We rent a great apartment, one house away from the cemetery – now that is a great land mark – right? Why couldn’t the UPS guy find us? How about this – our landlord’s family has owned this house for generations and we always include his name in our address but still the mail never finds me. Is it because I am a middle aged woman – actually a wee bit more than middle aged and I’m freaking invisible?
I knew I was invisible in the United States. How many times have I been ignored at a bar waiting to order a drink? Enough that I had to bellow – “bar keep – invisible woman here.” But to be invisible in Italy is putting me over the edge.
Last year was the first time we discovered I was invisible here. My “codice fiscale” – like a social security number that you need to buy anything big or do any large financial transactions – was sent to me, in care of our landlord, at our address. Where did it end up? About a mile up the road at a family of Guerreras. They called my cousin Carmella – whose mom is a Guerrera – and asked who Margaret Ann was? Carmella’s husband went and got the letter and delivered my mail to me. Thank God it is a small town. The postman refused to believe that a Guerrera could live where we live. I guess he never saw me when I said hello at the end of the driveway.
This year we sent three larges boxes of stuff – important stuff that we wanted in the apartment – like my grandmother’s cast iron griddle and winter coats. The saga of the boxes is another story – but for now just know that even though the boxes were addressed to me, in care of my landlord at his address they were delivered to my cousin’s mother! Mario, Carmella’s husband, guided the big truck back up the street to us. Che fa?!
Yesterday was the tip of the iceberg – I am going to call Harry Potter and see if he can conjure up some anti-invisible cream. I ordered a part from Apple Italia – that’s another story too. It was coming via UPS. The driver texted me that morning – a nice touch. I replied the house was very close to the cemetery and my landlord’s name was on the gate. That afternoon, he called and said I can’t find the house. “Where are you?” I asked. “By the funeral agency,” he replied. What? I texted cemetery???? “But where are you,” he whined, “which house?”
I told him I would meet him at the cemetery – it is the only bloody one in town. After walking down to the front gate – it took all of 3 minutes – I waited in the shade of a mausoleum. Where is he? The truck passed me – I was the only person standing in the street in front of the cemetary. I am invisible.
Rather than leave you on such a sad note, he did turn around, smile whimsically as only a twenty-something Italian hunk a bunk can and give me my package.
Can you see me?????