As many of you many know, this weekend should practically be a holiday: it is the release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”. For those of who are unfamiliar with the ORIGINAL film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, there is SUCH a GAPING hole in your life that you didn’t even realize. You MUST rent and see it at once. For those of you who don’t enjoy the movie. You might as well stop reading now, as we can never be friends since that movie is my life. True story.
People have asked “Megs, how come your family loves that movie SOO much, you’re not Greek?” I’m going to let you in on a fairly well-known fact: whether you are of Greek, Italian or Lebanese descent, it’s all part of the wonderful conglomeration of what I refer to as MEDITERRANEAN! You don’t believe me? I don’t blame you, I can be very dramatic and exaggerate, but this time I’M RIGHT! Thanks to my dad, my family has a very Scotch-Irish last name and most of us look Irish with our red hair and casper-white pale skin. But mom is ALL Italian, SICILIAN to be exact (our food is better as we use more olive oil and garlic than northern Italians). SO Sicilian that my great-grandparents came over on the boat from Sicily. The (parasitic) Sicilian genes ATE and DOMINATED every other aspect of our being, most notably the personality. Let me break down some of the “ethnic” humor for you.
LOUD. The main character Toula explains ho her family is big and LOUD, and much of the shenanigans center around the large, loud family. If you have EVER met a true Italian (or Lebanese) we are L-O-U-D. We don’t just talk loud…we yell…everything. And the more emotional we get happy, sad, angry, hungry (yes, it’s an emotion and we will get into that later) the LOUDER we get. And when I say loud, I’m not talking two people yelling back and forth loud. I’m talking a cross between a heavy metal-concert and an emergency siren. The point where your ears not only hurt, but your vision fogs and everything gets dizzy. Then, the MORE Mediterraneans you get together, the LOUDER they get because we are SO HAPPY to see each other, and we must all carry on 18 different conversations at the SAME time, yelling LOUDER to talk over the other 17 conversations. True story: the cops were called at one of the family “get togethers” because they thought someone was being murdered or dangerous fights were happening. When the cops arrived, they found over 30 us us over Sicilians “discussing” (*cough* arguing) over who made better fooahtsies (bread dough fried in Olive and dipped in sugar).
This brings me to FOOD. The answer to EVERY. single. problem is FOOD. This can best be explained using direct quotes from my 100% Sicilian grandma, whom we all refer to as “Sexy Grandma” (see the Megisms section to explain that one). She constantly was telling me: “Are you hungry? eat something! Are you bored? tired? sick? hot? cold? happy? sad? constipated? pregnant? EAT SOMETHING!” When my hubby and I were dating, he came over one evening and I was cooking dinner for all of us. Of course, Sexy got to him before I did and asked if he wanted a “snack”? SEVEN Tunafish sandwiches later, he waddled up to be and whispered, “Your grandma keeps feeding me sandwiches and she won’t stop, but I don’t want to be rude.” You can NEVER be subtle with a Sicilian and food. EVER. Little old Sicilian ladies are like wolves. You have to say “NO!!” seven or 8 times and NEVER let them smell your fear of they will feed you until you explode and DIE…and even then they will try and force feed pasta to your dead carcass.
The BIG FAMILY. this part is also accurate for all Mediterraneans. Each family has 3 to 10 kids ands THEY all have 3-8 kids…. You get the picture. Every “family get together” turns into a three ring circus with a bare minimum of 50 people, with at least as many options of food and bottles of wine/liquor beer. In the movie, there was a joke about every family having an Anita, Diane and Nick.” For Italians, it seems to be “Maria, Rose, Gina, Josephine, Vinnie, Frank, Joey and John.” I’m pretty sure I have four of each. And HEAVEN HELP. Someone FORGETS to invite a family member..as it’s a fate worse than death. After all: “you can always add a little water to spread the sauce for one more.”
WINDEX: Gus believed that everything from psoriasis to the common cold could be cured with WINDEX. Subsequently, he is seen throughout much of the movie with his beloved Windex bottle. For Sicilians it’s Olive Oil. We KNOW that everything from psoriasis, dry skin, infection, bee stings, ear infections, soothing sunburns, hemmerhoids, conditioning hair, and constipation can be cured with Olive Oil. Unwanted sidenote: my (“Sexy”) Grandma SWEARS it has the power to induce labor, but I NEVER dared to ask the details. Except our adoration of olive oil goes WAAY farther than Gus and his Windex. We eat it on EVERYTHING from salad, to toast, to bread, to…pretty much EVERYTHING we cook. Heck, you walk into our homes and one of the things you will smell (besides Garlic…which is our other obsession) is Olive Oil.
And THEN there’s my big fat Sicilian Wedding…but that’s another tale for another blog…