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So, I’ve been meaning to make at least one of several posts I wanted to have about my trip to Rhode Island last month. Things have been hectic, though, and I just never have the energy. Tonight I can’t seem to sleep, though, so I guess here’s my opportunity.

It was great to see my family when I was in Rhode Island. We hugged, laughed, and ate lots of food. Crazy family stories were exchanged while I desperately tried to commit every last detail to memory. We ate every single meal on Federal Hill (pronounced “Fedrill Hill” by most all of my family), which could probably be best summed up by this picture:

What you should be focusing on is the road. Those would be the colors of the Italian flag rolling out down the main drag of Federal Hill. On either side of this street you will find some amazing Italian restaurants, bakeries, and shops— and no shortage of Italian pride.

And so the family all gathered on Federal Hill, ate, and swapped stories.  We sopped up the last bits of gravy (spaghetti sauce) with crusts of bread, leaned back in our chairs, and patted our full, content bellies. Everyone smiled and commented on how great it was to get together, then sighed and said how they wished we’d all stop having reunions over funerals. And then they’d all look at me.

As the youngest Capuano, I am The Only One Left. This causes me no concern, actually. In short, I’m in no great rush to become a Married Lady. During my stay in Rhode Island, however, it became apparent that my extended family has great plans for me:

“Josie,” Uncle Donald says one night through bites of pizza, “it’s important that you find a cultured man.” He sticks a pinky out at me and eyes me intently. “Now let me tell ya whad I mean by cultured– get yourself a man that can appreciate a good, real, thin-crust pizza. And find a man that appreciates good gravy.”
“So, you’re saying I should marry an Italian man…” I venture.
“Well,” Uncle Donald chuckles and waves his hand dismissively, “Yeah— what else would you want?”

A few meals later, Cousin Vinnie slides an arm around my shoulder when he catches me nervously eying a group of cousins and aunts and uncles who are talking to my father and then stealing glances in my direction (they’re talking about getting me married off so everyone can have a big fat Italian wedding, naturally).

“This is what you need to do. You need to getchu a rich man. Marry well. Marry yourself a doctah or an attorney. But you know what– don’t marry a lawyah, they’re no good. Getchyaself a doctah, you can’t go wrong.”
“So I need an Italian doctor…” I nod slowly as if mentally taking notes. “But Vin’, I don’t think we have many of those in Alabama.” Uncle Donald, overhearing, jumps in:
“Well, that’s why you’ve gotta come stay up here!!!”

And sure enough, I got the following invitation the night I returned home from Rhode Island:

Hey:

Vinnie and I enjoyed you and your dad’s visit to Rhode Island. In fact we would like to extend to you a longer visit this summer where you could really get the Culture down to a narrative that you would remember for a lifetime. You would have your own bedroom, bike and even a car if need be. Of course you would have the rest of the family to deal with; Scrappy. Lily, Scrappy-doo, Boots and Chelsea. Perhaps you would like to bring Mia, she would fit right in with her family.

Love,
Uncle Donald

Scrappy, Lily, Scrappy-doo, Boots, and Chelsea are the dogs, by the way– Mia’s brothers, sisters, mother and father. Here are 4 of the 5 with Vinnie:

And I would like to point out how in that email my uncle capitalizes “the Culture.” This is not a typo. He means the American-Italian culture, and he means it’s the only one worth knowing. The “narrative” Uncle Donald refers to is his desire for me to put some of these family memories in writing. I think he was thinking “book” but let’s be real- that’s never going to happen. But I might as well blog them, right? And while I probably won’t be going back for an extended stay/culture fest/man hunt, there’s something so special and valuable in getting to spend time with family (minus the deer in headlights feeling I get when they plan my future wedded bliss). And the fact that I can say that about my crazy family… people who know me will know that’s saying something.

Alright. Goodnight, friends.

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