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written by M.E. Evans November 30, 2012

Francesco And The Green Card

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notyourvictim February 11, 2013 at 1:22 am

I was thinking we had to be close in age, I’m 32, so that explains why i get your pop culture references! Anyway, I had a really similar upbringing. My parents were neglectful at best, I’m told I could walk by 9 months, was using full sentences by 10 months and potty trained by 11 months (the latter probably because my mom just opted not to change me very often, as evidenced by the apparent perpetual diaper rash noted in the medical records from when I was a baby- my mom sent them to me a couple years ago asking for reimbursement.) I was reading at a college level by the third grade and used to skip school to go to the library because what we learned in school was too boring. In fact, my first after school detention was in the first grade for refusing to color because (quote) “Coloring is for juveniles, I’d rather read a book. And not the baby books you have here.” Friends of the family told me in adulthood that they can’t believe I survived my family, or that I turned out “normal” (I’m not really normal, I just hide the crazy better than most.)

One of my big worries about the cultural adjustment is that I know I’ll be judged as a terrible, horrible human being if I ever admit that I don’t talk to my family on purpose. I’ll have claim I’m an orphan. Also, unsolicited advise on stupid shit like what kind of cheese grater I need pisses me off. Thankfully, I’m very good at bottling that kind of thing up and not telling people to stick it.

M.E. Evans February 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Yes, we’re about the same age. Saying that you don’t talk with your family would be judged harshly here because most Italians already have a very strong opinion about Americans and their “poor family values.” Their stereotype is based on no facts whatsoever, and their definition of family values are very superficial. For example, “loving your family” means calling them about 5 times per day, but in no way indicates a close or open relationship. Better to say you’re an orphan, or, simply say, “oh yes, we’re so close, they call me every 3 1/2 minutes.” And they’ll be happy.


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