This past weekend, my entire Italian family (including a few cousins from the motherland) gathered together to watch my beautiful cousin Christina say “I do.” Nothing makes Italians more Italian than a wedding.
We stood for the bride’s entrance and the minute she walked through the door, the waterworks started. I thought I was the only one being ultra-sensitive, but then I noticed that more than half the room was sniffling. Guess which half of the room had to retouch their makeup after the ceremony? The Italian side.
As we filed into the reception area, a clot of black suits and little black dresses in the corner told me there must be a bar. There was—an open bar at that—though it was for a short period of time. So naturally, being the classy people that we are, we stepped up to the bar and ordered double drinks.
Back at our table, it was all the Garofoli cousins sitting together. Me, Alex, Alyssa, Corey, Corey’s boyfriend Jon, Jonelle, Matt, and Danny. Jonelle’s finance Joe was supposed to join us, but at the last minute had to cancel because of work. So as we sat down, we stared at the empty seat. Without a word, the tears started again, this time because all we could think about was Sam, and how he should have been there making us all laugh until we peed.
“Shutup, don’t you start!” said Matt to Corey, who hadn’t said a single word, but was already holding her eyes open so her mascara wouldn’t run.
“That’s Joe’s seat!” said Jonelle, who was trying to diffuse the situation, but it was too late. There we all were, mourning our funny cousin who was lost too soon. It’s going to happen at every happy or sad or momentous occasion moving forward. So we may as well let the tears flow.
Because we can’t go anywhere without causing trouble, Matt broke out a few nips and we all did a shot to Sam, but not before the waitstaff came over and yelled at us for having nips, which were not allowed at the reception.
“Sure, we’ll get rid of them!” we said, and proceeded to get rid of them by pouring them down our throats. Again, pure class.
Speaking of class, there was a photo booth at the reception, which needs to happen at all weddings I attend from now on. Note to any of my friends or family who plan to wed in the future: photo booth or I’m not coming.
Just in case you weren’t aware, Italians are attention whores. So a photo booth with accessories was like crack to us. As soon as we found out about it, we mad dashed to the corner and threw on the most ridiculous hats we could find and joined one another in pictures that got progressively crazier by the minute. We started off kinda nice, a few couples being slightly goofy, smiling and smooching. By the end, it was 80 Italians crammed into one photo throwing up middle fingers and giving crazy goat face.
You think the madness ends there? I didn’t call this my cousin’s big fat Italian wedding for nothing. Certainly the cousins know how to party, but guess where we got it from? The parents.
As the DJ transitioned from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin into Lil’ Jon, the parents were befuddled. “Turn Down for What” blasted from the speakers and the cousins formed a circle to shake it down, but the aunts and uncles were like…uhhhhh…what is this music? So my mom and aunt, sufficiently plastered, decided to roll with it. They ended up busting better moves than all of us combined. And I have video evidence. Let’s just say, this is the tame, edited version of the events:
Ladies and gentlemen, my family, thank you very much. A room full of Italians celebrating the union of a loving couple by yelling out “skeet skeet” with all their might. If that doesn’t sum us up, I’m not sure what else will.