I recently started dating this way hot Italian goddess from around the way, who just invited me over to her families’ Eagles-watching gathering this coming Saturday. Being as white as the driven snow, and perhaps not up to passing muster as the manliest of men (sorry, no blue collar callouses on these hands), I’m stressing the whole first impression thing. What do you suggest in regards to making that perfect first impression to Mamma Italiano and the boys?
P.S. I also know nothing about football. Help!
Kudos to you for thinking about this beforehand — the first impression in an Italian-American family is no joke. And if your Italian-American Princess is worth it (and, like, duh, of course she is) and you end up marrying, any missteps you make on the first meeting with the family will be ball-busting fodder for years to come. Nearly a decade later, my Sicilian-American family still makes fun of the ugly tie my (Irish) now-husband wore to one of my sisters’ weddings when we were first dating. Before I dispense with the advice, let me share with you a politically incorrect joke that sums up what’s at work here:
Scientists say they have conclusive evidence that Jesus Christ wasn’t really a Jewish guy from Nazareth — he was, in fact, an Italian guy from South Philly. The proof: a.) He lived at home until he was 30, b.) He hung out with the same 12 guys his entire life and c.) His mother thought he was God.
All of which explains why so often, Italo-American honeys like yours cleave unto the most Anglo of Saxons. Italian guys remind them of their brothers, and marriage to that sort can spell a lifetime of rigatoni-slinging servitude and seriously hairy offspring.
What I’m saying is, don’t go in there and try to be like her brothers. Be your fabulously white-boy self — cut up your spaghetti if you want to, ask about the St. Anthony statuette her mom probably has by the kitchen sink, mispronounce sfogliatelle when the dessert plate comes around, that kind of stuff. Do not, under any circumstances, enter the house empty-handed — bring a gift of some kind (flowers are good) for her mother. If you really want to suck up, thank your girl’s parents for making such a smart and beautiful daughter.
As for your lack of knowledge about football and the other manly arts, don’t sweat it. By halftime, everyone will likely be drunk and sleepy from too much food, so nobody will notice if you cheer at the wrong time. Just don’t do something stupid like show up in a Saints jersey.
ABOUT THIS COLUMN: We are not your mother. Your mother is at home, watching ?Deal or No Deal.? Sure, you could call and ask her, but that will just turn into a whole ?thing? , what with the shouting and the running and the exploding and the crying. Instead, ASK MOTHER PHAWKER. Besides, your mom needs a break. Why do you think they sent you to college in the first place? And really, haven’t you asked her enough stupid questions over the years? Instead, direct all I-need-a-hug, it-hurts-when-I-pee and other how-to-deal inquiries to Mother Phawker at firstname.lastname@example.org. She loves you no matter what.)