There is a trait that I have that I didn’t know existed in my family other than in myself. The holiday period is a stressful time, we all know that. You put families with issues that haven’t been resolved in a room full of alcohol and food for a couple of days and what can you except than to really learn about the people you call family.
I don’t have a large family. Well I would, but my father’s side of the family all live in Italy and we don’t really travel there and they don’t travel here, so holiday time is never spent with them. So during the holidays there is 14 of us, 14 members in my immediate family. I know some people have less and would love more, and I honestly would love to have more, but I guess things are the way that they are for a certain reason.
Anyway, Italians are hot blooded, everyone knows that. But what you probably don’t know is that most of the time it is the women in the family who are the ones with the boiling blood running through them. For the last 2 weeks, since the beginning of the holiday period until this new year, not one family gathering has gone smoothly, not one time have I done something that hasn’t resulted in a lecture or a yelling. And mind you I’m doing these things for them, asked by them.
My grandmother, my Nonna in Italian, has this register in her voice, this tone, that when she uses it you know you have screwed up, that what you have just done or are doing is wrong and you need to stop. I know it well because I spend the most amount of time with her. My mother is the same, she is definitely her mother’s daughter. Both of them have this tone and aren’t afraid to use it. When I was younger I never really noticed it, but now I am older and do more things for them, the more I have become familiar with it and let me tell you, it is scary to hear sometimes. This tone can get very aggressive and very loud and most of the time it is over the most stupid thing, it is never over something serious.
What’s worse, is that I also have this trait. I like to be in control and when I’m not I have to nit-pick and torment and make fun of people. It’s a defence mechanism and I use it a lot, especially around my family when they finally decide not to ignore me and ask me stupid questions.