Another Post That I Put on A Board that I wanted to be sure to save:
Oddly enough, my grandfather had some not so typical Italian malet raits. He was distant and unemotional at times, but somehow youwere always sure he loved you.I gather from pieces of conversations that now make sense after finding they never got along, the conflict came about because of mygrandfather's adoration of his daughter. I don't think he loved her more than his sons, but I do think he was thrilled to have a little girl.
My grandmother apparently resented the fact that my aunt could wrap her father around her finger when my grandmother was pissed at her, and get out of it. Such a sad thing for a whole relatinship to go down the drain over, but then again I probably don't know the half of it. When they didn't want you to know they were arguing, they startedspeaking Italian, and none of us grandchildren understood it LOL. And even if we had talken conversational Italian, we probably wouldn't have understood their particular dialect, because as I have discovered they are almost another language unto themselves.
My grandfather also definately helped around the house with the less traditional "male" activities such as dishes or whatever work he could help my grandmother out in. There is no doubt they loved each other, but we would always kid that grampa went 10 years ealier because he needed a vacation. Although I love my grandmother, I think I was one of the few that figured out the secret to having a harmonous relationship with her. Tell her what is bothering you!!! She will stop it.
LOL, I did try to pass on this secret later, but somehow noone else figured it out. While she could be totally self absorbed in herself, as a person, she was really quite caring and sensitive, but I think it was well hidden from others. Being the oldest of nine children during the depression, she had a lot on her plate during her young life, and I think she kept up those same responsibilities to her siblings as long as she could. She took my great grandmother in, and took care of her until she died. I remember those as great times as I had my three favorite grand people in one house, whose sole function (it seemed to a five year old) was to dote on and amuse her.
There was a dash of the insane asylum in that family, but I think a larger dash of fun. I can definately see how hard feelings came about in that family though. Like you said, the religious conotations, and the supposed hierachy, and the jealousies. Crazy. Im glad I was too young during most of the time to notice. think a lot of the harshness on their kids came from their epression upbringing where things needed to be worked at very hard to get very little.
I still prefer them to my Swedish/Finish side Yikes!!! I haven'tseen them since I was 11, and I am okay with that. Possible murder,physical abuse, alcholism, suicide, and the list goes on.