Remember high school history class, those beaten up public school desks… the teacher talking about McCarthyism, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Cold War? oh, I’ve got the chills now, because I’m about to confess that I once bought a Communist newspaper! And it gets even better, because… come closer to the screen so you can hear me whisper… it wasn’t the only time!
Ok, now that I’ve shocked the CIA awake and their probably planning an eruption into my tiny apartment (note for the CIA: please use the Mission Impossible theme music when you break down my door and I’ll make sure to have a ridiculous dress on to make a risqué getaway jump from the window!), yes, I have purchased with my own money, and in person from the giornalaio, a communist newspaper, Il Manifesto to be precise! Oh and it was a thrill and I held that baby proudly under my arm for all of centre city Milano to see as I went to meet a colleague (an Argentinian who was raised internationally before putting down roots in Italy) and we had a chat and a giggle about Il Manifesto and she told me that she knew someone who bought it regularly. OMG! That’s 2 degrees of separation from a real communist and she came from a politically unstable South American country! The CIA’s probably been keepin’ their eye on me ever since, right?!
Now, I know you’re thinking that I sound like I’m still a giddy school girl and you know that you’re right in thinking that, because I am still like that, but heck, even an American grown man would get giddy over buying Il Manifesto. Ah, but alas, that was many years ago, when I was young and impressionable and at risk of being led down the wrong path, one that would lead me to being exiled from my own homeland of the free. (Too late, I’m on year 15 of my self-imposed exile!) However, when I had the opportunity to buy Il Manifesto more recently, when my artist husband was the subject of an article in their sports section (it’s a long story!), I jumped on it saying “Io lo compro! Io lo compro!” (I’ll buy it! I’ll buy it!) and I felt just as giddy as I did my very first time at 25. But for every giddy laugh and twinkly-eyed smile I had as I told Signor giornalaio that my husband was the subject of an article, a piece of information the guy couldn’t have cared less about, there’s a downside, because I’ve never really been a newspaper reader. Nowadays, I get my kicks from Yoga Journal… It’s like the same thing, right?
One last thing. Remember the old riddle “what’s black and white and red all over”? You know you’re thinking what I’m thinking now! Although this riddle gets a little lost in translation with the words for red (rosso) and read (letto [past tense of leggere]) no where near being homophones, the intent of the joke comes through quite clearly. And yes, just in case your’re wondering, my choice of red lipstick was intentional!