In this holiday season, we are blessed by visits of friends and family. It is striking however when one thinks about the contrast between people we consider friends and our Italian friends.
Friends will never ask for food and would be embarrassed to ask, while your Italian friends will always bring the food – always; plus you can expect enough for leftovers, even if there are twice as many people as expected!
Friends will greet you with a smile and a “hello.” Italian friends will give you a big hug and a kiss. When it comes to family and the importance of La Famiglia, friends address your parents as “Mr. and Mrs.” but your Italian friends call them “Aunt and Uncle.”
Friends knock on your door when they arrive; quite the contrast to your Italian friends who will walk right in and joyously announce “I’m here!” And when it comes to eating, friends will have dinner with you and leave, while your Italian friends will spend hours at your table, talking, laughing and telling stories until you cry. Which brings up the next point – usually, your friends have never seen you cry, while your Italian friends have cried with you.
Friends know a few things about you, but Italian friends know so much about you and your family they could write a book with direct quotes from you, your siblings, your father and especially your mother. Those lucky enough to know your Nonna could also not only quote her (in two languages), but can also do a fairly good impression of her!
Which brings us to our last point, friends are in your life for a while, but for Italian friends, distance and time stand still because with Italians, you can count on them being friends for life.