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December 28, 2010

Margie's Story Time: New Years!

Margie's Story Time: New Years!

By Me, Margie with no help from anyone even though certain cousins promised to stop over and help write this but apparently are still recovering from the seven fishes because some stunad decided to pair a different drink with each one and certain other idiotas followed suit.  Stick with me I know better.  Just Saying.

Glamour-calendarOnce upon a time, someone was inventing a calendar, and they picked names for months and numbers for dates.  It was pretty much based on the moon, as dictated by a monarch, which means half the time it makes no damn sense and the other half all you have to do is check the night sky to know what time of the month it is.  You can also check the volume of chocolate covered pretzels eaten by certain Aunts, but that is a different kind of story, isn't it?

So back in the old country, where the Julian calendar was mandated (heh - that is a good word for a laugh but it really means some king shoved it down the throats and/or up the asses of the regular people whether they liked it or not, but can also mean Rocco's holiday plans.  Hi Rocco and thanks for not helping) the ancestors of the brothers Hallmarkelloni and the sisters at Orientali Tradingina got together to bitch about how to drum up business, and holidays were born.  

1971,Aug18 Okay, I know what you are thinking - "Hey You, Margie - what were you, born in a barn?  Who do you think set up all those days where you have to go to church/make certain foods/have parades/raise money to build statues and go to church?"  Duh.  Like I don't know about the holy days and the Feasts.  (If you don't know what a Feast is, listen up - it's a tribute day for Saints.  Sure, you can make a pilgrimage to the town of their birth, but what they really want is old school tribute which means a statue of them, a parade named for them, or both.)

I mean, the only ones who really made out on the Feast Days were the church and the people who sold the food and the holy tchotchkes.  No offense to the Vatican kiosks, but most of that stuff looks like crap.  No offense x 2, and I am genuflecting just in case because I am not stupid and I like to plan for all contingencies, which, for some of my cousins who don't read much, means 'be ready for whatever shit is around the corner because you have no clue what it might be, unless its the Benadetti boys, in which case you know exactly what it is. And Rita says you're welcome.'  (Yeah, Rita, that just happened.  Maybe next time you'll help.)

Fireworks Well, then the Zambellini family - who started making fireworks back when it was just black powder and fire, and not one of those kids has a full set of fingers to this day - because that is intelligent design at work - said 'Hey, we want a piece of this calendar vig too'.  No one said no to them because of all the fingers lost, no one ever lost their trigger finger and talk about unplanned 'accidents' and timely 'fires' ? Please, those people knew from staging.

And so December 31 was designated not only as the last day of the calendar year, but also a day to set off fireworks and send cards and buy jimcrack that had the current year on it so it was only useful for about ten hours, and then you had to buy all new stuff.  These people?  Genius.  I get a little choked up because I am just so damn proud of my heritage.  sniff.

Well, as you can imagine, it just rolled on like a tidal wave from there.  One year, the Porkarino family had a major livestock boom, and suddenly everyone had to make a pork dish or risk a whole year of bad luck.  And the Lentilano family accidentally planted all lentils and nothing else, so lentils became the official food of hoping for wealth/coins/whatever and everyone had to eat them on New Years or face personal and professional bankruptcy before the Feast of the Epiphany.  See, Connie Lentilano married Vinny Zambellini and the two families formed an alliance, so if you offended one, you offended the other and you don't have to be Michael Corleone to figure that one out.

Finally, there was a family that bought way too much red silk from China because a certain merchant cousin who was supposed to go over there and get lots of cool stuff spent his whole time getting to know a certain house of women and he had to buy whatever was out on the road that day when he sprinted for the last boat out before St. Rocco's day, because everyone knew if you wanted any shot at the black Friday shoppers, you had to start back by then.

Wallpaper205 When this stunad got back to Sicily, his cugina Maria met him at the dock, took one look and - in the way of so many of my motherline - came up with a genius idea.  And that is why everyone has to wear red underwear on New Years. Because it is a seriously major tradition and if you don't, the shores will run red with the blood of your family because Maria Mancini married the oldest Zambellini son (a total stud who was only missing his pinky finger so who cares) and that was that.

So - get ready for new years.  Order the pork and lentils.  Find a fireworks show. And for the sake of all humankind, wear red underwear. Because it's my family's tradition, plus it is totally hot.  And everyone wants to start their new year off with a bang.  Just saying.

The end, and you should totally be writing this stuff down.

Felice Anno Nuovo to all, and to all a really, really good night.  






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Ciao Bellas!

No one tells a story quite like my cugina, eh? Sorry I forgot to help - for some reason, all the Benadetti cousins came in for manscaping and buzz hair cuts. Something about joining the Navy. I guess they've waived that no criminal convictions thing. God Bless America.

Margie is so right about the red underwear - it is always lucky for me, and why risk bad luck? When it comes to the entire underwear vacinity, no one wants to take that chance.

Felice Anno Nuovo, my darling bellas!

Oh, Margie...what we have here is a class of cultures.

I'm a Southern Woman so I must have black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Years Day--kinda need to have mustard greens or some such along with it.

Now you tell me I gotta have lentils and pork. Would the hog-jowls for the peas count as my pork requirement? Can I throw a handful of lentils in with the black-eyed peas? Or must I cook the lentils with little chunks of pork all on their own? I mean, I really don't want to piss the families off.

Please advise soonest cuz it takes me a couple of days to shop.

It's true... there really IS an explanation for everything!

At last, we have the "Real Story" of the New Year celebration. Thanks, You, Margie, for making sure all of us TLCers know the truth about the important things in life.

Like Mary Lynn, I was raised in the South and must have my black-eyed peas and cornbread. I'm told even canned B.E.-peas and storebought cornbread bring good luck. Which is good, because that's the only way it's appearing in my house this Saturday.

xoxo to You, Margie, your umpteen cousins, and all the other TLCers!

Okay, so what's with the giant pretzel tradition on New Years Day? I just learned about that one, and any tradition that involves consuming large amounts of carbs is a tradition I can get behind.

In my family, we throw weddings on New Year's Day. Idiotas!

Margie, you think you are so smart, but I have known you since before when, and tell me this, I have seen monarchs, they fly around that butterfly bush that Bennie Benadetti helped me plant in the corner of the fence so the cops can't see if you're back there enjoying a whiff or two of...butterflies, if you know what I mean, but Miss Smarty Pantserelli, if a butterfly tells you how to make a calendar well duh it won't make any sense, and don't ask if I had any espresso this morning yet because I didn't on account of making some fireworks first thing, the old fashioned patriotic way with a service man [wink wink] and it is useful to have all of your fingers sometimes, and Rocco what do you mean about the Navy, sailors were being manscaped like way before it became the it thing and popular and that is why Navy men like me, because I am pretty like a butterfly and I have all my fingers, and I know how to use them.

Margie, I forgot now, what were you talking about? Whatever, I'm mad at you, girl, but call me because I did that thing with the curtain tassel you said to try and....

Oh, uh, hi Writer Ladies, I just remembered that you read this, too, and sometimes my Nana, and if any you nice people see Margie, tell her I got something to tell her about knot tying and I need to talk to her, k? Like, soon. Bye!

Cousin Rita

As a southern gentleman…okay, okay quit laughing. As a crude Yankee stranded in South Carolina we eat "Hoppin' John" on New Year’s Day. Tip: if you ever find yourself along the Carolina coast and see a restaurant with the word "Gullah" in it, it is worth a visit.


It's Me, Margie.

Hello peoples of the world. I am glad, as usual, I could share something most of you did not know.

Like that knot thing my cugina Rita is talking about - it kind of goes with the tassel thing but it doesn't have to and variety is really the spice of the spicing up part I think. P.S. Rita - I KNOW all about fingers and butterflys and this was about a completely different thing.

Rocco - I just saw one of the Benadettis coming out of the Army-Navy Surplus Store. He told me they are changing the theme of this year's party to "Anchors Away". We may need to change our costumes. Call me. Because cugina Rosie is still talking about doing that whole 'Thorn Birds' thing and really, we cannot have that if we're doing seamen.

And somebody better call Uncle Sal and tell him to add fish to the menu and somebody better call the Gooch Brothers and see if we can use one of those boats they just, uh, found as a decorative bar.

OOps - to all you Southerners - yes, you can just throw in some pork and some lentils with whatever that other stuff is, but if you want it to count, you need to play some Sinatra while you are making it. If you really only want to put a little bit in, you should probably go all out and play some Al Martino. And if you try to stretch it and have bacon bits count, you had better play both, plus Tony Bennett.

Ha ha. Margie said seamen.

"Holy tchotchkes" is officially my new favorite phrase, and I will be working it into conversation every chance I get for the next week. Thanks, Margie, for that, and for the explanations. You're a pal.

ROFLMAO... Ah, a dose of Her, Margie is the best thing for the beginning of the week. We ahem, had a snow day yesterday...

Now that it has all been explained, I understand it more. Hmm. I think I have red underwear for New Year's eve. Hubby will be so impressed. :-D

Hmm. Since we're having Chinese takeout, I can order sweet and sour pork. Sinatra is a given, closely followed by Dino. I'll think about the Lentils...we need all the help we can get. :-D Soup!!

Wonder if I can work in the Feast of Aussie - Lamingtons - and put them on the calendar. Already have advanced orders for them. Even the Benadetti's want them! And no, they're not big enough to bake a file into... Sigh. Have told them repeatedly. Not sure what they are planning at this Navy party on NYE, but having been told that it involves the Village People and a fog horn, I'm not sure I really want to know.

Ciao Cara!

Okay, I'm headed to the mall right now for the first round of red-underwear shopping. Start early, beat the rush.

But what's the vegetarian equivalent of pork?

Okay, the first foot thing. Someone here revealed the secret of it last year about this time..but I forget. Halp.

And off to buy red underwear. Ah, thank you, Me Margie! Imagine what might have happened...you saved my life.

Yo, You, Cugina Margie;

Any boat we got is a boat you got. Famiglia.

Yinz ignorance of any . . . uh . . . rust discolorance on the decks would be appreciated. The Benedettis made off wit' alla holystone in town (somethin' 'bout bein' bent over on deck and pushing, we 'spect). We cleaned best we could. And we plugged the holes.

Holy Cannoli! I want to be Italian. I want some red underwear. I need some fireworks!!

Happy New Year, Me Margie!!

Happy New Year, Margie. I have an underwear drawer full of good luck. I am a great believer in the first foot, too -- the first person who crosses the condo threshold. It's usually a repair person, unfortunately.

I'm of the black-eyed peas persuasion here in the midwest. However try as I might I cannot do pickled herring no matter what luck it might bring or evils it might ward-off.

I was looking for something in my cabinet yesterday and saw the can of be-peas from last year so perhaps that explains some of this year's events. No herring or be-peas on New Year's Day must have been the reason certain things happened.

No pork, no shrimp, and I ain't southern enough for BEPeas. Pickled Herring and Lox, yes. My MIL has finally figured out that the tiny jar is all the table needs.

Elaine, according to the Tampa Bay Online, you can go with yellow or red. http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/dec/22/wear-yellow-underwear-new-years-luck/ Maybe it is time to start UPLIFTING MURDER II and write off another underwear shopping spree.

New Year's has been my favorite holiday since 1/1/1989. Even though she doesn't read TLC, Happy Anniversary dear.

Oh, Margie, I have missed you stories! Thanks!
I have an "Ozark bean soup" mix that includes black-eyed peas . . . I have invited my sis and neighbors for beans and cornbread after the YMCA open house New Year's Day.
The red undies will take longer; Decent Exposure latex-free custom orders take time. I'll get some for next year ;-)
Happy New Year everyone!

Does listening to the Blackeyed Peas help?

Just curious.

Oh Margie-- just love your stories!

My dad used to say that eating collards and black eyed peas were for luck and money in the New Year. He cooked EVERYTHING is pork and made cracklin cornbread so my mom and I joked that all it would really give you was a heart attack...

Karen, if you put peas in your ears . . . !

Hmmm, I may add a few lentils to my b.e. peas & ham hock. I think listening to 'Christmas With the Rat Pack' on the stereo fulfills the Sinatra/Martino requirement, plus some.

Definitely going to remember the red [lacy!] underwear this time--I didn't last year, which is probably why the First Foot over my threshold was not a gorgeous, single man.

2011's going to be a great year, and it's all You, Margie's fault! Thanks!

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