So many of you have reached out to me regarding Nonna’s thoughts recent abdication of Pope Benedict, the conclave and yes, Nonna’s opinions on the various papal candidates. Her comments have been nothing short of epically hilarious….and her viewing of the conclave equally so – particularly as she basically viewed it as a sporting event – cheering, speculating and, ultimately, crying because our newest pope is of Italian descent. While the conversations could be a blog post in an of itself. The events of this afternoon, have trumped them all.
The second the white smoke sprung from the chimmney, Brittany and I were on the phone. Brittany naturally beat me to the punch:
Brittany: Hi, Nonna!
Nonna: Hey, a new Pope is a here! A new Papa is a here! I gotta go.
Brittany: Are you hanging up on me?
Nonna: Yes. [hangs up].
My first conversation with her lasted a full minute thirty:
Me: Hey, are you watching tv?
Nonna: Honey, I watchin tv wait for this all day and night. Day and night. Day and night. My papa is comin home!
Me: Who do you think it is?
Nonna: I hope its an Italian papa. We no have an Italian Papa in three popes. Its a time the Pope speak Italian. I think its Cardinal Scola.
Me: Ok, well I hope you get your wish.
Nonna: So beautiful. You want to come over my house and watch?
Me: No, I’m working and I can watch on my computer.
Nonna: Ok I need to watch the people – so beautiful, so many people!
As I’m sure you all know, the Cardinal Jorge Bergogolio is the chosen pontiff. No sooner than he appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s did I get my second phone call.
Me: We have a Pope!
Nonna: Oh my God he’s so good lookin.
Me: Um, what!
Nonna: He’s so good looking. I can say.
Me: He’s not available.
Nonna: Neither am I.
Me: What do you think? He’s Italian but from Argentina.
Nonna: I am so happy you have no idea. He’s italian number one ma (but) for the poor people in this world.
Me: Because he’s from Argentina?
Nonna: Yes, so many poor people there I think (I guess she missed the memo on Buenos Aires)
Me: Well, I’m glad you are happy.
Nonna: He is a Jesuit.
Me: Oh nice.
Nonna: You and you sister go to Jesuit people (our college was Jesuit).
Me: Yup! They are priests who are very interested in education.
Nonna: Oh mah God, thats so beautiful. He gonna speakin so nice.
[meanwhile the Pope appears]
Nonna: ABBIAMO PAPA! ABBIAMO PAPA! He look so beautiful. Whats his name. Oh, Its FRANCIS. I gotta go call you sister. [hangs up]
Now, my sister carries what she believes to be an embarassing secret. Her middle name is Frances (hence the Non’s excitement). She often conceals this fact from people, but, in the spirit of journalism – she is coming clean.
Meanwhile, Non’s conversation with Brittany goes as follows:
Nonna: Honey, Congratulations! He choose your name, I gonna call you Francis from now on.
Brittany: It’s a different Francis, my middle name is spelled with “e”
Nonna: Well your parents screwin up but now you are famous. He pickin his name after you because he is poor like you and livin in a small apartment like you.
Brittany: Um. Ok.
Nonna: Ok, I gotta go call you Uncle Frank. [hangs up]
Nonna apparently did not get in touch with Uncle Frank, as she called me back for a third time.
Nonna: I call your sister, this is a good sign for her.
Nonna: Because her name is a Francis but you parents spellin her name wrong but I think this is beautiful and la Papa gonna blessin her.
Me: That’s really nice.
Nonna: HONEY! I gotta go, you Uncle Frank call and I need to congratulate him. I call you later. HOKAY? [hangs up].
As neither Brittany nor myself have heard from her in twenty minutes, we now believe that Nonna has been on the phone with various people, possibly the press, looking for her opinion and/or commentary.
I will continue to update you as events unfold.