Growing up in an Italian house my perspective on life was very one sided. My Pop-Pop, my favorite person in the whole world (no offense to my other family members that I love dearly), used to sit down with me and tell me in his heavy Italian accent, (though I never heard it) everything ever invented or discovered in this world was done so by an Italian. I believed him because if Pop-Pop said it, it had to be right.
Our meals were always Italian food. Stuffed peppers, pasta with beans (said in Italian is more appetizing. I just can’t spell it.), macaroni three times a week, and at noon on Sundays. Pop-Pop would sit at the head of the table with his gallon of wine on the floor beside him. The bottle took up too much room on the table and hey, what else do you do with wine in a gallon size jug? We celebrated Italian holidays and practiced our superstitions with care.
St. Patrick’s Day was for other people. As a child, I didn’t even own green clothing. Not unless it was striped with white and red. In fact, on St. Patrick’s Day my mother would send me to school wearing orange. I hope that wasn’t the Italian salute of up yours. Perhaps, Pop-Pop bought the outfit? We didn’t eat corn beef and cabbage, (or is it corned beef? My Irish friends?) I don’t have an Uncle Danny who frequents the bars. I do have an Uncle Vito, with other habits, but that’s a tale for another time.
With this Irish celebration around the corner, I look at those about to partake and I say, “But there won’t be any cannolis!” What’s to celebrate if Italian pastries aren’t involved? Okay, I’m just kidding. There is plenty to celebrate. I just don’t know what it is. Maybe if I had married an Irish man I would understand. But I went off and married a Jew. They’re a lot like my people. Just in disguise.