When I left you, the PdP had (first) said she was going to give Sophia (my dog) away, and (secondly) said she was going to sell her, but did I ever hear anything about the word STEAL? Nope – not until today! I heard her shrieky, ‘fingernails-down-the-chalkboard’-like voice and, for the first time in my life, I felt a shiver down my spine. I thought people just wrote that in books, or said that in movies…but I can tell you, it happens in real life when you are upset enough. It doesn’t help that I heard this in the middle of the Italy vs Czech Republic World Cup game, where there was little chance of me making a clean get-away.

Once again, she had at least one of the kids she babysits with her…well, let’s skip forward a few hours. I go for a walk and during my walk, I see the PdP, a man, and the three kids on the PdP’s balcony playing with Sophia. The PdP sees me looking at her (through the trees where I was trying to spy) and doesn’t wave or smile. I return the (dis)gesture. I continue my walk around and see that the group is actually washing Sophia. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate a helping hand, but something isn’t right about this. I mean, why would a grown man drive from downtown Catanzaro-about 20 minutes away-to help his nanny wash her neighbor’s dog? hmm … .

Well, I try to prod information from Peppe’s dad, to see if he had given her permission to take Sophia, but the communication was difficult. I had too many of my own thoughts rushing in my head (that F*^*ing BI#$*, what the F*@* is she doing, agwwww!!!!) to really understand what he was telling me in Italian. I even woke up Peppe really early before he had to go to work, to make sure they weren’t giving Sophia away.

Well, after dinner, I went downstairs to look for her. I called her and heard her whining. I looked and looked for her, and tried to follow her sound, but I couldn’t see her. Finally, with the light from the moon behind her, I saw her run up PdP’s stairs. “Sophia!” I said and ran toward to her. She ran down the stairs. We met in the middle – with a LOCKED fence between us!

I shook the fence but it wouldn’t come unlocked. Peppe had walked out (because he was scared of impending confrontation) and I asked him to bring me the key to the fence. (PdP rents from Peppe’s family, so I knew they had a key to her yard, as his dad had used it a few weeks ago.) He brought the key, with Sophia jumping, whining, and licking my fingers through the fence. She even tried to dig a hole through the concrete, poor baby. Well, guess what?? The LOCK had been CHANGED! Peppe didn’t have the right key anymore to open the fence. I have never been a confrontational person, and I have never ever hit anyone, but Mamma Mia – I don’t know if I could have controlled myself if she had walked out of her house right then.

I am quite sure she heard us, as I was not quietly expressing my opinions of her. (Of course, I was speaking English, so maybe I am not that confrontational after all!) Luckily for me, I have a pretty tall boyfriend and a puppy who can jump. So, Sophia jumped a little, Peppe leaned over the fence a little, and voila – my baby was free!

She knows where she lives, because after giving us kisses and hugs, she made a beeline for our house. As my dad pointed out when I told him the latest today, Sophia is smarter than the PdP. Sophia knows she has a home .

Also, Dad said maybe someone should tell the PdP that for Texans, messing with their pets (dogs, cats and horses included) is serious business. We were trying to figure out exactly what someone could be thinking by taking someone’s dog, washing it and then locking it up inside their own yard … what do you think?

(If you are a man reading this I apologize) but what the hell is wrong with men??? Peppe said, “Maybe she was being nice by washing Sophia and then she accidentally locked her inside her yard.”

Are you freaking kidding me?

Ladies out there – do you have problems like this with the men in your lives? Or men, if you are there, WHY?

8 Responses
  1. Anonymous

    You go girl, protecting your dog is part of the American identity.
    I can’t say what I would do if I caught someone trying to steal my dog. (I’m not much of a dog lover)joking.

    Michael LeRoy

  2. Jeff Gromen

    Peppe sounds like me, Cherrye. I would try to diffuse the situation and defend an old friend. Sorry but I always try to make peace. I would realize that the PdP does need to be talked to but I would do it when it’s possible without being obvious.
    I’ll send you a conversion program so you don’t have to go online!!!

  3. siciliana in training

    okay, this is important. Italian men are used to being accommodated. The fact that she is accommodating your bfriends family is considered a wonderful thing by them.

    I am going to give a quick lesson here that will help you tremendously if you are willing to accept it.

    It will be hard for you as an independent American woman. I know because I am one. A little about me, so you know from whence this advice comes. I am 40ish and am with a terrific Sicilian I am going to marry next month, his mother is still in the picture, she lives part time in the family condo, and my guy is devoted to her, but with diligent work on my part, I have managed to become the first woman in his life and she while respected and cherished by him, and me, I am accommodated and cherished.

    But it took work.

    you will lose this and many other cultural disconnects if you try to reason with him, or ask him to respect your feelings, or ask him to do something about her, they you will probably come up against a family loyalty and you will lose.

    I do not mean to sound negative, but this is usually what happens.

    you can win though,

    masculine men show love to their feminine women by cherishing their feelings, and solving their problems.

    when feminine women are cherished we feel loved and respected.

    Being independent and in a new country our (capable american women ways) impulse is to lay out the situation and for them to understand and respect our position, and do what we want.

    This rarely works, mediterannean men feel and think simultaneously and don’t usually make the best decisions right away. so, I suggest you stay with your feelings.

    You see, he cherishes her because she has created a situation where she respects them and does things to accommodate them.

    You must establish yourself as most cherished and treasured female. DO NOT COMPETE. ( I know you think I am nuts, but believe me I have read lots and tried both ways, my suggestion comes from lots of experience.) REad up on Dr. Patricia Allen “Getting to I DO” for more info.

    SInce you do not say you are his fidanzata, I am assuming you have not actually set a date. This is a dicey situation to be in there. The south is not like the north of Italy. If we live with a man without the moniker of fidanzata he has not given you the culturally positive status and others will talk. In the meantime, you can get it, just listen to this advice. I know, you think I am a nut. I am not.

    Don’t forget that this woman was the female presence after his mom died.

    She wants him.

    Do Not Compete for your ideas to be honored. If you win, you will lose a notch in the cherishing olympics and it won’t be worth it.

    You may have to let the puppy go. He is more important.

    When you want to talk to him, ask him when it is a good time, and save it to talk to him then. You woke him up to talk about this. Clearly you are upset and on edge. He will react to this and get upset too. When it is time to talk: say that you have some uncomfortable feelings you would like his input about so you can feel more comfortable about the situation in your new culture.

    Tell him you feel sad that this dog you have come to love has been taken from you. And tell him that you are a little confused about the best way to deal with your new friend. (the woman, she is a freind of the family so she should be a friend of yours.)

    You know he loves you and have no doubt that even though she is flirting with him, that he loves you and only you.

    But you are alone here, and the dog was making you happy, and you don’t want to offend anyone, but it makes you feel more alone since the dog was taken away.

    Then ask him what he thinks and let him talk.

    You might be surprised about the reaction. He may say let it go, she’s a pain, he might say, silly one, of course we can get the dog back. You might decide respecting him and the relationships that already exist can not be changed to accommodate your insecurities, and not worth it.

    If you win, and he is forced to go against a harmonious (although icky) relationship with a woman who clearly they feel loyalty to will cause discomfort for him. La Bella Figura is important.

    If he says let it go, you win his cherishing because he will feel respected and better around you.

    Getting him to do your bidding on this one will not work, in my opinion in the long run.

    She can not be treated head on since she will clearly talk to him about any conversation you have. She is doing this to win something that you care about. It could be worse she could be going after your man. Psychologically she is, (I am guessing she did not go to college and has never heard of freud) are not as sophisticated as we.

    She is fighting with you. Let her. It’s a dog.

    Or see what your guy says and decide what is the most important thing for you with your man.

    good luck. don’t hate me. I say this out of solidarity for another strong, independent, american woman. We are so capable, and quick, they are slower, and the culture is different. we both know that these italian men are amazing, they are more men than any of the americans we have left behind. But we need to stay female especially at times like this, in order to keep them on our sides.

    they feel respected and they cherish people who respect them. She clearly has something that keeps them feeding her and welcoming her into their house. Figure out how she flatters them , see what she provides and make sure you do it better.

    It’s only a dog, make your choice.

    If you are a little lonely, maybe he will suggest something sweet that will make you happier.

    IF it is really important, you can discuss it with him idea to idea, but be willing to stand alone, and take the consequences. Respect his choice, and share how it is not the right one for you and you will do this , and ask if he will accept your choice. If not, ask what he thinks you should do.

    MAking his choice the wrong choice will come with a price.

    good luck.

  4. Cherrye

    Michael and Jeff – thanks for posting comments. Siciliana in Training, thank you for the advice. You are right about how American Independent women react differently. I am learning that day by day. I am glad to report though that things have worked out well. The next day, the PdP called Peppe and talked to him in a horrible tone and had a really bad attitude with him and his father. Peppe told her he wouldn’t put up with her attitude, and realized she was being sneaky about the way she was trying to get the dog. Even his dad saw through her. Isn’t it great how things work out??

  5. siciliana in training

    Sounds good. sounds like she hanged herself. Thank God.

    Congratulations to you too, sounds like although you were upset you did not lose control.

    I like the website change. It looks really pretty.

    If I may say, unhappy, jealous, suspicious and sneaky women, no matter where they come from, are powerful and when their culture has kept them down in one way or another, they lash out. Sometimes they choose a woman who has done nothing but be raised in a culture that empowered it’s women (hard earned and fought for certainly) to be capable and put energy behind their desires.

    Do you think that PdP actually has the skills to do what you have done?

    In her culture she was told/taught that if she was subservient and obedient that her prize would be the Peppe’s of Italy.

    Then he comes come with a woman who is nothing like the women raised by his side to raise his children.

    How would you feel? I’d be pissed.

    I am willing to bet she is.

    Now she has hanged herself. Luckily she is not that smart.

    I am not painting a miserable story to frighten you here. Clearly you and Peppe have a wonderful relationship and strong and you don’t need any “help” from me.

    It sounds like you are strongly and properly in the position of most cherished female. Good for you.

    Enjoy your lovely new life . I was in your position 2 years ago, and as hard as it was , I have finally accepted the advice of my fiance:

    “Think about your family, confide in no one. and what you do for others you do for your self 3 times more. “

    (my translation of the sicilian) I think this could be read both ways, the good things and the bad things you do.

    I have found it hard to make friends with Sicilian women, although I have friends, but not like in the USA where I would tell my friends anything.

    It seems to me that you have seen a bad face of your neighbors. Sounds like it went well. Continued good luck and happiness!!!

  6. Judith in Umbria

    Peace is one thing. Backing up your own is another. Think hard about the many opportunities you are going to need someone at your back. This is another culture. Things WILL happen.
    You need to be really clear about your expectation that he will back you up when you run into trouble. Then you need evidence that he’ll do it. Words are not enough.
    I don’t think that’s an American thing. If anything, American women may get a little too used to doing it themselves. It’s more universal. Like every woman is a potential mother and a mother needs someone to back her up when she needs to fight for her kids.
    There can be no peace when people act out threats. Peace is if she b*tches and moans at you. War is when she acts out like this.

  7. Millard Sipler

    Most JCPenney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Before 1966, most of its stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular in the latter half of the 20th century, JCPenney followed the trend by relocating and developing stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening some standalone stores, including some next door to competitors. Certain stores are located in power centers. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998.,”`^


    Stop by our personal blog page as well

Leave a Reply