1. When your friends came over they were asked no fewer than six times if they wanted something to eat.
(Which used to embarrass you, even though it’s why your friends loved coming over.)
2. Meat and cheese — in wide varieties — were a constant staple in your refrigerator.
3. Your holiday dinners looked a little different from everyone else’s.
Less mashed potatoes, more antipasti; less turkey, more capon.
4. And it was always a struggle getting your mom or nonna to actually join the table and eat.
5. You looked forward to struffoli, pignoli, and anginetti every Christmas.
6. And not to be THAT GUY, but you were on that Nutella tip long before it was trendy.
7. Sunday was a day for making meatballs…
8. …and stocking up on so much sauce, which you called gravy.
9. When you were little, this was your favorite way to help.
10. And Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Bobby Darin played in the background while everything was being cooked.
12. You had coffee after every dinner, and it was always made in one of these.
13. And if you were really celebrating, it was sambuca with coffee beans.
(It always smelled amazing and tasted horrifying.)
14. There was probably a framed picture of a pope or saint, and definitely at least one cross, hanging in your grandma’s house.
15. You have multiple cousins named Maria, Christina, Vinny, or Michael, and at least one Uncle Tony.
16. You can expect to repeat and spell out your last name whenever anyone hears it for the first time.
17. And you’ve heard every joke about how it sounds like a kind of pasta.
18. Your grandfather (aka nonno) drank wine (aka “grape juice”) out of this, and he always gave you a sip.
19. You’ve had to explain on more than one occasion that your family is not in the mafia.
20. And that this was not an accurate portrayal of Italian-Americans.
21. When your friends started talking about low-carb diets, you knew it wouldn’t exactly pan out for you.
22. Actually, good luck in general if you ever wanted to “watch what you eat.”
23. You know how to pronounce things like “gnocchi,” “bruschetta,” and “tagliatelle,” which means you’re the one to order when you and friends eat at an Italian restaurant.
24. You never understood why your friends’ houses were so quiet.
Shouting was the baseline for volume.