4 Ways to (Not) Move Out of Your Italian Parents’ Home

  1. Don’t. Why are you so ungrateful? Did we not stuff you with mortadella? Did we not wash and air dry your underwear?
  2. Move into a property owned by your parents, preferably in the same building. If you really love them, it will be the unit next to, above or below theirs.
  3. If you really must prove your independence, buy your own property (on the block, obviously). You’re an idiot if you rent. Why don’t you just light your money on fire? If you must leave, at least invest in your cold, heartless future.
  4. Ignore all reasonable options and find an apartment to rent that is an astounding 4 km (2.5 mi) away from your childhood home in a “not good” area. You never really loved us anyway.

Robin How I Met Your Mother:

Re: Option #4

We found an apartment we liked online, submitted a deposit, and within a couple weeks were able to move in; I was expecting more of a hassle, given prior attempts to acquire things I wanted in this lovely paese. Unlike in the U.S., they didn’t ask for a credit score (per la privacy), references or anything like that. You got the money? You got a job that will keep bringing in dat cash money? We cool, then.

Wait, that’s not entirely true. On the day we got the keys, the owner remarked that an American woman was destined to live in this apartment. Oh, really? “Yes, another American wanted it,” she confided, “but I didn’t like how her boyfriend behaved, so we didn’t give it to them.”

Taylor Swift Look What You Made Me Do

You better be on your best frickin’ behavior, Alberto.

To officially get the keys and contract, we sat at a conference table with a total of six (6) people — the property owners (wife and husband), an employee of some sort (their daughter), a representative from a housing agency, and then the two of us. The wife read the multi-page contract aloud, word for word, as we all followed along, making corrections as necessary.

One particular contract item we’re stuck on: “Renters must repaint entire apartment so that it looks exactly as it did when said renters moved in.” For reals? I’ll caulk nail holes, but this seems excessive. “I once had a tenant who smashed mosquitoes against the wall and never cleaned up the guts; that’s why we have that clause,” she explains.

As supporting evidence for move-out option #2 above, I present the following: The apartment we’re renting was meant for the owners’ daughter (it’s on the same floor, three units away from mom), but she didn’t want it. Regarding option #3 above, I present the following evidence: The daughter lives around the corner instead. Also regarding #2, we heard the same story from some family we visited in a nearby town: “I built that house over there for the kids and they didn’t want it! Can you imagine? Now, strangers live there, but at least I make money.”

Question: Did anyone ask their children if they wanted those particular homes? Answer:

Wedding Crashers:

So, we’ve got an apartment now but we shipped nothing to Italy and brought only four suitcases of mostly clothes, so we need everything — from spoons to towels to pillows to pasta.

In addition to Prince and niceness, one of Minnesota’s greatest gifts to humankind is Target. Some superstores pretend to have it all, but when you’re raised on the bull’s-eye, you know you’ll be disappointed by anything else. What do you mean I can’t get peanut butter, toilet cleaner, a latte AND a pair of stylish flats at this store!? Instead we’re hopping from shop to shop to shop, where nobody cares if you find what you need. #FirstWorldProblems

Saturday Night Live:

Even Alberto is losing it. We’re trying to buy an iron, but there are only two employees in a store the size of a Best Buy. First, we wait while one goes to check the inventory for the iron we want (20 minutes; no luck), then we stand in line to purchase a hairdryer instead (another 15 minutes; there’s only one person in front of us).

“Excuse me, is there another cash register?” Alberto asks. No, obviously, the cashier gestures. “This is hell. I’m going nuts,” Alberto sighs. “Welcome to Italy.” Mamma mia, the Midwest has ruined this paesano.

Kristen Wiig on SNL, Saturday Night Live, Welcome to Target, Woohoo

But it’s also a grass-is-greener scenario: I generally avoid interacting with retail workers in the U.S. because I like to maintain my personal shopping bubble, but then I get to Italy and I’m all “PLEASE, SOMEONE SELL ME A FREAKING VACUUM. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ANY OF THESE SYMBOLS MEAN. WHY DOES THIS ONE SAY IT ONLY WORKS FOR 12 MINUTES AT A TIME?!”

Sunny side: there are three IKEA stores in Milan, and they let you shop with your dog. So, when your ottoman argument is on the verge of exploding after four hours of Swedish prison, just around the corner there’s an adorable mutt to dissolve the tension. Aww, that puppy looks SO good as part the VOXTORP collection!

Liz Lemon on 30 Rock goes to IKEA:

12 thoughts on “4 Ways to (Not) Move Out of Your Italian Parents’ Home

  1. Thanks for sharing your hilarious adventures. A former member of the girl choir where I was manager will be studying in Florence next semester. If I know Darcy, she will want to travel all over Italy and beyond. Would it be ok to pass along your contact info to her?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😹 Maybe? I haven’t given up on peanut butter search yet — need to check some more stores or buy a grinder and make my own damn deliciousness.


  2. Clearly you need to switch to Nutella. This was very funny- I keep picturing your face when you are with these people in these crazy conversations. #ironsearchalert

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It doesn’t help that growing up in CG meant wandering the aisles of Target was the only thing to do around town. Not having access to one is like missing a piece of your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

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