March SOL Challenge #23
The conversation tonight went a little like this….
“Hi! I’m Vinnie and I’m going to be your server. Can I start you off with something to drink?”
“We’re not sure yet. We need a little bit more time. But, could you check on our points for us? We were here last week and we didn’t get them. And, since you’re a paisano I’m sure you can help us out!”
“Oh, of course!”
“What part of Italy is your family from?”
Here’s where it got really fun for me. I know, from many years of experience, that his answer to this was key. If he was tripped up in any way by this question he was absolutely not a full-fledged paisano. Every true Italian knows exactly, I mean exactly, which part of the country their relatives call home. I distinctly remember talking with my two Italian friends and a new acquaintance we made at a teacher conference a couple of years ago. Upon learning that she too was Italian my two friends excitedly asked her where her family was from. I mean, it’s as if they have this immediate kinship when the subject of Italy comes up. Are you ready for her answer? She didn’t know! She had no idea. Kathy and Amelia looked at each other as if she had said she was from Mars. They pretty much just walked away from this poor lady shaking their heads in disbelief.
OK…back to Vinnie.
He passed! He gave us a very detailed and spirited account of his family roots. I could stop holding my breath. He was a true, bona fide, genuine, honest-to-goodness paisano. Thank goodness, because if he wasn’t it was going to be a long night with ‘Cousin Vinnie’ as our waiter!