You have to get up pretty early to beat an Italian at his own game. I know this. Yet, I tried.

It’s blogosphere knowledge my father-in-law worries about my eating habits. He buys me chocolate to “fatten me up” and encouraged his sister to “talk to me about my problem.”

So, one day, after he growled at me for refusing more chicken, I thought I’d address the issue – head on!

“Don’t worry about me,” I tell him. “I’m healthy!”

“You don’t eat anything!” He scolds me. “You want an onion? Garlic? An orange?”


Ahem. “No. You see, Nino,” I patiently explained. “You don’t know how much girls eat, because you only had sons. Girls don’t eat as much as boys.”


(He has problems hearing sometimes, so I raised my voice and repeated…)

“You don’t know how much girls eat. You. only. had. sons!”

(Dang. I’m good!)

“I had a wife, and SHE ate!”


A few days later, he asked me if I need anything from the store.

“I’ll get him this time,” I think. “I’ll confuse him ‘up good’.”

“Yes, actually,” I begin. “I need something for my hair.”

More shine…more shine….” I say as I toss my hair from side to side.

I look at him, certain I am about to get a startled response.

Without blinking an eye, he said, “Ok. Shine for your hair!”

So, I backtrack.

“No. No. I don’t want anything! It was a joke. A joke. Understand?”

An hour later, he shows up with this.

“Sei pronta a splendere?

You ready for shine???

Nope. You can’t beat an Italian at their own games. You can try. You can play along. But, you won’t win! Trust me on this.

17 Responses
  1. My Melange

    Funny stuff 😉 Hey, at least you asked for something tame, that you could use. Just imagine if you told him that you were really hungry….wonder what he would have some back with then!! A live chicken maybe….

  2. Giulia

    His wife ate to his satisfaction probably because she needed all the extra calories to burn, to keep up with a house full of men! 😉 lol

  3. j

    Well, I figured out pretty early that giving food was a way people in my Italian family showed affection, so if you refused, it was an insult, you were refusing their affection. So maybe your father-in-law has now transfered this to beauty products. Get ready for a lot of soap and shampoo!

  4. Ms. Violetta

    Awww, its sweet.
    Yes, your father-in-law is smitten with you. He’s just trying to show how much he cares.

  5. andreaunplugged

    Seriously, I know that beauty products would be an excellent substitution for food, however I also know this is not going to be the case. It is funny to picture Nino buying some Pantene. Maybe you should bake him some cheese biscuits as a thank you. 😉

  6. Linda

    LOL!! What a sweetie! Your father-in-law bought my favourite shampoo. Pantene “Ricci Perfetti”. Ha! Works wonders on curly hair. Hey, do you even have curly hair? Not sure from your pics.
    Instead, my father-in-law is scared by the amount I eat. “She doesn’t look like the type but Linda sure can put it away!”

  7. Cherrye

    Running – I know, wasn’t that funny? He sure shut me up!

    MM – ha ha…Once he had bought a rotisserie chicken and I really liked he, so he bought the EXACT same thing the next day. lol

    G – You are probably right!

    J, I don’t think that is it. I cook or bake all of the time and HE HAS NEVER TRIED ANY OF IT. I used to think that, too, but he won’t stop…even if I accept everything he offers, he keeps naming new things…

    Yep, PP. I am READY! Or, should I say pronta??

    Ms. V – I know. He treats me like he treats his kids. That is a good thing, I suppose!

    AO – HE won’t eat them (see my response to J above). He did, however, eat pasta I made last night, so I guess i should alter what I wrote to J. He won’t try anything NEW that I make.

    Michelle, funny huh??

    Linda – My hair is stick straight! lol And, I don’t think Nino would think you eat enough. In fact, I am positive he wouldn’t!

  8. nikinpos

    Oh Cherrye, that is sooo sweet! Just imagine him standing there and scratching his head in front of the hair products…”Hmmm, shine…let me see…”

  9. Anonymous

    What’s that saying? “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em?”.
    I hate to tell you Cherrye, he’s not going to let up, it’s his way of communicating with you and welcoming you as one of his kids.
    Most Southern older Italians are like that including my family.
    When I went to visit last year they let me know in so many ways that I needed to eat less, but to my husband (who’s lost a lot of weight)they kept shoving more food in front of him and saying “mangia, mangia!

    I’m glad you have a sense of humour and you can laugh about it.

    Carole in Mo.

  10. Rhea

    Pantene really smells good. He made a good choice! lol He sounds hilarious. I love your re-telling of your conversation with him. What a sweetie!

  11. Cherrye

    That is a funny mental image, Niki!

    Thank you for reading it, Jennifer.

    Thanks, Erin!

    Carol – Yes. That is EXACTLY what I’m saying! lol I can’t imagine them telling ANYONE here to eat less. Linda mentioned the same thing. You guys should come eat with us. Nino pushes Peppe (my husband) to eat more, too. And, when he refuses?? The dad blames ME! lol

    Rhea, wasn’t that funny? I mean, he got me!!

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