Category Archives: note to self: remember why you're doing this

Rules of engagement.

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Well well well.

It’s been a while, and I’m really sorry – got caught up in that big ol’ pile of Things You Should Do Before A Trip (which in my case included getting your eyesight checked and getting an Unintentional Shauna O’Brien haircut – draw your own conclusions).

I think it’d be wise of me to start explaining a few guidelines for what I’m about to do.

So, join me in the FAQ Master List.

——–

Why are you leaving?

See here. (And here, if you’re up for some nation/gender moping.)

How long will you be traveling around?

At the very least, I’ll be on the move until late 2010. By then, I hope, I’ll have landed on a better planet. Some place I feel ok living in for a couple years, if not until the day I die. Also – I’m not planning on meeting my uber-fabulous maker soon.

How long will you stay in a single place?

Depends. One-two months’ stays are probably the best fit for me: just enough to get a feel of different cities and neighborhoods, without beating yourself up too much if things turn out to be less than ideal.

How many countries will you visit?

I’m curious about it myself.

…Huh?

I’ve made a list of places and cities to spin, but I’m trying to be a c’mon-will-it-kill-you-to-broaden-your-horizons-just-a-little gal here – so, while I’ll watch out for anything that might pop up, say, in Barcelona, Portland or Brighton, I’ll also let fate decide for me. When it can be bothered to intervene.

Fate.

Dude, I know.

How are you going to support yourself?

Glad you asked. Money’s an obvious issue here – international travel is way cheaper than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take budget into consideration. (And no, I am not living off a trust fund.)

That said, I’ve saved up enough for an ok year – this means subletting an apartment when/where I can, a single room when/where I can’t, keeping up with the freelance work (the past couple of years I’ve been hired by Rolling Stone, Wired and a number of local magazines) and at least taking into consideration any steady gig that won’t force me to get back in Italy.

I also swore to my agent I’ll be done with Novel Number Two by the end of May. So.

And I do work from home, so I’ll tend to avoid what we like to call “the Erasmus kiss of death”. (As far as I understand, ageism is serious business in several metropolitan areas, so it’s not like I’ll be breaking any hearts here.)

Will you be able to come and go as you please? Seriously?

The subtle beauty of being a UE citizen lies in not having to fill out a gazillion forms. Most of the time. Any visit to the US falls under the Visa Waiver program: should I opt for a 3-month-plus stay, I’ll have to apply for a tourist visa. (Also: Latin American countries follow different rules, but right now the chances of me successfully negotiating a Buenos Aires sublet online are pretty slim.)

Hey, I live in an interesting city/town/village/’hood/hole in the wall, I think you should give it a try.

Drop me a line: violettabellocchio at gmail dot com

Anything else?

I’ll be applying for a couple artists’ residencies here and there: getting in is a whole other matter, so I won’t be placing all my eggs of ZOMG stability in that basket, thank you.

I’m questioning your badassness.

Don’t.

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Filed under note to self: remember why you're doing this

And so it begins.

Basically, I want to get pregnant.

Such a task would be deemed “doable”, were the situation just a little bit different.

Not around here.

I was born in Italy. I’m still living here. I’m 32 years old.

I’m leaving in a month.

Reasons could be written off as “needing some personal time”. But there’s more to the story.

Current Italian laws make it impossible for an unmarried woman to get artificially inseminated, whatever her sexual orientation might be (wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it would have been nice for it to be a choice somehow). The same goes for adoption: you need to be straight and have been married for a few years [ed.: apparently, you can apply for adoption and pull the old “…no, Your Honor, but we do plan to get married soon” – bonne chance] before you can turn in the papers, and even then it’s a big “if” (which could explain why so many couples just get on the road, travel to former Soviet Republics and swipe babies for cash… but I digress).

So, if an Italian woman happens to be in lack of a husband and wanting to start a family, several appealing alternatives are laid down in front of her.

1. Pay massive amount of cash to get an in vitro abroad (unknown donor), then raise the kid as a single parent.

Pros: hey, it’s your baby.

Cons: baby gets crushed under the weight of Messianic expectations.

2. Pay massive amount of cash to get an in vitro abroad (you know the donor), then raise the kid as a semi-single parent.

Pros: you’re not on your own.

Cons: donor could fight you for custody, and win; donor could change his mind about sharing any sort of responsibility, effectively pinning you in .1 scenario; seems to work only for lesbian couples whose Spider-sense is really, really sharp.

3. Trick unsuspecting guy in getting you pregnant, then raise the kid as a single parent.

Pros: Unsuspecting Guy never finds out, therefore he can’t become Bad Influence on kid.

Cons: Also called pulling a Loverboy.

4. Trick unsuspecting guy in getting you pregnant, then go around screaming “it’s your child too, you bastard” and hope the DNA tests prove you right.

Pros: you might get some child support money – if and when the court rules in your favor.

Cons: do you really want to be that person?

5. Invest years, time and energy in landing an actual relationship with a man, then hope he might want to become a father one day.

Pros: it’s supposed to be natural.

Cons: personal/emotional life morphs into series of increasingly desperate manipulation attempts; relationship might de-evolve into a 2. scenario.

But.

Should any of these things work out for you, there’s no safety net when it comes to getting back on your feet and into the workforce.

You’re a woman, and you’re in Italy, therefore you’re expected to make everything turn out ok without any kind of support.

So much fuss is made about you (aka Future Wife/Mother Figure) as a future family cornerstone, but no political party is going to do anything to help you. You want a kid, you’re on your own. You want to work, you’re on your own. And never the twain shall meet.

I really don’t want to be that.

I don’t want to kill off everything I tried to do in the past 10+ years just so that I might, one day, get a husband and a baby. I know I won’t.

But I don’t want to keep on making myself invisible to men, so that I can do my thing and little else, banishing any thought of an actual relationship.

So, I’m leaving. Let’s see if things are really the same anywhere else.

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Filed under family laws, I refuse to die alone on general principles, note to self: remember why you're doing this