Today I spent the day in New York with some of my extended family. I love being a part of the family I was born into for many reasons, but mostly because we’re all vibrant, loud, sarcastic Italian American people. Everyone always has a story and someone is always laughing.
I love that most of the adults in my family would not hesitate to plunk down on the floor with the 17 of us that make up the “children” portion of the family. And I love the way we all pile up together and simply share each other’s lives.
Uncle: “I’ll never forget the time we went shopping when Kim was younger and the cashier started a conversation with her. She’s like, ‘Wow, you’re going to be a tall one!’ and Sue said, ‘Thank God, because I wouldn’t want her to be a midget!’ and the girl was like, 4 feet tall!”
Aunt: “As soon as I said the Mmmuuhhh I knew I did something wrong!”
There was also a conversation about the “FOB’s” (Fresh Off the Boat Italians) and how they were at a picnic talking about how we all (The local Guineas) had butchered the language with words like:
Mozzarella: We call it Mutsadell
Cavatelli: We call it Gavadiel
Manicotti: We call it Manigot
And then there’s my Nana, who hates cats. Out of the blue she said, “It annoys me when I go to see a movie and it’s a good movie, except it has to have a cat in it. That ruins it.”
Then she says, “I hate it when people say I hate cats, because I’d never hurt a cat.”
To which I reply, “Let's be honest here, we have to actually say, you’d never INTENTIONALLY hurt a cat” because there was an accidental killing back in the early 90’s when she turned her car on and killed a cat that was hiding under the hood to keep warm. (“I thought it was snowing with all that white fur flying all over!”)
What’s also fun about being a part of my family is that my parents are the only ones who moved out of NY. So visiting these loud mouth Italians with thick NY accents cracks me up! Because if we were in the part of CT I grew up in and we were talking about FOB’s and Gavadiel, I’m pretty sure we’d be shunned and be made to wear a hair shirt. But where they live, it’s normal.
And-I secretly like being a part of "local Guineas" when I am there, and then back to my normal self when I cross the border.
And also, being able to throw out a random "Bah Fangoula Sorta" every now and then is fun too.