As the weather outside is frightful (on the East Coast)…some delightful reading should do the trick…
This Christmas (eve), I received a very special present: an entire, generally uninterrupted day with Crazy. Though we spent the better part of the morning away from each other, our afternoon and evening certainly made up for our time apart.
As I had the day off from work, I was undertaking a large scale baking operation: making the cake featured on the cover of December’s Bon Appetite Magazine. This obviously required time, patience and no assistance from the world’s most impatient baker. As I stirred, mixed and measured, Nonna watched over me like a hawk…muttering that I was crazy or questioning why I undertook this project on Christmas Eve. Anyone who called was informed that I was doing something crazy or that I was drunk (because that is the only explanation for baking a cake on Christmas?) Now, while the cake took a while to finish (because it needed to chill for like 100 hours), it really wasn’t all that arduous. She was just annoyed that I was baking in her kitchen. Finally, after the cake was finished she said:
Nonna: Honey, in the future, you no make this cake on Christmas.
Nonna: Because, all this rock em roll on Christmas is no good for me.
Me: Well what is the difference? I am enjoying myself…
Nonna: Because I gonna look at you and then I think on myself “what if it don taste good…” all this crazy for nothing.
Me: Hahaha. Ok. Well it does taste good.
Nonna: Thank God for that. But now you need to get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.
Me: Do you know Jesus’ birthday is actually April 17th – Dad’s birthday!
Nonna: I hear that one time before. But I don believe myself, because April 17 is Easter, when Jesus DIE. I think people is confused because Jesus’ birthday is on Christmas.
Me: No, I know, but like…didn’t you ever wonder why the Immaculate Conception is in December and Jesus’ Birthday is in December…doesn’t a baby need time to grow?
Nonna: Don you know, Mary was conceived with the baby at nine months.
Me: So you are telling me, Mary was implanted with a nine month old fetus.
Nonna: No a baby, not a fetus.
Me: So Jesus was nine months old when he was placed in Mary’s stomach.
Nonna: Don question, it is the birth of Jesus.
(She then walks over to the Nativity, starts singing to Baby Jesus and then says “so cute Jesus” and walks away…seriously, she needs a reality show so people understand what I live with).
I took a break from Non to get dressed in my Christmas dress (cause I am still 5) and prepare myself for dinner and midnight mass. After a few lovely hours with family, Nonna and I left for church at 11:15 pm. I’m not going to lie, I was grumpy, tired and in need of a bed. I was not incredibly excited to go to Church…I was especially not in the mood to be yelled at in the parking lot of the Church.
Nonna: WHY YOU LOOK LIKE A MESS.
Me: Excuse me?
Nonna: (walks over to me and starts to roughly adjust my scarf, which is wrapped around my neck). Your scarf is not nice.
Nonna: WHY CAN NO ONE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.
Me: Um, if you adjust my scarf again, you are going to choke me. Relax.
Nonna; You represent me, you cannot walk in church with your scarf lookin like this.
Me: Oh my god.
Nonna: JESUS IS BORN TODAY – WE LOOK NICE FOR HIM.
Me: Ok. Calm down. We don’t need to fight in the parking lot.
Nonna then fake spits on me and takes my arm and we walk in to church together, bizarre.
As soon as we get in to Church, Nonna reaches celebrity status. She greets everyone very warmly, then turns to me to tell me what she doesn’t like about their outfit or tells me about their family problems (her husband left her, bastard….you see her scarf…ugh.) This went on and on until the caroling started. It was fairly quiet for the 45 minutes of Christmas songs…up and until the point this young, tenor, soloist got up to sing. Nonna elbowed me in the ribs.
Nonna: (audible whisper) Hey, this boy is the director son.
Me: Ok, this is my favorite song I want to listen.
Nonna: (slighly louder) He used to sing so clear this boy…now he sing like this (croaks like a frog)
Me: Can I listen please…
The kid starts to sing, beautifully I might add, and I was really enjoying myself when I get a second rib poke…
Nonna: (loudly) That kid’s father die last year.
Nonna: Listen to me.
Me: No. Stop.
Nonna: I tellin you a beautiful story. He probably sing on his father who drown in a little boat.
(people are starting to look)
Me: Nonna, be quiet.
Nonna pouts. After the song finishes, Nonna croaks like a frog again and sticks out her tongue. So rude.
Then, the mass begins.
As the choir is singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful and the baby Jesus statue is processed to the Nativity season, I turn to look at Nonna, who is crying.
Me: Are you crying?
Nonna: BABY JESUS IS BORN!
(people turn again)
Me: (laughing) Were you this emotional when your own sons were born?
Nonna: No, I was like this (closes her eyes and sticks her tongue out). Painful number one. No time to cry.
After Mass, Nonna wanted to exchange presents…she handed me my usual envelope and then gave me a special package…
Me: Whats this?
Nonna: (before I open the present) Clothes from JC Penney
Me: (laughing) oh thank you!
Nonna: Its a bonus.
Nonna: Don tell the other grandchildren. I give you a bonus because you no pay rent and I see your face everyday.
Me: Oh thank you.
Nonna: I gonna give your sister in Bangie how you say a bonus too.
Me: For what?
Nonna: Cause I don see her face a long time.
So, fellow off-spring of Nonna: If you want a “bonus” see Nonna every day, or don’t visit for a year. If you see her a few times a week…you’re screwed.
Very Merry everyone!