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.
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.