Saturday, December 5, 2009

Its 10pm (and snowing) do you know where your mutandine are?

You may be asking yourself WTF is mutandine? If you are asking this question, I am guessing you don't have a Sicilian Nonna. Mutandine or as I pronounce (moo-tun-dee-nee), is basically any undershirt and if you're from any of the outer boroughs you may refer to it as a stickball shirt or a wife beater.
As a child you did not go to Sunday dinner at Nonna's, even during a heat wave, without your mutandine. It was as if the mutandine possessed some magical powers that fought off the common cold and the evil eye.
Nonna had a keen sense about the mutandine. If I wore it, she subtly nodded in approval. But if not she gave me a horrified look then grab at my torso, rustling my clothes hysterically.
"Jane, you notta wear you mutandine? Jane, you goin' to catch cold."
Working up a sweat in the middle of the summer I would try to assure her that I would be okay.
"No! Jane you needa the mutandine."
So she would fish out one of Nonno's (that's my grandpa's) mutandine, a great big mutandine that fit me like a dress, so I looked like one of the chipmunks and I'd put my smaller outside shirt over it.
Looking like a fool, Nonna would calm down. Better to look like a fool than be struck with a fever in the middle of July. Satisfied, she would bring me to the table for a nice big bowl of my favorite pasta, which was plain with some olive oil.


Paulie Gee said...

Guinea tee, Jennifer. Guinea tee.

Drew Kime said...

You didn't say so, but I'm sure that pasta was just made by hand, right?