These are observations from my grandmother's "Family & Friends Day" event at her house in Yorba Linda, California. I think the year was 2017. It was just "a party to celebrate life," as my grandmother put it, as most of the people there only got together for weddings and funerals, and there had been way too many funerals lately. Lots of her friends, even ones from back East (NY) were there, so I didn't know everybody. but most were extended family and so it was like a family reunion! I'm half Italian, and this was that half! So let the cliches begin!:
1.) My grandmother on the phone talking about the caterer: "We can't run out of food. We're Italians, we don't do that." (Not only did we have food left over, but enough to fill the house! And it's a big house!)
2.) My grandmother: "I hope this goes off without a hitch." My aunt: "If there's an issue, I'm sure no one will notice." My grandmother: "The Italians would notice." (Even at a party of mainly White Caucasians with little diversity, there is still a distinction between "The Italians" as my grandmother called us....and everyone else.)
3.) "Some people brought stuff even though I told them not to," said my grandmother. "When I asked why, they said 'we're Italians, we don't show up to a party empty-handed.'" (Many party-goers, especially family, brought food, wine, cards, gifts and flowers.)
4.)"Heck, we're Italians, we hug!" said a distant cousin of mine who I last saw about a hundred years ago as he gave me a bear hug.
5.) "Damn these Italian goodbyes!" exclaimed one of my cousins. "It takes us an hour to leave!" (For those that don't know, an "Italian Goodbye" is when, at any size party, even one with hundreds of people, you say goodbye to each individually and inevitably get stuck into a long conversation with each one. In fact, another cousin was still at the party very literally an hour after saying his first "goodbye." "Forget the Italian goodbye!" yelled a frustrated Great Aunt (or was she some sort of cousin? Well.....we're related somehow lol) "This is how you say 'goodbye'!" She waved at the entire crowd from a distance and hollered at the top of her lungs, "Goodbye, everybody!" Then dashed for the door. But...she...didn't...make it! Also:
6.) Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and like music in the background.
7.) People talking about preferring pasta over the taquitos that were served at the party.
8.) Many people, especially my grandmother, great-aunts and great-uncle, and some second cousins who came from NY at an older age, still had East Coast/NY/Brooklyn accents. Heck, my grandmother sounds exactly like Edith Bunker of "All in the Family." lol
Oh, there's more! There are enough jokes, stereotypes, and cliches to fit a novel, and ones that aren't so much unique to Italians, as to just my family. lol We're just crazy like that! Ask anyone! It was a great time!
Can anyone relate? Do you have any amusing stories of your family's get-togethers?