In honor of A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS being on sale for just 99 cents until 11/8/18 ( ebook only), I’m giving you another glimpse into the San Valentino family today. To the San Valentino’s, family is everything. Even when they bicker, they love one another to no end.
During the drive home from church, Mama told me I’d missed Fr. Santini’s introduction of himself while I’d been in poop-ville with Arianna.
“He’s one of ten kids.” She checked her image in the car mirror again as she had when we’d driven to church. “Three brothers, six sisters. Three sets of twins. Ten pregnancies. Madre di Dio, that poor woman’s insides.”
“I had ten pregnancies,” Nonna said with pride in her craggy voice. “She only had seven, ’cause the twins count as one each.” Okay, pride and a little splash of maternity one-upmanship. “My doctor says I got insides that look like shredded wheat,” she added, with a smug- filled smirk.
This was way too much information for me.
“So, a big family?” I said to the back of Mama’s head, hoping she’d take the hint and keep talking so we’d all be spared Nonna’s pregnancy horror tales.
“Yeah. One brother’s in construction, and one manages a restaurant downtown. He’s got a sister who’s a nun, too. They’re a very holy family.”
“I wanted to be a nun,” Nonna declared.
“You did not.” Mama turned her head to face her mother.
“Si, Francesca. E la verita. It’s true. I wanted to join the Little Order of the Flower. I loved the order, and the nuns were very popular in my province. So holy, so pure. All the boys back in the village were wild for me, though, and my papa needed money for the farm, so since I was the oldest girl, he married me off to your papa for two cows and a herd of goats.”
“Guess who got the better part of that deal,” Daddy said under his breath, forgetting the stealth-hearing Nonna possesses. From the backseat, and without any regard to the fact he was driving and could crash and kill us all, she clapped him on the back of his head so hard her palm turned beet red from the force.
“Hey!” Daddy rubbed his hand along his skull.
“It’s your own fault,” Mama said without a drop of sympathy and then reapplied her lipstick.
“She hits me again she’s going in the room next to Uncle Vito at the home.”
Nonna’s eyes narrowed to slitty little lines, and I know she was planning some kind of silent revenge on Daddy.
Nonna never wasted a malocchio.
How to be a Good Italian, Lesson Four:
Keep your mouth shut and your opinions to yourself.
Welcome to mia famiglia.
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