Max and I have been married for nine years now. They have been some of the best (and craziest) years of my life. As an American from Indiana being married to an Italian from Bologna has been an adventure. He told me I should write my blog entirely about being married to an Italian. Well, I’m not doing that but here are a few thoughts that have come to mind about being married to an Italian.
1. I had to learn the language enough to understand conversations. When we started dating I understood no Italian. Going out to lunch with a group of Italians I could not contribute to the conversation. Now I can contribute, although I usually answer everything in English! I am far from bilingual, but I can make my way around town without great difficulty in Italy.
2. Max never wants the kids to move out. Usually Italian families stay in the same house until they get married. Yikes! I believe that after kids finish college they need to move out and try everything on their own.
3. I never have to cook dinner again. Max loves home cooked meals and he learned how to cook from his mom and his nonna (grandmother). I never had a cooking lesson and can’t cook pasta al dente, and speaking of making pasta I usually forget to add the salt. To say the least I have been spared of cooking duties by my better half.
4. We travel to Italy (and France) at least once every three years to see family. Wonderful!! We both love to travel and traveling to see family and friends is even more fun.
5. Max has style. He dresses nicely and takes great pride in his looks. I contribute this to his Italian upbringing. I wear shorts, t-shirts and flip flops whenever I can.
6. We almost always have fresh flowers in the kitchen. When we don’t the house seems naked.
7. Back to the language – when Max is mad we all hear him start rumbling in Italian, usually loud. The kids become scared and hide behind me. They actually have picked up some curse words. Good thing no one understands them when they repeat these words.
8. Max is jealous of other men; it is not a big jealously, but he is definitely protective of me. When my friend and I recently decided to start taking tennis lessons he commented that he did not want our teacher to be French. (Back history: He always makes comments that I should have married a French guy since I have a big love for France. To his credit I now have a big love for Italy too).
9. Max has a lot of passion. Passion for life, passion for his kids, passion for cooking, passion for me. I count this as an Italian trait.
10. I know where all the Italian markets are in Los Angeles, and we often go out to eat at Italian restaurants with authentic menus. You can read my blog Food Talk- Italian style! for more information on what I have learned about the Italian menu and Italian food over the years.
11. I now know how to play two Italian card games: Scala 40 and Scopa. I am better at the former and know there is an application on the iPhone for the latter.
12. Max likes to wear a speedo at the beach. Lots of Italians do at the Italian beach. Here in Los Angeles he usually wears swim trunks.
13. We have the Italian channel on cable- the RAI network. The television is on this channel often. I like to watch cartoons and game shows.
14. Max has an Italian accent. I don’t really hear it usually since I am so used to it, but when he says certain words in English it sounds awfully cute. Sometimes I teach him American slang. His comprehension of the English language is amazing, I only wish I could speak a second language so fluently like Max who actually speaks four languages quite well.
I am sure Max has a long list of things he has learned and experienced being married to an American. I admit I do say from time to time that we live in America so we do things the American way, in particular with the kids. But in actuality we do try to take the best things from both of our cultures and mesh it up. Most importantly we love each other and that is what it is all about.