#16 - Holy Mary, Full of Grace, Among Other Things
I’m pretty sure the apocalypse is near. How do I know? Because, yesterday, my in-laws moved into their new home – down the street from ours – contravening my well-publicized vow that “I’ll live in the same neighborhood with my wife’s parents the day hell freezes over!” No good can come of this close proximity either. Ever since the disastrous initial meeting with the Gambino clan, my relationship with most of Sophia’s family has been a mite tenuous.
Nonetheless, being a guy who likes to put his best foot forward whenever possible (even while tripping over it), I’ve decided to try my darnedest to make the situation work. That’s why I walked to the new abode this morning, with our puppy Prometheus in tow. The little bugger may be nothing more than a jumped-up rodent, but he’s a mighty cute rodent. Logically, I figured the in-laws would find the dog so adorable, their good cheer might spill over to me. It sounded like a fine plan, in theory.
Much to my chagrin, the Virgin Mary was the first to greet us on our arrival. Dashing my fervent hope she’d remained in New Jersey, the three-foot statue of the Savior’s mother, ensconced in her own stone apse, stood in the middle of the front porch. I should’ve known Sophia’s mom wouldn’t leave Mary behind. Maria Gambino had to be the most zealous Catholic I’d ever met, and the Virgin’s statute, as well as several other reliquaries, comprised her most treasured possessions. Holy Mary had occupied a similar position at the Gambinos’ prior abode, where – I’d been convinced – she always greeted me with deep suspicion. As I glanced at her, while waiting for someone to get the door, I didn’t think she looked any happier to see me in Georgia than she did in Jersey.
Just my luck, Sophia’s mom opened the door. I immediately pasted on my warmest smile. I also launched into the brief, yet over-the-top, “Welcome to Georgia” speech I’d prepared for the occasion, concluding it with “Prometheus and I both hope you’ll be very happy here!”
Seeming puzzled, Maria asked – in her thick, Sicilian accent – “Who’s Prometheus?” I guessed she hadn’t bothered to gaze down while I’d spoken (although she would’ve had to look at my ankles to spot the tiny fur-ball), so she hadn’t yet noticed the puppy.
Like some sort of hack magician, I flourished my hand in the dog’s general direction, while proudly announcing “Maria, meet your new grandson, Prometheus!”
Maria and I both peered downward at the same time … only to observe Prometheus, hind leg lifted skyward, peeing all over the Virgin Mary. So much for fresh starts.
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