7 Signs You Live With An Italian Family

7 Signs You Live With An Italian Family

For those whose blood is 90% pasta sauce.

This article is for those who have consumed way too much pasta in their lifetime, just like myself-- an article for those who have no clue why their grandmothers cooked so much for a family dinner. While Italians are wonderfully family-oriented people, our personalities tend to be overwhelming and a tad boisterous. I'm sure all of us second-generation Italians are familiar with these following scenarios.

1. You have no clue what an inside voice is and completely neglect manners in conversations.

Our Italian mouths obviously don't come with a volume button-- even our whispering abilities suck. Multiple conversations are going on at the same exact time at the same exact volume-- loud. For some reason, we get louder even when others think our voices are at a maximum. Oh and don't even get me started about our laughter. We can cause earthquakes with it. We will forever be excessively expressive and talkative no matter how many people tell us to pipe it down.

To make things worse, we have no concept of when it is proper to interject in a conversation nor do we understand the concept of talking back and forth in a polite manner. We find ourselves talking over other people at the most inappropriate times. Therefore, people tend to see us as rude and impolite, but we really just can't help getting out what we have to say.

2. You think you legitimately have hearing problems from how loud your family constantly is.

Whether it be banging pots and pans at 5 am to start cooking meals for the whole day or telling stories at dinnertime, they all have lead to your precious hearing fading. None of your family seems to know what an inside voice is; therefore, you have trouble hearing people when they talk in an inside voice. People start to think you're annoying for asking them to repeat themselves a million times in conversation, but it's mostly your family's fault for not knowing how to tone it down.

3. Your life revolves around food.

Just like your grandmother, you're subconsciously concerned about the meals you'll be eating that day and for that week. While foods slathered in tomato sauce, herbs, and cheese will always be your go-to, you're still interested in eating in general. This probably stems from the fact that your grandmother or mother enforced set meal and snack times every single day. You spend most of your time in the kitchen or up your grandmother's butt about what she's cooking for dinner.

Even going to the grocery store is an adventure. We always want to concoct something in the kitchen. To Italians, food is a work of art; we love mixing flavors to create beautiful and tasteful dishes.

4. Your grandmother thinks you are insulting her cooking when you tell her you're not hungry.

It's the end of the world for your grandmother when you turn down a meal or a snack from her. She takes personal offense when you're not hungry or interested in what she has cooked. She might even jump to the conclusion that you're sick and becomes extremely concerned about your food intake from there on out. We're also familiar with the, "Are you on a diet? Is that why you're not eating?" It's hard to eat everything your grandmother feeds you unless you plan on getting sick later that evening, but if you don't eat, you'll be breaking your poor grandmother's heart.

5. You're educated in every type of pasta out there and like certain ones even though they all really taste the same.

Are you an angel hair person or a linguine person? Are you a penne person or a rigatoni person? Are you a tortellini person or a conchiglie person? Pasta is pasta to the rest of the population it seems; however, to us, each shape has different qualities and each are specific to different dishes. For example, why on earth would you use ravioli in a lasagna? What a shame. And God forbid you ever use canned pasta sauce in any dish. We might as well create a pasta encyclopedia to make sure each pasta is used in the correct manner.

6. You can't stop moving your hands a lot when you talk no matter how hard you try.

If our loud voices and personalities weren't enough, we can't help but move our hands when we talk. It's as if we can't get our point across well enough unless we add some hand motion into it. Unfortunately, this can lead to our demise sometimes. We tend to be very accident prone because of our inability to keep our hands still. You find yourself knocking things over or hitting your hands off of counters when you're talking. As if we weren't expressive enough as it is. We find it uncomfortable to do such things as driving and talking because we can't move our hands unless we want to risk having an accident. We might be a bit quirky, but we're still pretty awesome people.

7. You have a million family members who you're distantly related to yet they still show up to every single family dinner.

Your family is so immense in size that sometimes your own grandmother forgets your name. Everybody in your family thinks you've been in 8th grade for five years now because there are too many family members to keep everybody's life updates straight. You're utterly exhausted of being asked the same questions over and over by family members you see maybe once or twice a year. There are too many Josephinas, Paulinas, Pauls, Louis, and Louisas for you to comprehend. All in all, you wouldn't trade your family for everything else in the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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20 Things That Happen When A Jersey Person Leaves Jersey

Hoagies, pizza, and bagels will never be the same.

Ah, the "armpit of America." Whether you traveled far for college, moved away, or even just went on vacation--you know these things to be true about leaving New Jersey. It turns out to be quite a unique state, and leaving will definitely take some lifestyle adjustment.

SEE ALSO: A Quick PSA To My Fellow New Jerseyians

1. You discover an accent you swore you never had.

Suddenly, people start calling you out on your pronunciation of "cawfee," "wooter," "begel," and a lot more words you totally thought you were saying normal.

2. Pork Roll will never exist again.

Say goodbye to the beautiful luxury that is pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel. In fact, say goodbye to high-quality breakfast sandwiches completely.

3. Dealing with people who use Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, or Dominos as their go-to pizza.

It's weird learning that a lot of the country considers chain pizza to be good pizza. You're forever wishing you could expose them to a real, local, family-style, Italian-owned pizza shop. It's also a super hard adjustment to not have a pizza place on every single block anymore.

SEE ALSO: What Being A New Jersey Driver Has Taught Me About Bad Drivers

4. You probably encounter people that are genuinely friendly.

Sure Jersey contains its fair share of friendly people, but as a whole, it's a huge difference from somewhere like the South. People will honestly, genuinely smile and converse with strangers, and it takes some time to not find it sketchy.

5. People drive way slower and calmer.

You start to become embarrassed by the road rage that has been implanted in your soul. You'll get cut off, flipped off, and honked at way less. In fact, no one even honks, almost ever.

6. You realize that not everyone lives an hour from the shore.

Being able to wake up and text your friends for a quick beach trip on your day off is a thing of the past. No one should have to live this way.

7. You almost speak a different language.

The lingo and slang used in the Jersey area is... unique. It's totally normal until you leave, but then you find yourself receiving funny looks for your jargon and way fewer people relating to your humor. People don't say "jawn" in place of every noun.

8. Hoagies are never the same.

Or as others would say, "subs." There is nothing even close in comparison.

9. Needing Wawa more than life, and there's no one to relate.

When you complain to your friends about missing Wawa, they have no reaction. Their only response is to ask what it is, but there's no rightful explanation that can capture why it is so much better than just some convenient store.

10. You have to learn to pump gas. Eventually.

After a long period of avoidance and reluctance, I can now pump gas. The days of pulling up, rolling down your window, handing over your card and yelling "Fill it up regular please!" are over. When it's raining or cold, you miss this the most.

11. Your average pace of walking is suddenly very above-average.

Your friends will complain that you're walking too fast - when in reality - that was probably your slow-paced walk. Getting stuck behind painfully slow people is your utmost inconvenience.

12. You're asked about "Jersey Shore" way too often.

No, I don't know Snooki. No, our whole state and shore is not actually like that. We have 130 miles of some of the best beach towns in the country.

SEE ALSO: College As Told By 'Jersey Shore'

13. You can't casually mention NYC without people idealizing some magical, beautiful city.

Someone who has never been there has way too perfect an image of it. The place is quite average and dirty. Don't get me wrong, I love a good NYC day trip as much as the next person, but that's all it is to you... a day trip.

14. The lack of swearing is almost uncomfortable.

Jerseyans are known for their foul mouths, and going somewhere that isn't as aggressive as us is quite a culture adjustment.

15. No more jughandles.

No longer do you have to get in the far right lane to make a left turn.

16. You realize that other states are not nearly as extreme about their North/South division.

We literally consider them two different states. There are constant arguments and debates about it. The only thing that North and South Jersey can agree on is that a "Central Jersey" does not exist.

17. Most places also are not in a war over meat.

"Pork roll" or "taylor ham"... The most famous debate amongst North and South Jersey. It's quite a stupid argument, however, considering it is definitely pork roll.

SEE ALSO: The Garden State Guide To Essential Jersey Slang

18. You realize you were spoiled with fresh produce.

After all, it's called the "Garden State" for a reason. Your mouth may water just by thinking about some fresh Jersey corn.

19. You'll regret taking advantage of your proximity to everything.

Super short ride to the beach and a super short ride to Philly or NYC. Why was I ever bored?

20. Lastly, you realize how much pride you actually have in the "armpit of America," even if you claimed to dislike it before.

After all, there aren't many places with quite as much pride. You find yourself defending your state at all necessary moments, even if you never thought that would be the case.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Channel

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Instead Of Lending A Helping Hand We Turn Our Back On Our Neighbors

Introduction: How is fear assessed in society?

Day-to-day people and all other living beings are faced with challenges. As a collective the world is faced with many global issues that the general public is convinced is out of their control. Throughout our world’s history, most global crises stem from a lack of human engagement cross-culturally. Instead of seeing thy neighbor in pain and offering a helpful hand, we turn the other way and continue to build higher physical and metaphysical walls between each other.

All of our definitions of what “other” even means continue to be debated as if these labels somehow hold any true meaning to who we are as individual beings even though they are just words. Words are nothing without the intent you decide to place behind them. Its the emotions that guide the words which guide the actions and create the situations we are all presented with moment-to-moment.

This allows us to understand why our nation and ultimately our world is living a life filled with fear and sadness. Many people are quick to ignore the fact that our emotions are the driving forces of our everyday actions and without them, we wouldn’t be able to make any logical decisions for the advancement of our own personal well-being.

When presented with a do or die, fight or flight, ride or die, situation, we are going to do whatever it takes to stay alive. Something about the fear of dying triggers us all to want to protect our physical lives. We are selfish beings by nature and we need to accept our selfish ways and embrace them for the advancement of a greater civilization.

When talking about the fear we have to start by understanding the common effects and general responses that most people instinctually and naturally have acquired over time. Monica Berg’s "Fear is Not an Option" addresses how natural fear and situational fear can be both healthy and detrimental to our well-being if we allow it.

Monica is a mother, wife, sister, daughter, teacher, and friend combining her experiences and wisdom together in order to create a guide for people trying to completely eliminate fear from their realities. Monica states that everybody has fear; however, the way we experience fear is the difference between leading a life of purpose and joy or a life of disappointment and stagnation.

From the introduction, Monica describes an autumn day where the sun and the leaves are undergoing extraordinary changes. She allows the reader to visualize themselves in that situation and then she prompts them to “use something as insignificant as two pennies to cover your eyes” (Berg 11). This is the equivalence of using fear as a means to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

To have fear is to have knowledge that there is a possibility that something out of your control could potentially happen. It is worrying about unknown events that cause people to stop living their best lives fearlessly.

My questions are these: do you believe we can live in a fearless world; where do you see fear today in your life and in your outside communities; When are we the most fearless; and, when do we start fearing the world and ourselves?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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