Silly & Sentimental Saturday: Growing Up Italian

01. You have at least one relative who wore a black dress every day for an entire year after a funeral.
02. You called pasta “macaroni”.
03. Your family dog understood Italian.
04. Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and extended family.
05. You’ve experienced the phenomena of 150 people fitting into 50 square feet of yard during a family cookout.
06. You were surprised to discover the FDA recommends you eat three meals a day, not seven.
07. You thought killing the pig each year and having salami, capacollo, pancetta and prosciutto hanging out to dry from your shed ceiling was absolutely normal. (Wow, that’s really Italian!)
08. You ate pasta for dinner at least three times a week, and every Sunday.
09. You grew up thinking no fruit or vegetable had a fixed price and that the price of everything was negotiable through haggling.
10. You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.
11. You thought everyone’s last name ended in a vowel.
12. You thought nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.
13. Your mom’s main hobby is cleaning.
14. You were surprised to find out that wine was actually sold in stores.
15. You thought that everyone made their own tomato sauce.
16. You never ate meat on Christmas Eve or any Friday for that matter.
17. You ate your salad after the main course.
18. You thought Catholic was the only religion in the world.
19. You were beaten at least once with a wooden spoon or broom.
20. You thought every meal had to be eaten with a hunk of bread in your hand.
21. You can understand Italian but you can’t speak it.
22. You have at least one relative who came over on the boat.
23. All of your uncles fought in a World War.
24. You have at least six male relatives named Tony, Frank, Joe or Louie.
25. You have relatives who aren’t really your relatives.
26. You have relatives you don’t speak to. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!
27. You drank wine before you were a teenager.
28. You relate on some level, admit it, to the Godfather and the Sopranos. I maka a meata ball you can’t refuse! …forrgetttabbboutit! badda bing!
29. You grew up in a house with a yard that didn’t have one patch of dirt that didn’t have a flower or a vegetable growing out of it.
30. Your grandparent’s furniture was as comfortable as sitting on plastic. Wait!!!! You were sitting on plastic.
31. You thought that talking loud was normal.
32. You thought sugared almonds and the Tarantella were common at all weddings.
33. You thought everyone got pinched on the cheeks and money stuffed in their pockets by their relatives.
34. Your mother is overly protective of the males in the family no matter what their age.
35. There was a crucifix in every room of the house.
36. Wakes would be held in someone’s living room.
37. You couldn’t date a boy without getting approval from your father. (Oh, and he had to be Italian)
38.   Every condition, ailment, misfortune, memory loss and accident was attributed to the fact that you didn’t eat something.


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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3 Responses to Silly & Sentimental Saturday: Growing Up Italian

  1. I must admit to at least half of these! Very funny!!

  2. Kelly Rose says:

    Much of this list can apply to Hispanics as well! And to unite the two, you could add to the list that a Spanish speaker could speak Spanish to an Italian while the Italian speaks Italian and they will understand each other completely: ) Oh, and all the women of both ethnicities wear rosaries around their necks: )

    En nombre del padre, hijo y Espíritu Santo–Nel nome del padre, figlio e Spirito Santo. Amen!

  3. Mike says:

    Fr. Paul, This really hit home and made me nonstalgia for an earlier time.

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