“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back IN!” – Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, The Godfather, Part III (1990)
Alla youse dat know me, you know I love Al Pacino. You also know I love my Italian-American heritage. Above all, you know I love my family.
Whatsat? You sayin’ I don’t love my family, just ’cause I go sharing my problems outside the family? Fuggeddaboutit! You try keeping all this drama and angst pent up sometime. Yeah. I thought so. See what I mean? Not easy, is it?
So keep alla dat in mind if I go napalm below on my extended family, especially the melodramatic Italian side. It’s all meant in love. And above all remember: I am joking. (I think…. mostly, anyway…)
On the other hand, I previously promised my mother not to include her in any of my blog posts, despite her tendency to provide such stellar inspiration and material at times. So as a man of honor, as a favored son, and like federal witness Frankie Pentangeli in Godfather II, I shall not name names. I ain’t no rat. Thusly and heretofore, the particulars –of how NUTS we all are in this family– shall go un-named. As the made guys all say: Mom knows where all my bodies are buried.
Nevertheless, an’ for another t’ing, it strikes me today dat the holidays are a time when people of various social backgrounds an’ ethnic persuasions visit wit’ other people of a type whom, on the other 364 days a year, they would not cross the street to PISS ON if they was on FIRE. (Whoops. Sorry. I’ll control myself.) Those type of people, for better or for worse, are sometimes called family. Jeez. We even get on planes to do this, to piss people off just so’s we won’t feel like we was pissed ON. Love makes a person do crazy things.
An’ like they always say: you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.
On the OTHER other hand, “they” also say — ex -specially if they are Sicilian — “Keep yer friends close, an’ yer enemies closer.” (That’s Michael Corleone again, quoting his father, who was quoting Chinese philosopher and war tactics specialist Sun Tzu.)
So what does that mean? Does it apply to those friends and enemies who share the same blood as you, the ones who know all the dirt about your first boyfriend, or the time you got your head stuck in a — WAIT!!!
Nope. I am not going to tell you that. Even I need to keep some things private.
Now if youse will excuse me, I gotta go see our mutual friend about whether he’s bringing that thing on Chrimstmas. What? No, not that thing, the other thing. NO! The thing cousin Joey was gonna “pick up” from that guy who owes us the money… Oh for Chrissakes, nevermind.
Enjoy your family time over the holidays, dear frenemies. Hide the silverware. Or at least the sharp stuff…
An’ if I don’t see youse,
“Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!“
(quickly shoots repeatedly) “And a Happy New Year.” (shoots once more)
[Thanks be to John Hughes’ fake movie/tv gangster, Johnny, from Home Alone 2 ]