I had a communications class in college. For whatever reason, I remember this: Communicating with other humans is complicated because if you and I are the only two people in a room talking, there are really six personalities there. How? Because each of us have three selves: A, B and C:
A. The person you think you are
B. The person I think you are
C. The person John Stossel exposes you to be on “What Would You Do?”
There were six of us in Italy. I can’t even do the compound math based on the above hypothesis. We got along just fine, really, considering the arena sized grouping of our Selves As, Bs, and Cs cavorting about. When there was bristling, it was when the As and the Bs acted like they were 5th cousins or had never even met each other. But whatever. I think that’s pretty normal. I prolly wouldn’t like Ali B as much as I like Ali A. [Publisher’s note: Mom, I intentionally spelled “prolly” wrong].
Anyway, here is what matters. The Rome Empire fell (as a point of clarity, it fell long before before we got there). We saw the ruins.
We walked the same cobbled-grounds as Caesar and the Pope.
We swam in a sea that I didn’t know existed.
We sang in the Blue Grotto. We gazed at the Pietà. We rubbed the bronze cast of Saint Peter’s foot. We saw, probably, the greatest example of Raphael’s work in the world. (And we know who Raphael is).
We saw casted remains of bodies of people who were just minding their own business in Pompeii, Italy in 79 AD and then they were gone.
We bought some hand-made sandals.
I got a sassy new blue leather jacket that makes me think I look like J-Lo. We ate some authentic pizza and pasta. We drank Limoncello (though this was a duty and not an pleasure).
We listened to Dire Straits on a boat while coasting along the Amalfi Coast on azure blue water under a sailor’s sky. We saw Capri up close one day and also every day from a distance when we glanced out our bedroom window.
We went to an Ice Club where it was -5 Celsius. We got caught in the rain in Rome on a September evening and drank white wine in the basement of a centuries old building in wet socks and jeans.
In other words: We. Nailed. It.
And now, here is what matters the most. To my sisters: We have amazing parents who are both still living and who need us all. Every A, B and C one of us.
Carry on, Soldiers.