by Melinda Gallo

Ti devo bucare

Yesterday I was at my in-law's house for Sunday lunch and I remembered that I forgot to bring a pair of Alessandro's pants to get a button put back on. His mother is a sarta (seamstress) and he thought it'd be best if she did it because she has all the aghi (needles) and filo (thread). I had plans of returning during the week to drop off his pants, but his mom said that she'd give me what I need to sew the button onto his pants instead.

After my Sunday pisolino (nap), I walked into the kitchen and his mother had laid out numerous spools of beige filo. She had light beige, rosey beige, and even a dark beige. She asked me which shade it was and because I didn't really know, I just picked one out without much contemplation.

Then, she asked me to pick an ago (needle). I just looked for one that had a decent size hole and wasn't too small to hold in my hand. She looked at the one I picked and said, "Ti devo bucare. (I have to prick you.)" I laughed, thinking that she wasn't serious. She held out her hand so that I'd put mine in hers. I said, "Stai scherzando? (Are you kidding?)" "No, porta male se ti do l'ago senza bucarti. (No, it's bad luck if I don't prick you with the needle.)"

She lightly pricked me with it and then looked at the ago. "Non va bene questo qui, te ne scelgo uno io. (This one's no good, I'll choose one for you.)"

She picked out one that looked incredibly similar to the one I had previously selected and then smiled at me. I put out my hand and she pricked me again with the newly chosen ago. We laughed together even though I didn't like the idea of getting pricked.

I didn't know that my suocera (mother-in-law) was superstitious. When I told Alessandro what happened, he said he had no idea either. I don't like going against superstitions because one never knows it might just portare male (be bad luck). But, I think next time I need to sew on a button I will buy my own aghi so I don't have to get pricked again.

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