As I have mentioned before…my pop-pop moved on to a better place the better part of thirty years ago. Since his death, Nonna has declined countless suitor’s invitations to dinner, turned her cheek to many advancing gentlemen and even recently, declined an offer for marriage at the senior citizen center…In her words, (obviously, because no other person would say such things) she is “closed up.”
She does, however, have a torch burning for one man…my boss.
It began with cookies. When I first started my job, I was working all hours and every weekend (like most lawyers do…). Admittedly, I was overwhelmed and exhausted. So, in an attempt to persuade my boss into “lightening up my work load” (which – btw, he has no control over), she made him a tray of Italian cookies. Of course, he appreciated the gesture (as did the entire courthouse considering the amount of cookies she made) and I informed her of his appreciation. She took this as a sign that her cookies would somehow relieve my stress.
Thereafter, every few weeks she would ask if my boss wanted more cookies. I would inform her that it was not necessary to make dozens of sweets for the man and she would walk away…defeated. Every time I declined her offer, she would wish more work upon me. Not nice Nonna…But, every so often she would sneak in an extra piece of pizza or stromboli with a note “for you boss.” Of course, I would eat the extra piece or shared it with my work-wife (what up elissa)…how do you give your boss a small slice of pizza and/or stromboli “from my Nonna” without things seeming weird…
Then, on a cold day in December, Nonna and my Boss met at my swearing in ceremony. Nonna. Was. Smitten. He was very kind to her of course (maybe because she is 4’11”, or maybe because she brought a HUMONGOUS tray of Italian cookies right before Christmas) and his kindness sealed the deal. Now my boss was no longer a mystery…he was Nonna’s new crush.
From that point forward, she would make a comment about how handsome he is or how nice he is and how lucky I am to work for him about once a week. Whenever things got stressful at work, Nonna would quickly tell me how lucky I am to be working for such a beautiful person. Then she would immediately offer to make something to take to him: chicken parm, sausage and peppers, pasta, pesto, fruit, cookies, frozen broccoli…pretty much anything in the fridge.
It got to the point where I began to lie to her and tell her my boss was on a diet. After that, she offered to make him grilled chicken and frequently checked in on his weight and health, or made a comment like “I don think he need to lose no weight…tell him not to get skinny…he so good looking, you tell him this for me?” Sure thing non, I’ll be sure to tell boss man he is looking good and my Nonna thinks he’s hot…cause that won’t be awkward at all.
Another thing, my boss man’s secretary gave me a very nice framed picture of me, boss, my sister and nonna from my swearing in ceremony. I originally put the picture on my home work-desk, as I felt that was an appropriate place to place the picture – with my other law related items…Nonna, however, thought the picture was better suited on my bureau next to my picture of her…when I told her I thought it was kind of weird to wake up to a picture of my boss staring at me in the morning, she spit on me. <sigh>
Anyway, the reason for this super-long love story is because today I came home and Nonna was super excited. After asking her about 10 times what her problem was…she presented me with this…
Nonna: Frutta di mia giadina!
Me: Oh wow…that is awesome.
Nonna: For you boss.
Nonna: I maken this cute basket for him, because I know he gonna like it.
Nonna: What you don understand? (speaking slowly) I…MAKE…THIS…BASKETTA…FOR…TUA…BOSSA.
Me: No, I get it. But why am I bringing him a basket full of stuff from our garden?
Nonna: Because, he needen this to cookin and I want him to say…Nonna is the number one.
Me: Oh my God. Well, that is very nice of you, I will bring this to the office tomorrow for everyone.
Nonna: Not for everyone. For YOU BOSS.
Me: Ok…I will give it to my BOSS and make everyone else look at the garden basket.
Nonna: I makin everyone else something next week.
Nonna: Don forget it.
Me: I won’t.
Nonna: You think he gonna like this?
Me: Yes, of course.
Nonna: How much?
Me: He’ll probably cry.
Nonna: REALLY? (laughs) Well, I hope-a he enjoy mia giardinia.
Me: Ew. You’re a cougar.
Nonna: Yes I am. (silence) What’s it mean -cooooooougar.
Me: A woman who likes younger men.
Nonna: Oh…then I am a tiger. I no hold lady.