When Italian instincts fog my sensibilities.

To what can I compare the substantial sacrifice of an Italian surrendering her right to cook food for her guests? Would this be like unto a comedian choosing not to tell jokes when the moment is full of hilarity? Would this be like a pianist choosing to snap his fingers instead of hitting the keys when his audience arrives?

Characters in today’s story:

The 1/2 Italian: Me (My dad is 100 %.)

Adored husband: Brian

Adored Friend who cooks: Scott

Adored Friend who is married to the cook: Adele

Adored Friends who are coming from Illinois to play a show in our backyard: Photoside Café

Two years ago Photoside Café rolled into my town for haircuts, dinner and a place to rest their heads. I made dinner and brought it to the salon so that I could take my time making over each guy. The dinner – turkey kielbasa w/spinach & cheese tortellini w/fresh mushroom, onion and peas – was well received. Quite well, in fact. Indeed SO well that one of them even mentioned that very dinner this past summer. Well, these boys will be here in about a week and I was looking forward to lavishing my love on them through my efforts in the kitchen once again. Being that I’m the only one who makes that dinner just so (and considering that it’s Brian’s favorite), I don’t suppose Photoside Café has had it in two whole years. It seemed reasonable to plan a repeat.

Enter Scott. Scott is an excellent cook. For a long time he was the only one who could get my husband to eat Mexican food. In fact, even before Brian’s taste buds matured (funny story), Scott could get Brian to eat just about anything. The man bakes his own bread for crying out loud! The highest compliment that I can give Scott is a contented smile as I nod off in his recliner (or once at a concert). His food puts me to sleep… in a good way.  I cannot escape the zzzzzzz’s.  Fighting is futile.

Well, a couple weeks ago I got a text from Adele asking, “Scott wants to know if he can cook dinner for Photoside Café.”

Me, !!!!!

But, but… Italian wheels went spinning, How will they KNOW that I love them if I don’t feed them? And how will I know that they love me back if they can’t eat my food?

I understand that to certain ethnicities this thought process doesn’t make any sense. But this is in my blood.

So I told her no.

Then Brian told me the next day, “Yeah, Scott called me and asked if he could make dinner for Photoside Café.”

Me, “He did?! What did you tell him?”

Brian, “I told him I’d have to ask you.”

(Can we all just stop and praise Brian a minute for having that immediate reaction?)

So I avoided the subject until a day or two later when Scott came over to hang with Brian. My brain kept pinging the dilemma back and forth. Here’s the thing: I know for a FACT that when I cling to an idea or a possession to the point that I make it more important than people, this idea/possession will either blow up in my face or possess me. No seriously, it will OWN me. I could see myself clinging to this notion of loving, er, I mean feeding Photoside Café at all costs. Something unfortunate was bound to happen. I’d burn dinner. Pasta would dry out. I’d give them food poisoning. My concert guests would arrive and I’d be a sweaty, greasy mess. Something.

Me, “Scott. You can make dinner for Photoside Café.”

Scott did a happy dance in his seat. “What should I cook for them?”

Me, “Well, when I feed bands, I usually like to keep their immune systems in mind. They’re on the road; and if one of them gets sick, they all get sick. So I like to make things that are fresh with lots of vitamins and minerals.”

Scott scrunched his face, “Suzy, you know how I feel about green things.”

Me, sputtering, “…but… the immune systems…!”

And that’s when I realized that I had only verbally – but not emotionally – surrendered my dinner plans. One hand was still gripped ever so tightly around kielbasa and I was still trying to control dinner from my corner. I needed a moment of grace to pry each finger off. *sigh* Fine. It will be fine. Scott can makes whatever he wants. I’ll have so much to do to prepare for their show anyway. I just hope I don’t fall asleep during the concert.

But the boys are staying the night.

Did I mention that I make a mean breakfast?


  1. September 2, 2011

    praises to/for Brian!!! for asking you first!!!

    that wanting to be in control/power thing isn’t cause you’re half Italian or half Irish … it just is … cause you’re human


  2. What a wise woman you are! I was nodding my head with complete understanding–I’ve got the Scandinavian version of this love/feed gene (half Swede here)–that’s the only logical explanation for the annual Smorgasbord and it’s insane amount of effort. And it has taken me YEARS to discover the beauty of relinquishing control of something and recognizing when it has somehow mutated into a big ME monster.
    May you be extra blessed by the gift of friends who share the work load.
    May you enjoy lavishing love on your guests with a lovely, lazy breakfast. And may you always appreciate your Brian.

  3. September 6, 2011

    Awww. I know exactly how you feel Sue.

Add a Comment

Make sure you share your opinion with us. Fields marked are required. Any other information is optional and for your own pleasure. Your email address will be hidden and never published or used in any way.


Optional Details

If you like you can tell us your website URL and Twitter Username. We'll link your name to your web address and we'll add a twitter link to your comment. This is completely optional.