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Tonight was the Open Mic in Florence. It’s an event that was started by writer friends of mine that is held every month on the other side of town at a theater room near Piazza Tasso. It’s open to anyone that has a talent: writing & poetry, music, stand-up comedy, even magic tricks are welcome. Each month the show can be extremely different – sometimes it’s high energy, other times it’s quiet and has a coffee-shop vibe. I started going to the event years ago now, and really do enjoy it, but I don’t think I’ve been since Stitch passed away, and after the time home, more projects for work with strange hours and Rami being home for the holidays, I just haven’t found the time – or really the desire.

When Rami was working from 4:30 pm to 2:00/3:00 am most days, my free time was really my own. So I’d set off finding things to do at night and I’d carry Stitch along and I’d visit shows and go to aperitivo and genuinely be more active. If I didn’t do something, I was at home by myself. I had a lot of time to fill, and a desire to fill it because I was still looking to engage in this city. I have to use my Italian. I have to go out and maintain all of the friendships I’ve created here.

Since I lost my job, however, my view on my life here changed drastically, and then as we hit summer and everything seemed to be coming together, I lost my dog here (and my Sadie at home) and had to start over again. I’ve just been focused on figuring out a place for myself and my little family in a world that seems to get more complicated by the year. My event attendance and the get-togethers have been less frequent, not because I don’t want to see my friends and visit the incredible events that are in Florence, but because I am really in love with my life I’m creating right now and want to put everything close to me first, before I reach out wide again.

Since my husband has been able to be home, I want to be able to be home. Why? Because I like hanging out with my husband. A lot. Which, is apparently strange? I know I have friends here and at home that are like us, but apparently, there are a lot of people that have either definitely not found the right person or I’m just crazy obsessed with who I married.

But in this crazy-connected world we live in, I started to wonder if I was the one that was odd. I looked to Google for clarification, but what I found only concerned me. “I like hanging out with my husband” tried to correct me to insert “don’t.” The search results for pages all sounded the same – with one recent study from England saying that 50% of surveyed wives would rather spend time with their girlfriends than their husband. There were also oddly a lot of articles about maintaining friendships with exes for some reason. When searching “I like hanging out with my wife,” the main results were less worrying, and the related results seemed to direct the general problem for husbands was wives wanting to spend too much time with their family. Jesus, people. Why are you getting married if you don’t like hanging out with the person that is going to wake up inches from your face every morning?! You’re supposed to wake up, realize you have a free day with your husband and wife, and be excited. At least, I do. 

To all my girlfriends – I really really like you. I swear. When we get together, I am genuinely happy to and wonder why it has been so long since we’ve seen each other. Honestly, I just really like my husband (and my dog but that is an entirely different topic) and this is the first time I really get a lot of time with him in long bursts. I also am trying to make money because I am a poor broke US college grad with loans and would reaallly love to feel a bit more settled with my income. Then, I can waste away afternoons sipping on glasses of wine without worry that I should be working. 

To my family – I certainly can’t spend too much time with you from here, but I am certain that the Google stereotype would probably be a bit truer if we were living in close proximity to all of you. Until that day comes, Rami is saved from us spending “too much time” with you and just gets to hang out with me.

Thankfully, we’re both happy to hang out with each other. It could be a possibility it’s because neither of us really grew up here, so our solid friendships are spread around the world. It could be that our international mindsets are just more closely related. It definitely is because we fell in love with each other too. Maybe it’s because we both grew up in houses where our parents really loved each other and showed it.

Of course, everyone needs their own interests, and that is why I’m planning on getting myself back into shape for rugby season in the fall. 

All I know is that in the last half of 2018, my focus shifted a bit. I’m building up some sort of a career for myself, and I’m building up my little family. Soon, Rami will be back to work, and I’ll get back to Open Mic and seeing the people I have come to like hanging out within this city. Until then, I’ll be writing and adventuring with my husband and my puppy. I hope you all understand. <3

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