother who, unshockingly, is like a clone of my own mother – not in appearance because believe me, my mom is fighting age by use of bottled color much like her daughter, but they are like in the things she says. I was amazed. I swear if you disguised their voices like they do for the witnesses on the true crime shows, you would totally think they were the same person.
“Everyone in Athens is so rude. They never want to help you they just tell you to ‘go over there.'”
“Mr. X if you had taken my advice, you would have been much better off.”
“Aren’t you going to eat something? You should eat something. Your diet won’t be hurt by this lard soaked sugar-laden cherry turnover, will it?”
The best part might have been when she asked me if I loved Greece and I was like, “Um, no, not so much.” No, wait. The best part might have been when she started telling me a story in Greek and I was like, “Huh?” I telepathically said to Mr. X, “If she’s not yelling gamisu, gamoti or skata, then I really don’t understand, because the only thing they said in the direction of my brothers and I were the swears.”
That was that. She loves me. All parents love me. I said as much to Mr. X. Actually, it was more gloating in the way of, “Ha ha, compared to your ex wife I am your mothers DREAM! I went to grad school, I have a job, I don’t have kids I’ll make you support, she loves me. She might love me more than you.”
He said, “Keep that up and I’ll tell her you beg me to fuck you in the ass.”
I’d argue that toenail clipping is worse than nose picking. Why? Because you can’t eat your toenails.
Yeah, you were channeling me. I know every gritty alley in this town. If you were over behind Catholic University for the cannoli, I know where you went. That picture was pure me.
I saw The Reader. Loved it. Heartbreaking, her lonely life. And his. Movies that upset and make you talk. The best. And why in God’s name didn’t you get up, go to management and haul them right back to see the nail clipper? Didn’t you learn anything about being a Nazi guard? I’ve written about booger baseball players and swimsuit wearing co-workers and yes, someone giving themselves a pedi at work.
P.S. If I gave up my waxer, you need to give up your stylist.
Greek mothers. I am not Greek. I have not dated a Greek man, but I know them. I know what skata means. I know what skeelo skata means. Here is my YaYa story.
I had to fly back to attend some meetings in the Congressional District my boss represented, and one of the women who worked in that particular district office, swore I had to get blessed with oil on that special Orthodox Sunday at her Greek church. I’m about as Greek looking as Kate Winslet. We’re in the church, and I get noodged toward the altar. We had already made up a Greek name for me to give to the priest when he blessed me. So I do all of that, and we are returning to the pew, and this row full of black clad YaYa’s…full blown Velv….the black dress-stockings-wool shawls and head coverings, and the one on the end of the aisle nails me with a stare and says “You are Greek?” sounding like Leopoldine Konstantin in Notorious asking Ingrid Bergman, “You’re a Nazi?”
As for Mr. X’s mother? Prove to her you can feed her son the foods of his people: moussaka, spanakopita, roasted lamb. She’ll leave you alone, until the next Greek festival at St. Sophia’s, where you are expected to show up at her house the night before to roll Kourabiedes. Honey, and I ain’t saying baklava, at that point, you’re a goner.
I love the offer of the lard soaked cherry turnover. One of my best and worst food memories was in Athens. My friend’s aunt stuffed us for four hours and I actually thought that I was going to die. Really just lie down on her marble floor and die.
I know that you weren’t a big fan of Athens, but except for that moment when I learned that you might actually be able to eat yourself to death, I really loved living there.
I’m glad that Mr. X’s mother loves you, but who wouldn’t you Koritzia Kala? 😉
I66 – I was thinking about you yesterday! I need to catch up. Check for email!
Cube – The first thing I thought when I woke up this morning wasn’t “oh shit I’m late,” it was, “FUCK! I forgot to put the link to Cube in there!” So I’m glad you saw it. That picture of the station wagon was from a google search. I had a hard time finding the “exact” wagon we had – because apparently it was a very specific year, 1976, that they made the headlights-behind-the-wall thing. Prior years and after, the headlights were exposed. This is the exact car we had, except it was red. And the front end had a dent from where my mom crashed it through the garage wall. Those cars were huge. I can’t imagine how my parents drug us to the Canal Street markets in those things and actually parallel parked. You would need a whole block to get the car in straight. I digress.
Litteri’s is in NE, between 5th and 6th just one block north of Florida. I loved that neighborhood. The rest of the markets were Asian and African, Mr. X and I want to go back to see what other treasures might be there.
Ok. Why didn’t I get up and go tell management? Simple. I was in theatre 6. That is very far away from management because those theatres are one after another, in a long processional. Not scattered like a game of twister. It was just too far. So painfully far.
I feed Mr. X foods native of the South Beach diet cookbook. There’s no lamb. Only soy crumbles since I’m a veg. There’s no moussaka but there is eggplant manicotti with no pasta. There are also stuffed peppers, but they are also stuffed with lentils and soy crumbles. Hmm. He doesn’t seem to mind though. We also make a lot of fish, which, thankfully I do eat. See, it’s all about me.
MA – Sorry, you were temporarily in spam. I don’t know why it keeps doing that. Stupid wordpress upgrade. Another sad reprecussion of that disaster was that I lost all my old pictures from old posts. Quite annoying.
I didn’t love the food there either – but that might have a lot to do with not eating meat. I did like the fish though. And I ate a lot of tomato feta cucumber salads. A lot.
Part sham. Part wow.
All right… I guess I HAVE to see the reader now.
And I am jealous, especially for the SO’s mother… I LOVE other people’s families. I don’t know why. Maybe because they’re all crazy and entertaining?
Sounds like you’ve passed the litmus test! It was a much more gradual thing for my mother-in-law to grow to love me. At first she treated me like I was from outer space because I wasn’t yet Jewish.
I can’t wait to hear what happens when your parents meet his. Bring out the ouzo and the retsina!
You had a classy car with the retractable headlights.