Chapter 10 - All in the family

All in the Family

Language level: lower-intermediate


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It was a very special Christmas Day.

Concettina decided to surprise me. She had invited my Mother to Italy for a big family dinner together with her family.
 “This is your Christmas present from me!” she shouted happily as my Mom walked into the house.
 “So, you didn’t buy me the new wii game, then?” I asked, trying to hide my disappointment.

My Mom arrived armed with tea bags and ketchup. Her first words were: “Nobody speaks English in this country, it’s like being in Africa!”
 The dinner was at the house of Conci’s mother Immacolata. Everybody knew we had big news to announce.
 I’m sorry to say this, but my mother was terrible. She immediately started criticising everything. 
“Why is there so much food? Is there a war on?”
 “They should dress better, don’t you think? Don’t they know it’s Christmas?”

Mother knows best

I sat in between my Mom and Conci’s Mom and had to translate. This was very boring and, as my friends know, I become very mischievous when I am bored. Add wine and I’m positively dangerous.

I started to modify the translation.
 Mom asked: “So, do you go to church today, like we do in England?” And I translated: “I can’t believe John is my son, he’s so beautiful and intelligent, not like me.”

Immacolata replied: “Yes, I think my daughter is lucky, but I think your son is lucky, too.” 
I translated: “Please stop asking questions, you’re boring everybody!”
 Mom replied: “Well, I’ll just shut up, then!”

I translated: “Yes, we are all lucky.”

An important announcement

At the end of the dinner I stood up and asked for everybody’s attention. Then I started to make my important announcement. 
I now know I should have made the announcement before the wine and grappa, but it was too late.
“I would like to say that I am very happy to be with you all today, but it wouldn’t be true, so I won’t say it!”
 A few people laughed, I don’t know why.

“Anyway, Concettina and I had a little accident and now she is pregnant!”
 There was surprise, applause, talking.
 “Now, given my family is Protestant and Conci’s family is Catholic, we have decided to keep the wedding neutral and marry in China.”

My mistake

The grappa was making my head feel strange and Conci was kicking me a lot in the leg, but I had to continue.
 “I think that, if we marry in China, most of you will not be able to pay for the flight and the hotel, so China is perfect!” 
My mother started laughing loudly and for a terrible moment I saw how similar we really are.

“Stop!” Conci shouted, and ordered me into the bedroom. She said “sorry” to everybody at the table then came to speak to me.
 She didn’t say a lot, just a little violence and then she left.

New Year's Eve

During the week after Christmas my Mom and Conci’s family became very friendly.
 The New Year’s Eve party was wonderful. I put on my best shoes and a purple shirt to match my right eye.

At midnight everybody kissed everybody, but  I kissed Concettina only and the kiss was long.
“This will be our year, baby,” I told her, and she smiled. My Mom sat with us for a drink, and, while I was looking at my Conci, I said: “Mom, the woman of my dreams never had a face until now, Concettina is my life!”
 My mother looked at me then looked at Concettina and said: “I think I’m going to vomit!”
 I hope it was because of the drink!


Glossary

to hide my disappointment - nascondere la mia delusione
tea bags - bustine di tè
boring - noioso
I become very mischievous - tendo a combinare guai
positively dangerous - decisamente pericoloso
she is pregnant! - è incinta!
started laughing loudly - iniziò a ridere a voce alta
purple shirt - camicia viola


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