“Ya know, I’ve known you for more than half my life,” my friend mused as we were enjoying a long-overdue girls’ night out recently.
I get a kick out of how she eats with such gusto. She marvels at my talent for knowing exactly what shoes to wear with any given outfit. When we shop there’s no dilly-dallying. We see something we like, there’s no waffling, we just buy it. The compliments are abundant and genuine. I comment on her new eye shadow and she notices my new earrings.
We share the same story: The only daughter in an Italian-American family. Exceptionally close to our mothers. New Yorkers who came to Boston for college – and stayed. We are modern women yet we celebrate, even revere, tradition. We’re scratch cooks who constantly swap recipes. We know how to set a nice table. We send hand-written thank you notes.
When we talk, our conversations are peppered with Italian words and phrases: mia cucina (my kitchen); la familia (the family); and ciao bella (so long beautiful). And the slang, of course: scoochi (pest); jaboney (jerk); and capisce (understand).
Our lives have taken us in different directions. She’s married with two little girls while I’m the single one. She’s the teacher and I’m a writer. We’ve grown but we have not grown apart. We remain each other’s confidant and sounding board. One year for my birthday she gave me a Willow Tree figurine of two young girls sitting on a bench, seemingly deep in conversation. It was the perfect gift.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” I agreed. “We’re like sisters. Italian sisters.”
6 thoughts on “Italian Sisters”
Chris, This post brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. Your expression of sisterhood is heartwarming and refreshing to say the least. My aunt once said, “every woman should have a sister;” referring to the great relationship she has with my mom, and I totally agree. There is nothing like the closeness, honesty, understanding and non-judgment of a sister — whether related by blood or love. My sister and I, born 1 and a half years apart in Naples while our parents were stationed in Italy, have the same bond you’ve described here. I’m so looking forward to visiting with her next month — an extended weekend, just the 2 of us. These days, she is just about the only person I speak with in Italian, the few words that I remember 🙂 Thank you, Chris, for sparking the memories.
Here’s to sisters — stay close and be blessed!
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Mille Grazie my dear friend. I’m so happy for you that you have a wonderful sister and that you will be seeing her very soon.
Chris, You really should think about writing a book of your blogs. They are stepping stones for us who read them causing us to connect to similar memories and recapture moments in our own lives. I truly loved this one.
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Thank you Sheila – for your kind words and for reading my blog.
I am so glad your paths crossed all those years ago! How deeply you have enriched each others’ lives.
Thanks for your comment, Cathy. Our friends old and new, our neighbors, our school friends and work friends – they all play their part in enriching our lives!