The Age Old Problem edition

groovers offside

Age is the problem

When you are too young you are a problem to your parents

When you are too old you are a problem to your children

Well, normally

The problem is, that without putting too fine a point on it…..

Our ability to communicate effectively and…..

…..our ability to control our No 1s and 2s

In other words, when we stop knowing whether any particular

day of the week ends in a ‘Y’ or not…..

…..and when we cease to understand the function of a toilet

We go back to being kids

We start to need twenty four hour attention

Now in modern Britain we have an on hand ready made solution

The care home

Every village has one

Every town has dozens

As soon as said parent of ours looks like they are getting

ready for the ‘departure lounge’…..

…..we quickly get them to transfer their property…

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The Age Old Problem edition

Age is the problem

When you are too young you are a problem to your parents

When you are too old you are a problem to your children

Well, normally

The problem is, that without putting too fine a point on it…..

Our ability to communicate effectively and…..

…..our ability to control our No 1s and 2s

In other words, when we stop knowing whether any particular

day of the week ends in a ‘Y’ or not…..

…..and when we cease to understand the function of a toilet

We go back to being kids

We start to need twenty four hour attention

Now in modern Britain we have an on hand ready made solution

The care home

Every village has one

Every town has dozens

As soon as said parent of ours looks like they are getting

ready for the ‘departure lounge’…..

…..we quickly get them to transfer their property to our

names…..

…..Cross our fingers that time spent in said ‘departure

lounge’ is at least seven years (to avoid inheritance tax)

…..Then let someone else do the bum wiping and the tax

payer pay for it

Perfect ! ! ! ! !

In La Dolce Vita it is a tad different

It’s not cool to stick mum or dad in a care home

The idea there is somewhat transactional, if not simply

traditional

Your parents look after you and then you look after your parents

Simples ! ! ! ! ! (Jay, ‘The Inbetweeners’, 2008-2010)

Down south, that is, south of Rome, this still holds true

Up north, that is, north of Rome, this holds largely true

In Italy, if you fast track your ageing loved one to a care

home…..

…..it is not definitely not COOL ! ! ! ! !

Down south you would bring disgrace on yourself and your family

Up north a different dynamic has emerged because so many

women work, either for professional reasons or simply through

necessity

So if no one is home to look after the ‘nonni’ (the hyper wrinklies)

…..and they can’t look after themselves…..

…..then they are (reluctantly) stuck in a care home

Below Rome it is still very different…..

Down south a married daughter would even move back home to live

with her parents in order to look after them…..

…..notwithstanding nipping to the marital home every now and

then for a bit of ‘How’s your father’ with the understanding

spouse

In short, if you are going to get old and you are unlucky enough

to revert to being a child again (and one of these two is

guaranteed!)

Then try and do it in Italy…..

…..and more particularly…..

…..try and do it down south

And if you are not this fortunate then just hope you don’t end up

on Panorama as a result of secret filming by an undercover

journalist as a victim of abuse by care workers !

You have been warned ! ! ! ! !

G.

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The Leaving Home edition

Groups have been singing about leaving home since

since groups have been singing…..

In the 50s the Chantels had a hit with…..

‘He’s Gone’, 1957

In the 60s the Beatles had a hit with…..

‘She’s Leaving Home’, 1967

In the 70s everybody was at it…..

Hall and Oates had a hit with…..

‘She’s Gone’, 1973

and The Grateful Dead had a hit with…..

‘He’s Gone’, 1972

Etc etc etc

But whilst everyone is singing about it and indeed, even

writing books and making films about it…..

‘Gone Girl’, novel in 2012 and then a film in 2014

Italian young adults just are not doing it…..

…..err

Italian adults are not doing it

Fact: The average Italian male leaves home at 38 !

Fact: The average Italian female leaves home at 29 ! !

This is a cultural oddity…..

…..an idiosyncratic absurdity…..

…..or maybe NOT ! ! !

To the male of the species it is a simple expediency

Mama cooks (better than anyone else on the planet)

Mama takes care of the laundry and the ironing

Mama makes the beds and keeps the house clean

Papa pays all the bills

What’s to think about ? ? ?

To a non-Italian this all looks a little morally suspect

But if you are Italian this is the paradigm

Enjoy…..

Lie back and enjoy it…..

…..because your kids are going to expect it from you !

If, on your other hand, Guido decides to make an early dash

from the bosom of the family…..

…..then help is at hand assuming he moves close to home

and…..

(recent research has shown that the average Italian moves no

more than 3.8 kilometres from the parental home)

…..Mama will straddle the old bicicletta and zip round to

take care of the dusting, sweeping, washing etc…..

…..Well, until Guido gets married and then the wife will take

over !

In the meantime, Guido will normally go home to Mama for

lunch and dinner

So Guido has boldly gone where few have dared to go before

him without a wife to look after him…..

…..and meanwhile, Guido has a more comfortable alternative

to his car for his romantic assignations ! ! ! ! !

For the female of the species it is a little trickier…..

…… if a woman were to leave home to rent / flat share / house

share etc this would represent a serious breach of moral

probity

Women are meant to transition from the parental home to the

home of the man she marries…..

…..there is no legitimate in between

In the rest of the world, university is used as a stepping stone

to independent life

Not in La Dolce Vita…..!

Males and females typically go to universities that are commutable

from home !

So there you have it

Strange but true

And now you know why Italian men always want to see how far the

seats go back before they agree to buy a car

Bless

G

 

 

 

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