Years ago on a bike trip in Italy, we stopped in Asolo, a hill town in the Veneto area. At the end of a long, hot day of biking, Peter was trying to lift our bicycles onto the top of a van. We were tired. He asked our guide how to say, “I am too old for this kind of work” in Italian. “Sono troppo vecchio per questo genere di lavoro,” the guide replied.
Visiting Sicily just a couple of weeks ago, we took a cooking class from an Italian chef who spoke no English. Peter was assigned to stuff enough veal cutlets to serve two dozen people. Finding the assignment onerous, Peter exclaimed, “Sono troppo vecchio per questo genere di lavoro!” The chef was impressed, but soon realized that was the extent of Peter’s Italian.
Back home last Sunday, I decided to “touch up” the baseboards in our kitchen to cover some stains from refinishing the floor. Not surprisingly, “touching up” turned into repainting all the baseboards. What I expected to take ten minutes turned into two hours and produced aching knees.
At some point, I began to wish I hadn’t started. “What is a 76-year-old doing down on her knees painting baseboards?” I asked myself. I shouted to Peter, “ Sono troppo vecchio per questo genere di lavoro!”
Somehow, it made me feel better.