Friday, July 20, 2012

The Friday Five

My friend, Iowa, sent this to me. "What It Means to be in an Italian Family". She wanted to know how many are true. I'm pretty sure my answers will be atypical. My parents were the first generation of their families born in this country, but they grew up in East Boston, a version of Little Italy. My parents moved  25 miles west to the "country" leaving the rest of the family behind.. The Brother and I do not have Italian first names. Though Italian was their first language, they did not teach us how to speak the mother tongue. The only time the folks spoke Italian at home was when they didn't want The Brother or me to know what was going on.  (We did pick up a few words and phrases, some of which can be used in polite company, too!) My parents wanted us to fit in and "be American".  


1) You will never play professional basketball.
True. Though the above statement refers to height, the real reason is I have no desire to play professional basketball.

2) You swear very well.
True. I can swear in Italian (with appropriate hand gestures), English, German (a few phrases), a word or two in French, and a word or two in Klingon.

3) At least one of your cousins is a fireman, cop, bar owner, funeral home owner or holds political office.

A first cousin once removed and a second cousin were firemen.

 And you have at least one relative who is either a nun or a priest.
A second cousin was a late vocation to the priesthood after his wife passed away. Before he became a priest, he was a cardiologist and a lawyer.

4) You think you sing very well.

Nope, I sing like a hinge.

5) You have no idea how to make a long story short! (don't forget the hand gestures either LOL )

Tie my hands, and I'm mute.

6) There isn't a big difference between you losing your temper or killing

Moi? No, Italians are very even tempered individuals. Just ask Himself.

7) Many of your childhood meals were boiled and store bought pasta or
sauce/gravy was a mortal sin.

I'm not sure what this question is supposed to mean. We never had pasta. Pasta was an upscale word. We had macaroni. We had macaroni several nights a week. Ma always bought Prince macaroni which was manufactured in the North End of Boston. Her mother also made home-made macaroni (Wed. was macaroni making day), and we preferred Grandma's macaroni to Prince. A tomato based sauce for macaroni is known as gravy. To eat macaroni without gravy is a mortal sin. 

8) You have never hit your head on a ceiling.

Actually, I did once. Had gone with a friend to her friend's small apartment in New York City. Our room was in loft with a bunk bed and low ceiling. I had the top bunk. Sat up too quickly in the morning and saw stars.

9) You spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling in prayer.

This had nothing to do with the fact of being Italian. I spent most of my childhood on my knees because I went to parochial school. Most of my cousins didn't attend parochial school and didn't spent their time on their knees in prayer.
10) You're exceptionally poetic after a few bottles of vino.

I don't need alcohol to enhance that gift.
11) Some punches directed at you are from legacies of past generations.


12) Many of your sisters and/or cousins are named Maria, Teresa, Gina or Sophia

Nope. Only a first cousin once removed is named Gina.

 and there is at least one member of your family with the full name of Maria Teresa .
13) Someone in your family is very generous. It is more than likely you.

14) You may not know the words, but that doesn't stop you from singing.

I don't sing unless I'm alone. I sing like a hinge. Remember?
15) You can't wait for the other guy to stop talking before you start talking.

LOL it's been known to happen.
16) You're not nearly as funny as you think you are but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency.

Not true. I'm hysterically funny.
17) There wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last
christening party. All life is to be celebrated.

True. Happy, sad, momentous, or mundane, all revolve around copious amounts of food.
18) You are, or know someone, named Anthony/Tony or Toni/Antoinette.

I have four cousins and an uncle named Tony.
19) If you don't know Tony - then you know Sal. If you don't know Sal or Luigi,
then you know Joe, Frank, or Dino. Then you also probably know Rocco and his brothers.

I know Sal, Luigi, Joe, Frank, and Rocco.
20) You are genetically incapable of keeping a secret.

Not true. An Australian friend called me the Little Oyster, not only am I a pearl of great price, but I can keep my mouth tightly shut.
21) You have Italian Alzheimer's, you forget everything but the grudges!

Lol. It's not Alzheimer's. More like I can forgive, but I can't forget.
22) 'Italian Leftovers' is a euphemism for 'spaghetti and meatballs.' Mangia!!!

Spaghetti and meatballs is American. We didn't have spaghetti in my house (Ma didn't like it). Leftovers was (cold) eggplant Parmigiana sandwiches. Mangia, indeed.

23) You never need a spray tan - you always have warm coloring! If you are fair- you still tan beautifully (after the 1st burn).

24) Childhood remedies for the common cold often included some form of warmed spiced Vino.

Nope. My mother's remedy was chicken soup. Wine was for special occasions. I was 10 when I had my first sip of wine at a wedding. I didn't like it.
25) There's no leaving a family party without saying goodbye for at least 45

Sometimes it takes an hour and a half.
26) At this very moment, you have at least two relatives who are not speaking to each other. Not fighting, mind you, just not speaking to each other.

Those relatives came from my parents' generation. They aren't speaking to each other because they are all dead. My parents are the last of their generation on both sides of the family.  

So, Iowa, are you disappointed?

1 comment:

  1. LOL Being of English/Irish descent, this was very enlightening! (And vaguely familiar. I was once engaged to an Italian guy.)