Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If you have a choice between a man and a cleaning lady, chose the cleaning lady!

That is sound advice from the woman who I hope I can be 1% as awesome as one day: my mom, Marcy. This blog tends to focus on insanity and overeating, so Rocco is a main character, as is Nonna, but Marcy is the sane one, and her moments of sheer comical genius sometimes go under the radar or are just unheard over the no volume control Sicilian banter that ensues at most family functions. 
Marcy is one of those great great ladies. As a kid, she was my role model, working as a social worker to homeless families, dedicating her life to the well being of other people. During the holidays she was Santa Claus to every homeless kid in Queens. She was a second mother to all my friends because you can tell my Mom anything. I remember getting home from high school and hearing the big news everyone was talking about at their lockers from my mom: that my best friend slapped another girl in the face and was suspended for a week. The first person she called was my Mom. I remember the runaway boy who lived in our house for a few days before returning home, ours always a safe haven for anyone in trouble and needing clean sheets and lots of love and of course, food. 
She is so understanding, non-judgemental and truly caring. A living saint. After all, she did marry Rocco, and you have to be touched by God in order to put up with that crazy (but awesome) man on a daily basis. And while she is blessing the lives of so many people around her she still always has time for me. She is the first person I call when I am crying, snot flying out of my nose, like a lunatic. And aside from being awesome she is totally hilarious.
One night, in front of my old apartment, she said, "Jen, I talked to Uncle George today, he asked when you are coming out of the closet?"
"Well you wrote your "wife" on your blog. That usually means you are gay."
"Well, what did you tell him?"
"I told him, I don't know. Its your life. I mind my business."
God if I was gay I wish it would be that easy to come out to my Mom. To clear things up, any person straight or gay can have a husband or a wife, straight or gay. I am straight, my wife and love of my life Julie, is straight. She has a gay husband. Its just someone you love so much, whom you would dedicate your life to and boink if only the conditions were right. That is, Julie would be the man of my dreams ... if only she had a... fill in the blanks. So I am on a journey to find a man version of my wife. So to answer your question Uncle George, I'm not a lesbian. And if I was I wish I would have a Mom as awesome as I do.

My voicemail is always full so I got this email from Marcy:

Hi Jen,
Your voicemail is full, I've been trying to call you for a couple of days ... empty your voicemail, suppose we wanted to let you know we won the lotto or something.
Love, Mommy

She didn't write, "suppose someone died!" Always positive, that woman. I told her she won the lottery when I was born. (I'm a brat.)

Marcy is now retired from her social work career, and has committed herself to a life of socializing with her friends, being awesome as usual and discovering Facebook. Sweet. She started taking a class on FB at a nearby high school, but began complaining about how annoying all the "old" people in the class were who didn't know what a web browser was and then finally quit the class. Marcy, a FB school drop-out asked if I could give her a few lessons. After she saw my FB page, she quickly thought twice.
Somewhere along the way, the "I'll wash your mouth out with soap" routine stopped working on my brothers and I. I admit it, I have a fowl mouth, but like Rocco, I can "switch it off" when I have to. I have an especially lewd vocabulary on FB. There is something quite satisfying about using fuck as an adverb. I can't help it.
So when I commented on one of Marcy's photo as "fucking gay" she called me right up and said, "Jen, stop cursing on my Facebook page. I don't think your aunt would like to know you are calling her gay. If you don't stop, I will unfriend you. Your own mother! The ultimate offense!"
For the record, I wasn't calling my aunt "fucking gay." I was calling the photo my Mom took of her next to an angel in Rockefeller Center, fucking gay. Sorry if I've offended anyone. I am not a homophobe I swear. I will stop using gay as a derogatory term. Gay people are awesome. Fucking is here to stay though.
If you need advise about men, especially younger men, call Marcy. She is hot stuff and is always getting hit on on by younger men. She likes to tell the story of when she was walking the dog in the park and a dude walked up to her and said, "Oh, hi, I always see your dad walking that dog." 
Rocco, her husband is the one who usually walks the dog. 
One day she was in the post-office talking to a neighbor about a recent vicious dog attack the man had survived  and my mother said, "Its a shame that you were attacked by that dog because I know how much you love dogs. They are your favorite animal."
Abruptly from behind them on line, a young man interrupted the conversation, looked right at my mother and said, "Do you know what my favorite animal is?"
"What?" she said.
"A Cougar!" And winked.
(Don't tell Rocco but I think they went out on a date that night.)
As I approach thirty I realize I have a lot more to learn in life than I ever thought and thank God I have my mom to help me figure out how to steer this complicated ship in which I often find myself stuck in very awkward waters. And its all usually my own dumb fault. 
I think it has to do with the fact that I really can push the limits of what awkward means. Most people would have buried their heads in the sand a long time ago. But I have a lot of practice. To have a dad like Rocco means you either deal with embarrassment by laughing it off or die.
So here is the pickle I found myself in. I was dating a new guy and was and am still great friends with the old guy. Great situation. Ideal. Best of both worlds. How can I mess this up? 
Thanks to the miracle of craigslist, I found the best, sweetest, most trustworthy cleaning girl, a gem with an accent you want to bottle, and cleaning skills that Nonna would find very acceptable. For Nonna, you can commit heinous crimes, but if you are clean you are okay in her book. 
The new guy needed a cleaning person and I like to pass around the love. I like to give people work and share and make everyone happy. I can write a list of how this can get awkward. The leaving behind of unmentionables alone for the cleaning girl to find is enough to make anyone cringe. And there could be some snooping going on. I'm not saying there is. As trusting as she seems, you never know, right? A good Sicilian never trusts anyone! 
It doesn't end there. She is cleaning my house and cleaning the new guys house. How can I complicate things even more? I can. Wait for it.
"Come wonderful adorable cleaning girl to my party! Meet my equally adorable ex-boyfriend. Oh, how cute you both look together. You gave him your phone number? Totally cool! He is awesome. You two should totally date! Fine with me." 
I was a little drunk and feeling merry and again my intentions were only good. Everyone should be happy, right? Wrong!
It was only a matter of time before the good old crazy Sicilian genetic tendencies inside kicked in. Confusion. Doubt. Jealousy. Frustration. The VENDETTA! Okay, I didn't go there. There was a lot of kicking myself and saying, "What were you thinking you moron? You want the girl that is cleaning your house to clean your new dudes house and date you ex-boyfriend?"
I had to call my wife, who I always turn to when I need love and understanding, but she gave me the ultimate slap in the face, "I hate to say this Jen, but she is coming to clean my house tomorrow." 
NOT MY WIFE! New dude, old dude and now my wife! I better hide my passport, this girl is going to steal my identity and keep my house very tidy in the process.
"Mom! Why do I do such stupid things?"
She broke it down.
"Jen, let me tell you something, if you have a choice between a man and a cleaning lady, chose the cleaning lady!"
Best advice I could ever get! And everyone is happy...and clean! Men may come and go, but my bubbly intelligent and trustworthy cleaning girl is here to stay!

1 comment:

Rocco Galatioto said...

Dear Jen,
The number of people who have told me how fortunate I am that I found your mother is almost endless. I really do not know how it happened but I can only tell you that I met your mother in May and in August of the following year we were married.
Go figure. We have never turned back and I would not change my life with that of anyone else. Of course a lot of this happiness is attributed to you and to your brothers. Even though you gave me premature white hair I love you all. I am indeed fortunate.