Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Mother-in-Law

The FUN thing about getting married late in life is acquainting yourself with the family that came before you:  Kids, x-wives and....

The Mother.

I am marrying into an Italian family.

I spent the afternoon with Shirley making home-made raviolis (including the pasta) for Christmas.  It is a 40 year old tradition.  She's adorable...but I keep one eye open.

I've seen episodes of Everyone Loves Raymond.

Bowl of flour, eggs, water, ricotta, cheese, parsley and bits of ham.

She made pasta, I made the filling.

ITALIAN Mother:  "Charmaine.  Place the pasta sheet over the rack, fill with cheese, cover with pasta sheet.  Press out the air, dust with flour, roll with rolling pin and release the ravioli".

Charmaine:  "It's pretty easy, eh?"

ITALIAN Mother:  Silence

ITALIAN Mother:  "That's too much filling"

Charmaine:  "No problem.Voila."

ITALIAN Mother:  "That's not enough filling."

Charmaine:  "Oh."

ITALIAN Mother:  "You didn't dust with flower."

Charmaine:  "Flour, dust thyself upon my raviolis." Dramatic flourish of flour. I giggle.

Husband-to-be:  "You have flour on your stomach."

Charmaine:  "If it was on YOUR stomach we wouldn't have any left."

ITALIAN Mother:  "You'd better be nice to my son.  He's my baby, you know."

Charmaine:  That's one BIG baby.  "I know he's a mama's boy."

ITALIAN Mother:  Gazes at me.

Charmaine:  "In a GOOD Way."

On the 107th ravioli I thought; Why don't we buy these fuckers at Whole Foods?

But traditions are fun.

On the way out... I gave her a hug.

ITALIAN Mother:  "Next time, work faster.  The pasta dries out."

(She lingered, sweetly, at the door, waving, until we were out of sight.)

Later, I recalled the strong smell of the Ricotta.  It smelled "off". I didn't want to say anything.

(It's Christmas Day and the family is for the bathroom....)

ITALIAN Mother:  "Charmaine made the ravioli this year."


LL said...

For some reason... picturing you making homemade ravioli with a little old italian mother made me laugh. Hard.

It was kinda like picturing you making something with my German grandmother. Of course she'd have been giggling at you the whole time while saying... "Ach... not like dat!" ;)

Charmaine said...

LL _ It vas like dat. Only I vas de von...giggling.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Italian family...I have yet to meet Rick's Mother and the rest of his family...
Rick has told me this,"No matter how you believe something, if Mom says it's this way and not that, you totally agree with her...or she'll decide she doesn't like you".
Wow...what an eye opener! I asked him if his ex got along with her..he said they did until she disagreed with his Mother on something...
LOL...Watch out for the Italian Mother-in-Law.....