Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Black Marble Test

Momma remembers the first time Poppa was voted into the Family.

Momma Explains: In our very loud Italian household, any date, any boyfriend was fair game for my families wit, humor and teasing. This was true for all of my many siblings and we all brought fiances home for the inevitable " Black Marble Test". Once over, the a fore mentioned victim was allowed equality with every member of the Family, but first they had to show their acceptance of our sardonic sense of humor. In the Black Marble Test, the fiance is brought into the dining room. It must be the dining room because that is where the Italian men all sit waiting for the multitude of courses. The poor intended is led into the dining room and given a seat next to the largest two men at the table. Then, they are shown a large bowl that contains both white marbles and black marbles. It is explained that in order to be accepted into the family they must be voted on by the male members of the family. ( The women have equal rights in our house they just let the guys run this particular joke) Okay, so the fiance looks down at the bowl full of black and white marbles and is told that the fiance must have all white marbles in the bowl after the vote. A white marble signifies acceptance while a black is a rejection. They are warned that only once has a person been allowed into the family that did not have all white marbles, but that individual is not with us any longer. All the men then look very seriously at the bowl and then scrutinize the hopeful, fearful candidate. The candidate is asked to leave the room and the Patrono start slapping each other and laughing and passing out cigars under the table as they down some wine. When the fidanzato or fidanzata has squirmed for awhile, they are brought back into the room, to gaze at the bowl which is now covered. The counsel pronounces the outcome has been tallied and the cover is whisked off to reveal a bowl full of black marbles. The fiance gazes awkwardly as the table erupts into laughter , wine is poured and enjoyed and cigars are shared. The dazed candidate is now a welcome member of the Family, because if you love one of ours enough to offer a commitment of life-long love, then you are most welcome. Our family wants you to be a part of our traditions and love but most of all our meals and humorous tales. As my one brother-in-law looked down at the bowl full of black marbles, he grinned and said' " Hey at least one person likes me, there is ONE WHITE marble there!" " No," came my father's reply" We just ran out of Black Marbles!" Welcome to our loud but very funny Family. We got your back !

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