The Gift My Best Childhood Friend Gave Me
As an adult, I have had the unique joy of being told many times, when I meet non-Americans, that there is something different about the way I carry myself.
They tell me I carry myself more like a European than an American. They explain that I have a certain worldly refinement not often found in Americans.
I explain to them that was because I was reared half of my childhood by an extraordinary German family.
I remember the dinners I attended that were as delicious as they were meticulous and beautifully presented.
I remember the education I got about the world from a different perspective, sitting in the family room with Betina's amazing parents, Steve and Katie. (With Steve sitting in his classic Eames lounge!).
I remember the love I was shown by all of the Illy family, as if I was as much a member as any of them.
I remember Betina's mom, Katie, showing me the beauty of sleeping under a down comforter and how to get the damned thing properly into a duvet cover!
I still know how to make Katie's chocolate mousse by heart, although she had to send the recipe to me about five times!
I feel like I owe my impeccable table manners to this second family of mine.
I feel like I gained my European flair from them.
I remember learning how to apply mascara by watching Sylvia, Betina's older sister. ! I still think of her every time I apply it!
I remember taking newborn Neeko to see Katie, and her cooing and giggling over him like he was her own grandson.
I will never forget the love they all gave me, as if I was
one of the tribe.
I will never forget the joy I got from spending time with them.
This special family was, and always will be, my family too.
Betina is my true sister and always will be. And therefore, I am by default, half-German!!
I love and miss them all. More than I could ever express!
And that is how I ended up with my European refinement, and a killer chocolate mousse recipe!
© 2018 Elisa Fortise Christensen