Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Something has been brought to my attention.
Someone that we all know and love, has never met an Italian before.
He will remain anonymous to avoid the shame!

After a quick lesson in the art of an Italian family, I gave up.
The words on the page reflected nothing but confusion.
You all know what this is leading to!  Ancora...

I decided to list out all the things someone needs to know about Italians.
These are things that define our culture and make us who we are.
I decided to stray away from the obvious.
The world already knows that we are the master of food, creator of momma's boys, and born proficient in the language of hand talking.

1.   Say My Name
All the men have the same name because of the tradition of naming your son after your father.
There could be anywhere near 50 Vinnys in any one family tree.
Just counting my close family members: Vince, Vincenzo, Enzo, Vinny, VinnyBoy, Little Vinny, Vincent, and Vin.
Say "Vinny" and watch about 20 heads turn around and say "What?!".
You think that's bad?  Don't get me started on the Anthonys or Josephs....

2.  Brothers
No matter what the situation, your brother is expected to fix it.
Don't have a brother?  Then insert male cousin closest to your age.
"Help me!!!!"  "Where's your brother?"  "Mexico!"  "Well, did you try calling him?"

3.  Reunions
You know you're Italian when you're family reunions are held in a state park.
There are just too many people to squeeze into a hall.
All other "small" events are held at a Knights of Columbus location.

4.  Pizza Hut & Dominoes
It is considered one of the worst acts of treason to eat food from either of these places.
Pizza Hut and Dominoes are equivilent to the antichrist.
Italians only eat real pizza.
You can add Ragu and ChefBoyRD to that list...

5.  Pinky Rings
You can often find the older generation of men socializing over a very loud game of cards, smoking big cigars, and wearing the most hideous pinky rings.
Hey, at least they gave up that horrid track suit fad...

6.  Nicknames
Everyone in the family gets a nickname. 
That's one of the few things The Jersey Shore actually got right!
My father was known as LaMata.
My Brother was known as TwinkleToes.
I was known as MissTish or Beans.
And, no, that's NOT why I was called Beans.  I used to get in trouble a lot and lie about it.  So Madre would say that I was full of beans.  Sigh...

7.  Service Central
Italians never have the need to hire a service specialist outside our genes.
Every Italian family has their very own plumber, doctor, accountant, electrician, and so on...
If there's something that's not in our family tree, the elders quickly make sure that they reproduce one!
My family is currently working on procreating a hair dresser.  I'll let you know how that goes!  lol

8.  Mahhhhh!!!!!
Any real Italian household will have you deafened by never ending screams of "mah!".
Even if nothing happened yet, we have to say it.
Even if our mother has nothing to do with it, we have to say it.
It's an unwritten rule!
& it's always followed by an even more deafening "What?!".

9.  Maloika
Us Italianos blame all of our life's problems on the maloika.
I was texting while driving.  Then I smashed into the car in front of me.  Damn the Maloika!
The "maloika" is the Italian evil eye.

10.  Gravy Vs. Sauce
You know that you're really Italian when you're ready to fight to the grave over the distinct difference betweeen a a decadent, delicious gravy and a quick sauce.
Don't know the difference?  Sigh...

This post was actually really hard to do.
How do you sum up Italians in just one post?
I didn't even have enough bullet points to include knowing every word to every song Louie Prima ever sang, gagootsa being your favorite vegetable, and being offended by shows like The Sopranos.
Maybe this calls for a part 2.  I mean...the poor guy never met an Italian!

To sum up a real Italian family, think of it as a simple recipe.
Which by the way, a real Italian would never share with you.  They'll tell you a recipe, just minus the single most important ingredient!
Think:  1/4 Goodfellas, 1/4 My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 1/4 Mickey Blue Eyes, 1/4 Moonstruck.
I try to put things in a way he would understand ;)

What is your family famous for?


  1. The O'Leary's are masters at the fine art of pissing off great loads of people. It's what makes us so charming.

    I'm wondering who this is that hasn't had the pleasure of meeting an Italian. That poor bugger is really missing out!!

  2. @Anne...If I ever run into the O'Learys, I'll be sure not to take it personal ;)

    and, yes, that poor, poor bugger...

    Next that neglected person is going to get singing telegrams from people of an Italian descent. It's the only way I can think of getting an Italiano to his door. lol!!

  3. Have you seen that "Italian Mom" video yet?

  4. i'm italian too, and we are LOUD. Lots and lots of yelling. Even when no one is mad.

  5. My family is famous for making a mountain out of a molehill

  6. What a fun post! My good friend is Italian, and I always enjoy hearing about her family. They're so much fun!

  7. LMAO wow that someone must sure feel some shame. The cat will have to give them an award to cheer them up..hahaha

    Well at least you don't have to remember 50 different names, that's one plus and since your hands fling about you can point to the right one when they all turn..haha

    Even in Mexico? Now that's talent..haha...So what happens if you commit treason and eat at one of them?..haha

    A trouble maker..haha..well full of beans is better than full of some other things..haha. Service Central must be nice, no need for the crappy yellowpages.

    Maybe The Gawker will have to put the maloika on

    Gagootsa, never heard that one, never watched The Sopranos either. But oh talking movie, that is music to the cat's ears, I think even Pat understands that..haha

  8. @Youngman Brown...Nooo, I have not!! Share with the class :)

  9. This post was awesome. I kept inserting every Italian I knew and it is all so true and brought a smile to my face. These are the things that I love about them!

    My family is known for standing up for our family and our friends. We will always have your back.

  10. My sister in law is from Italy, so I'm quite familiar with the Italian family. The points are right on.

  11. @Pat...The maloika isn't a joking matter! You send the horns this way, and the bedbugs I will deliver to your front door will be endless!!!!!!

    My brother's never been to Mexico, but it made the point clear. LOL And you have more than one sibbling, think of the running around you'd have to do! hahaha

    You never heard of gagootsa?! It's one of the most declicious vegetables ever. You MUST google it! There's even a song about it..."My gagootsa, gagootsa bella! She's my pizza pie with lots of mozzarella..." That's sang by the same guy that sings "Bacciagaloop! Makes love on the stoop! It's the only place that he could be alonneeee". hahahaha

    Knew you would get the movie talk ;) Had to put in your language for you!

  12. Okay, never speak of the scary eyeball, check. Last thing I need is bedbugs..haha

    hahaha yeah that would be quite the amount of running.

    Nope never heard of it will have to give google a hit and never Bacciagaloop either, sounds like a fun word though...hahaha

    LOL that movie talk was perfect, you got Pat's language down..haha

  13. Bahaha! This half Italian girl agrees with this list. And my dad's family is Jewish, so basically Im screwed!
    You're featured on my lg todayyyyyyy

  14. @Pat...So you already knew about the maloika? Sigh...I thought I taught the cat something!

    I was on a bowling league when I was 17. The name of my team was Bacciagaloop after that song. The singer is Louie Prima. He rhymes a lot and is very fun/silly. You'd like him! LOL!!

  15. @Elle... !!! Heading over there now :)

  16. Some those items remind me of the folks on my Mom's side of the family; they are Lebanese.

  17. My family is known for being odd. We do not follow the general Asian stereotypes (e.g. I'm tall, my parents don't want Grandchildren, etc..)

  18. Technically you did teach me about maloika, somewhere along the way you said it and I remembered it was a huge eyeball, as I googled it at some point because I saw it here.

    hahaha Bacciagaloop is great. I actually knew many of the songs, just never knew they were by him.

  19. I have a HUGE Catholic family so I can either get someone in the family, or a friend over when I need something done in the house. I also always have a free place to stay in most cities with family friends.

    We are famous for talking a ton of smack. I don't do it so often, but when my mom and aunties get together it's "Did you hear what _____ did?" It's amusing to me.

  20. The Van Helsing's are famous for vampire slaying of course.
    I loved the 'MAAAH', brilliant.

  21. @Pat...You knew maloika, you know Louie Prima songs....You're practically Italian! LOL!

  22. My family is typical white trash. My Dad will greet you with a loud burp, and if he really likes you, he will grace you with a fart later on in the evening that sounds like a massive bottle rocket. Yea it's special!!!!

  23. Jax, It get's really tricky in the deep south when the few Italians around are so engulfed into the redneck ways that they marry their siblings.... Damn... you talk about some long ass names.......

  24. haha and I've had that Bacciagaloop song stuck in my head for the last two hours.

  25. My family lineage is a long line of mutts who constantly fight and burp. Sigh...I stay to myself.

    I would love to call myself Italian! I have even learned a few words...ciao!

  26. Oh, you're totally cracking me up, I should do this for the Greek version... Ha ha!

  27. Hah, that's a hilarious way of summing up your family. I'm going to have to think about mine for awhile, it would be an endless post

  28. LOL!!! Thanks for breaking it down Jax. You had me falling out of my chair about the pizza and antichrist. hahahaha You are italian to the bone girl. LOVE IT!

  29. My second wife was Italian. Her immediate family was kind of uptight. Maybe they got too Americanized.

    Have you seen Fellini's Roma? I think that move epitomizes Italian culture. Great film!

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    Blogging from A to Z

  30. Haha, I've never met an Italian, but they sound like really interesting people!

  31. Putting the "fun" in dysfunction! And, food, of course.

  32. LOVEEEEEEEEE! :) My Mom is Italian and my Noni was from Italy. I love spending time with that side of the family because it's a lot of hand talking, "bella, bella, bella!" (I like compliments from old women) and stories I've never heard before. I love my Italian roots- my Noni always called me "Caito Alfredo" and my Sister "Joce-o-lini Tortellini" and swoop us up and give us the biggest, Italian familial hug ever. I miss her so much!

    The most cardinal rule from my Italian family would probably be: NEVER cut your pasta. EVER.

  33. Aww never really get nicknames in my family =/

  34. i really enjoyed reading this post! it´s both fun and interesting to read about these cultural aspect that distinguish your family.
    In argentina there were SO MANY immigration waves during the first and second world war. imagine a whole lot of europeans jumping inside a boat in hopes for a better tomorrow. it was mainly italians, germans and spanish -if i´m not mistaken- so the argentinean culture has become a mixture of many others! interesting right? so if you come to argentina you´d definitely find lots of great italian food. we kick dominoes and pizza hut´s butt with OUR pizza places! and we also have EMPANADAS which i guess are like smaller "calzones", but they come in a gazzillion flavors. (damn no i´m hungry AND homesick lol). my family has irish and english roots! hence my pale skin and my love for beer haha.

    wow i think i should stop writing now! i hope this amuses you on your weekend! :)

    XO Jannine

  35. oh and i WANT to see a part 2 for this post! i wanna learn more! :)

  36. LOL, I married into a large Italian family, and I do not like pasta (even a little bit). Of course, the family make homemade pasta that anyone else would kill for.

    One important thing you left off the list is a disgust with Olive Garden (similar to Pizza Hut and Dominoes). It is the real thing or nothing. Not that I could appreciate the difference:)



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