The good Italian women

a pink pram on a mint-green backgrorund

The scene takes place in a public place frequented mostly by women who have to spend some time there: call it beautician, hairdresser, gynecologist, lingerie store, doesn’t really matter, call it a place. I’m waiting, along with the others but, unlike the others, I am trying to work on my laptop.

All of a sudden, there’s some commotion. I  don’t know what it is, but I understand that it’s something joyful. It turns out that the reason of such joy is a pram with a baby. The pram is pushed into the public place by one of the women, the young parents following at a distance. Right away, the women extract the subject of so much joy from the pram and start kissing and cuddling the baby.

At this point it is necessary to add that the parents of the baby are two young Nigerians and that, as such, the infant too shares the same features as her parents: dark skin and curly hair. ” How cute!”, “She looks like a chocolate!”, “A doll!”, “Oh, just the colour of skin I’d like to have in Summer!”, “So beautiful! You should make lots of babies!” The baby can’t be older than four weeks so I guess that the mother, a beautiful girl in jeans and t-shirt, young and athletic, gave birth no more than a month ago. However, no one asks her how she is or speaks to her. All the attention goes to the baby and only at the end someone asks her father “Anyway, where are you from?” – “We’re from Nigeria.” Before they leave, someone whispers to the father to come back the next day, or later or after a couple of days, so that they can give him some stuff for the baby. Greetings and thanks and the young family leaves.

At this point I feel that the atmosphere has changed. The woman who was the most active with kissing and holding, the one who first took the baby and didn’t even leave her when her cell phone started ringing, tells us that: ” Well, I would take the baby home with me for sure, I’d do it right now!” she says it so serious that for a moment I’m afraid she might actually go after the pram. Another woman, winking: ” Yes, but only her, not her parents, eh?” – “Oh yes, of course – says the pious soul – of course I would only take the baby not those there, I would take her to my home, and I’d change her clothing and everything, but first of all I’d wash her properly!”

I don’t know where to look anymore. What do I do, shall I get up and leave? Then what? Do I give up the advantages that I get from coming here? I sit and pretend to be invisible while in my heart I wish the little one to grow strong and safe despite us pious souls.

(leggi in italiano)

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