Well, not really. Just married to a proud Italian. And — total transparency — his mom’s Irish, but Richie Coldcuts only claims that side on St. Patty’s day. Every other day of the year, he’s Italian! And that comes with (ahem) a little baggage. Like, when we’re watching a cooking show (happens a lot), and the chef is using that Italian cheese, and makes the heinous mistake of saying MOTTS -a-RELLA! Richie sighs disparagingly, then yells at the TV, “are you kidding me?”. Because you know — it’s pronounced MOOTSA-RELL. And remember to roll the ‘R’! That other cheese — ricotta? It’s RI-GOAT-a, not RI-KOTTA. And again, roll the ‘R’.
Do you feel my pain yet? He puffs up with pride if someone comments on a Ferrari, Tumi luggage, Ferragamo shoes, Gucci bag, or Vespa scooter. And responds back “well of course it’s the best, it’s Italian”. He brags that his last name ends in a vowel. I used to think he was just kidding, but now I’m not so sure! But I guess I’m a little jealous. He’s so comfortable in his skin, feels such pride and strong identity with his ethnicity. I know some of my heritage, but not all of it, and it’s spread all over Europe. Not one (or even two) specific countries. So I feel more like a mutt. I don’t have any bragging rights. Has anyone out there done the ethnicity testing determined through your saliva? Maybe I should do that, so I’ll definitely know where I came from. I’m just not sure I want to know. Via my last name, I sometimes imagine myself Italian — and I know how to correctly pronounce all the Italian cheeses! So for now I just say “Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano”. (I bet you just started singing, didn’t you?)