Who’s That (Café) Girl?
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’m the oldest of seven children raised in a large Irish/Italian family – Catholic, of course. My parents were considered a “mixed marriage” back in the 50s, with family roots originating in Co. Mayo on my dad’s side and Naples on mom’s side. So I am one part hot blooded Latin and one part wild eyed Celt.
I grew up in a close knit Italian neighborhood — think Moonstruck but in Cleveland, Ohio — where we were the only kids in our Italian grade school whose last name didn’t end in a vowel. We were mostly a fair skinned, blue-eyed lot, so we really stuck out. My Italian grandmother (Vincenza) who lived with us used to say that the combination made the “most beautiful babies”. But then again, she would.
My friend John Patrick Gallagher from Dublin likes to say, “Tis true, Cat but they grow up to be crazier than shite house rats.” And in some ways, I think he’s right.
When I was a little girl, Grandma V also used to say to me, “All you need is a place to hang your hat.” And I have been a gypsy ever since — studying, living, working all over the place. Some of my more superstitious Italian friends might have considered that more of a curse than a blessing, forever destined to wander incessantly (CWC) – currently without country, or (NFA) – no fixed address. But my grandmother was a wise judge of character and I think she had me pegged from an early age.
A friend who lived most of her life as an ex-pat used to say, “Home is where friends like you are.” She had just moved back to Greece from South Africa and we were catching up over lunch at a seaside taverna in Piraeus. It’s one of those magical moments that take up permanent residence in your memory – just as a favorite painting or photograph would in your home. The sun, the sea, the calamari and conversation and of course the retsina. With friends on six continents, I’m never really far from “home”.
I sell color for a living. What does that mean? Well the best way to describe it is when you go to a home improvement store and you choose a paint color – those little color chips (let downs of color), my company produces those. I guess you could consider it a color sample but with a very high degree of color accuracy. We produce them for the automotive industry, cosmetic and of course architectural coatings. It’s a very specialized business.
I have the Bermuda Triangle of sales territories with customers in Scandinavia, Western and Southern Europe, and South Africa. It’s the perfect job for a gypsy like me.
Previously I had been in corporate communications for large companies and ad agencies and made the switch to sales 15 years ago. I had found that after 10 years I could no longer take the confines of a cubicle. Now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else except maybe writing this blog.
I have a Journalism degree which I put to use at that time, as a writer for hire. But that kind of writing is “work”. This blog is strictly for fun. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I do writing it.
And on that note that’s all she wrote – at least for now.