- The Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony is pretty to watch. I especially like the crowns, and the bit where they all go round and round and round the little table like this:
- My tarantella remains as sprightly as ever.
- A gentleman who can jitterbug is always in demand. (My Aunt Fran can really swing it, by the way.)
- My Great Aunt Vera hasn't aged since 1950. The older I get, the more unfair this seems. I'm not even going to show you her picture because it's simply infuriating.
- I will never grow tired of watching my parents on the dance floor.
- Despite the big influx of new Greek relations, I'm still the only homo in the group. Or at least the only one who goes to weddings. Or at least the only one who isn't "discreet" (read "married and closeted").
- My relatives are loud and raucous. They smoke too much. They drink too much. They eat too much. They bicker and nag and yell and scream and hold grudges. They tell extremely bad jokes. They watch NASCAR–on purpose. And they love me. And I love them. In this lifetime, I've had the incredible good fortune to be born into a group of people who haven't always understood me, but they've never stopped loving me. So many people are born, live, and die without this.
I don't know why it has taken me so long to realize and appreciate it.
All her life my beloved Aunt Eva used to say that no matter what, "you do for la famiglia." But she never specified what you "do." Now I think I understand: you do whatever you can, because that's simply how it is with people you love. Even when they frequently drive you batshit.
Sugared almonds, symbolic of the bittersweet nature of life–a traditional Sicilian wedding favor.
Salute cent'anni! À la famiglia!
My mother (left) and her sisters Jay (mother of the groom, center) and Fran.