Wednesday, November 3, 2010

E Mio!

"E mio!" I hear this almost everyday when I drop my 3 year old off at school.  It means "it is mine!"

I have this really important rule that I think my friend Emily taught me over 15 years ago:  If you think about something after you've left a store, that means you should have bought it.  So, remember waaaay back in the spring when I bought the chandelier, the antique dealer had a pair of Louis XV chairs that I loved?  Well, I've been thinking about those chairs for seven months now.  Totally should have bought them when I first saw them.  Since then, I not only lost the chairs, but I also lost the antique dealer.

Guess what I found the last week.  I found the antique guy.  He closed his shop and only kept a workshop open.  And in the way back room, covered with dust was one of the Louis XV chairs.  I was thrilled and perfectly happy to have one, rather than a matching pair and then from even further back and covered with more dust, he pulled out the other one.

E mio!

So I went back a few days later to pay and on my way out of the store, I thought I saw a mirror that has been on my wish list.  It is one of those huge, really ornate vertical mirrors.  It is as tall or maybe taller than me.  And 4 or 5 feet wide.  Huge.  It looked almost exacly like this except it is black.

He pulled it out and started telling me about it, in Italian of course.  It is from the 1800's and he kept saying the word "gold" in Italian.  I was looking at the mirror and it was clearly not gold.  It was black.  So I said, "ma, questo e nero" but this is black.  And he goes on and on about gold and then starts talking about the war.  I finally caught on when my friend saw gold peeking out from underneath the nics in the black.  The mirror is covered in gold leaf. During the war whoever owned this mirror had to paint it black so the Germans wouldn't take it. 

THAT, to me is history.  Not dates and rulers but how ordinary people were affected.  I can even imagine having that converstation with my husband.  "what are we going to do?"  "they are coming and they are going to take it".  And then can you imagine them covering their precious gold mirror in thick black paint while they waited for the arrival of the German soldiers?  Gave me chills.

Ma questo e non mio.  But this is not mine.  He asked if he should deliver it with the chairs.  I must have given him a look because he smiled and said "tuo marito piange"  He is right, my husband would cry.

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