Friday, December 26, 2008

Italian Christmas Eve

OK, so as not to confuse anyone, this is a story someone sent me via email and I thought it was very amusing and decided to post it. Hahahaha!!!!!! OK, here it is:

I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parents' house on Christmas Eve. I thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see how an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit it off like partridges and peartrees ... I was wrong!

I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. 'I know these family things can be a little weird,' I told her, 'but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve.' 'Sounds fine to me,' Karen said. I told my mother I'd be bringing Karen with me. 'She's a very nice girl and she's really looking forward to meeting all of you.' 'Sounds fine to me,' my mother said. And that was that. Two telephone calls. Two sounds-fine-to-me. What more could I want?

I should point out, I suppose, that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season -- an Italian woman's reason for living. She cleans. She cooks. She bakes. She orchestrates every minute of the entire evening. Christmas Eve is what Italian women live for. I should also point out, I suppose, that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it. She doesn't clean. She doesn't cook. She doesn't bake. And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being! I brought her anyway.

7 p.m. -- we arrive.

Karen and I walk in and putter around for half an hour waiting for the other guests to show up. During that half hour, my mother grills Karen like cheeseburger on the barbecue determines that Karen does not clean, cook, or bake. My father is equally observant. He pulls me into the living room and notes, 'She has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being!'

7:30 p.m. - Others arrive.

Zio Giovanni walks in with my Zia Maria, assorted kids, assorted gifts. We sit around the dining room table for antipasto, a symmetrically composed platter of lettuce, roasted peppers, black olives, anchovies and meat of course. When I offer to make Karen's plate she says, 'No Thank you.' She points to the anchovies with a look of disgust.... 'You don't like anchovies?' I ask. 'I don't like fish, Karen announces to one and all as 67 other varieties of seafood are baking, broiling and simmering in the next room. My mother makes the sign of the cross. Things are getting uncomfortable. Zia Maria asks Karen what her family eats on Christmas Eve. Karen says, 'Knockwurst.' My father, who is still staring in a daze, at Karen's chest, temporarily snaps out of it to murmur, 'Knockers?' My mother kicks him so hard he gets a blood clot. None of this is turning out the way I'd hoped.

8:00 p.m. - Second course.

The spaghetti and crab sauce is on the way to the table. Karen declines the crab sauce and says she'll make her own with butter and ketchup. My mother asks me to join her in the kitchen. I take my 'Merry Christmas' napkin from my lap, place it on the 'Merry Christmas' tablecloth and walk into the kitchen. 'I don't want to start any trouble,' my mother says calmly, clutching a bottle of ketchup in her hands. 'But if she pours this on my pasta, I'm going to throw acid in her face.' 'Come on,' I tell her. 'It's Christmas. Let her eat what she wants.' My mother considers the situation, then nods. As I turn to walk back into the dining room, she grabs my shoulder. 'Tell me the truth,' she says, 'are you serious with this tramp?' 'She's not a tramp,' I reply. 'And I've only known her for three weeks.' 'Well, it's your life,' she tells me, 'but if you marry her, she'll poison you.'

8:30 p.m. - More fish.

My stomach is knotted like one of those macrame plant hangers that are always three times larger than the plants they hold. All the women get up to clear away the spaghetti dishes, except for Karen, who, instead, lights a cigarette. 'Why don't you give them a little hand?' I politely suggest. Karen makes a face and walks into the kitchen carrying three forks. 'Dear, you don't have to do that,' my mother tells her, smiling painfully. 'Oh, okay,' Karen says, putting the forks on the sink. As she reenters the dining room, a wine glass flies over her head, and smashes against the wall. From the kitchen, my mother says, 'Whoops.' More fish comes out.

After some goading, Karen tries a piece of scungilli, which she describes as 'slimy, like worms.' My mother winces, bites her hand and pounds her chest like one of those old women you always see in the sixth row of a funeral home. Zia Maria does the same. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, bites her hand and pounds her chest. My Zio Giovanni doesn't know what to make of it. My father's dentures fall out and chew a six-inch gash in the tablecloth.

10:00 pm. - Coffee, dessert.

Espresso all around . A little anisette. A curl of lemon peel. When Karen asks for milk, my mother finally slaps her in the face with a cannoli. I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Karen, believing that this is something that all Italian women do on Christmas Eve, picks up a cannoli and slaps my mother with it. 'This is fun,' Karen says. Time passes and believe it or not, everyone is laughing and smiling and filled with good cheer -- even my mother, who grabs me by the shoulder, laughs and says, 'Get this bitch out of my house.' Sounds fine to me.



Jim and Garret said...

I don't even know what parts you made up or what really happened but I laughed outloud. Now that's Italian. My mom is 100% Italian but hates seafood and refuses to do the no meat Christmas eve.

I have to add that I read all of this outloud to Jim.


Jim and Garret said...

After I reread this, I'm assuming this is a funny story that you found and posted. Especially since the Irish stuff was yesterday and Italian today. Then being confused more so on why your mom would think you'd date a woman or why you didn't bring your man.

Joanie, I'm easily confused. Clarify!

Joanie6726 said...

LMAO!!!! Oh Garret, you are way too funny!!!

I guess I should put a little note saying I someone sent me that story and I posted it because it was really funny!

I am as Irish as Paddy's pig, but I know several folks who grew up with the 7 fishes dinner.

My "significant other", John's dad was first generation American (Italian). When he brought his Irish girlfriend (eventually John's mother)to the house, his parents nearly had strokes! They tolerated her with "well, at least she's a Catholic!" LOL

Jim and Garret said...

Oh sure, now you add a warning to your blog entry. You know I usually catch new posts within minutes (unless it's early in the morning) and so you snagged me with a fraudulent story. I see how you are!


Joanie6726 said...

I'm so sorry!!! Please don't cry! Shall I send Dani to Oregon with a nice bottle of something for you? Her flight leaves in about 9 hours.

Jim and Garret said...

No, she's high maintenance.

Alix said...

Absolutely hilarious. I once had a boyfriend from Valparaiso, Indiana and HIS family was odder than the worst Italians. I can so relate.

What is the origin of the story?

Joanie said...

I have no idea of the origin a but I bet there are plenty of folks who could say it happened at their house! LOL

Braja said...

That was a great story :)

lili11 said...

First time here and loving every minute of it. Ha ha ha...