May 6, 2012


E y e - T a l i a n

Do you know why most men from Italy are named Tony?

On the boat over to America they put a sticker on them that said TO NY (To New York).

You know you're Italian when . . .

You can bench press 325 pounds. Shave twice a day and still cry when your mother yells at you.

You carry your lunch in a produce bag because you can't fit two cappicola sandwiches, 4 oranges, 2 bananas and pizzelles into a regular lunch bag.

Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant, travel agent and lawyer are all your cousins.

You have at least 5 cousins living in the same town or on the same block. All five of those cousins are named after your grandfather or grandmother.

You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.

You only get one good shave from a disposable razor.

If someone in your family grows beyond 5'9", it is presumed his Mother had an affair.

There were more than 28 people in your bridal party.

You netted more than $50,000 on your first communion.

And you REALLY, REALLY know you're Italian when . . .

Your grandfather had a fig tree.

You eat Sunday dinner at 2:00.

Christmas Eve . . . only fish.

Your mom's meatballs are the best.

You've been hit with a wooden spoon or had a shoe thrown at you.

Clear plastic covers on all the furniture.

You know how to pronounce "manicotti" and "mozzarella" .

You fight over whether it's called "sauce" or "gravy".

You've called someone a "mamaluke".

And you understand "bada bing".

This is why I love the Italian culture. They are very natural and earthy. P lease enjoy this truth about

Italians. Enjoy!

Italians have a $40,000 kitchen, but use the $259 stove from Sears in the basement to cook.

There is some sort of religious statue in the hallway, living room, bedroom, front porch and backyard.

The living room is filled with old wedding favors with poofy net bows and stale almonds (they are too

pretty to open).

A portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra hang in the dining room.

God forbid if anyone EVER attempted to eat 'Chef Boy-ar-dee', 'Franco American', 'Ragu', 'Prego', or anything else labeled as Italian in a jar or can.

Meatballs are made with pork, veal and beef. Italians do not care about cholesterol.

Turkey is served on Thanksgiving AFTER the manicotti, gnocchi, lasagna, and minestrone or escarole soup.

If anyone EVER says ESCAROLE, slap 'em in the face -- it's SHCAROLE.

Sunday dinner was at 1:00 PM sharp. The meal went like this:

The table was set with everyday dishes. It doesn't matter if they don't match. They're clean; what more do you want? All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left.

A clean kitchen towel was put at Nonna's & Papa's plates because they won't use napkins.

Homemade wine and bottles of 7-UP are on the table.

First course, Antipasto. Change plates. Second course, macaroni. All pasta was called macaroni.

Change plates. Third course, roast beef, potatoes and vegetables. Change plates. THEN, and only then - NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL - would you eat the salad drenched in homemade oil &

vinegar dressing. Change plates.

Next course, fruit & nuts - in the shell - on paper plates because you ran out of the real ones.

Last was coffee with anisette espresso for Nonna, 'American' coffee for the rest - with hard cookies (biscotti) to dunk in the coffee.

The kids would go out to play.

The men would go lay down. They slept so soundly that you could do brain surgery on them without anesthesia.

The women cleaned the kitchen.

We got screamed at by Mom or Nonna, and half of the sentences were English, the other half Italian.

Italian mothers never threw a baseball in their life, but could nail you in the head with a shoe thrown from the kitchen while you were in the living room.

Other things particular to Italians...

The prom dress that Zia Ceserina made you cost only $20.00, which was for the material.

The prom hairdo was done free by Cousin Angela.

Turning around at the prom to see your entire family, including your Godparents, standing in the back of the gym...PRICELESS!

 "Sissy!! Why did Mommy post all these silly things about Italians?

 "It's all about our Grandpa "PAPA RICCA".

 "But Sissy! Won't Italians be upset about some of that stuff?"

Nope! True Italians, like us, will love it. Those who are married to them will understand this. And those who wish they were Italian, and those who are friends with Italians, will remember with a smile"

"But Sissy, we're dachshunds and we came from Germany, right?"

"Yes, little fellow! But we are Italian now because Mommy adopted us!" "Sissy! Is there something special about today?
Why was Aunt Pam and Aunt Rosemary here early this morning?. How come they was eating homemade Italian sausage and bread dipped in cheesy olive oil this morning for breakfast?"

 "Oh yes Weenie today is very special!! 85 years ago, Papa Ricca came from the OLD country by himself with a tag on him that said "Joe" and a few pennies in his pocket."
"Ah Sissy. He looks so young and kinda scared too!" "That's because he was only 14 years old coming to America, the New country, to meet his Daddy he hadn't seen in 12 years. You bet he was scared and hungry too when he got off the boat. He was told to stay on the peer and not go anywhere until his Daddy came to get him."

 "Poor Grandpa!! So what did he do?"

 "Well Weenie, Mommy said he stood there and stood there waiting. The train bringing his Daddy from St Louis was late, so he had to wait hours and hours with no food."

"Oh Mona, I'm gonna cry. That is too sad! Then what happened?"

 "Then Grandpa saw a fruit vendor pushing a cart and pulled out his pennies and gave them to the man. He couldn't speak English and the vendor couldn't speak Italian, so when he gave him a bunch of bananas Grampa didn't know how to eat them. They didn't have bananas in Italy in 1927"

"OH NO Sissy!! He didn't?"

 "Yep!! He ate them, peel and all. Mommy says, when his Daddy came and got him, he was sick as a dog and threw up, with his head out the train window, all the way to St Louis"

 "WOW!! Sissy, no wonder Mommy doesn't fuss at me when I throw up on her!!"

 "That's because she loves us, just like she did PAPA RICCA!!."

We love you, Papa Ricca!!

{{{Huggies}} and sniff ya later..........Mona and Weenie, your  commentators.


Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I am glad that Pappa Ricca made it to this country!!!

Lorenza said...

Sure you are very italian!
I loved your post!
Kisses and hugs

Finn said...

I am 100% Italian and LOVED reading this post. I am sure your Grandpa made all your relatives back in the homeland so proud. Too bad about the banana incident, but a great story!

Cupcake said...

Papa Ricca was such a cute boy. How brave he was to come here. I loved the Italian post. I'm going to tell my Mommy to call me an Italian Shepherd all day in memory of Papa Ricca.

Love, Cupcake

Two French Bulldogs said...

Our grandpapa was from Sicily...somom did like those jokes
Benny & Lily

Ina in Alaska said...

My great grandfather came to America from Sicily. I fondly remember many of the Italian customs & sayings as posted here. With the passing of the elders many of these customs are gone. I remember many Thanksgivings when the lasagna was the first course. Wonderful memories, Ina Pizzolato is my maiden name. Now that's Italian!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

These words gave us some smiles