East Side Stories
© copyright 2012 by Sara Jacobelli
Upstairs at my Grandma’s. Her hot tea served party-style in delicate old cups with just the right amount of milk and sugar, the soft buttered toast that tastes better than anyone’s, slurping the chocolate from the bowl when she makes a cake. We have this little routine. I ask about my Nonno, Grandpa. (Their marriage was loosely arranged by their families, but they weren’t forced to get married).
Did you love him?
She laughs and says, Good man. Good husband. Good father.
But I say, Did you love him?
Good man. Good husband. Good father.
Were you in love with him?
But did you love him?
Learn to love him. Her brown face crinkles with laughter. Learn to love him.
We both laugh, because she never quite understands what I’m asking her. She must think, Silly American Girl.
Photo Credit: “Italian Family Wedding 1927-1928-20s, NYC,” by Whiskeygonebad. CC License NonCommercial ShareAlike. Flickr.