Today is a rainy fall Sunday. Thinking about my younger days and growing up fourth-generation Italian, our Sunday consisted of church and pasta with meatballs. I hated pasta as a kid. Probably because we ate it twice a week. Every Sunday and Wednesday. Now I'll eat it if the husband is in the mood, but it's rarely my first choice.
Sundays as a kid, we would typically have a nice breakfast, attend mass, consume a pasta dinner with Italian bread (my mom would send me walk to the corner bakery - "No Semolina!" she'd yell to me as I'd set out on my ten minute walk. Afterward, we'd watch the Mets or Yankees game and finish homework assignments and get ready for the school week - usually in that exact order.
The day would begin with a hearty, delicious breakfast of pancakes or eggs and bacon. I went through a weird stage around age 12, where I would wake up super duper early and prepare a huge scrambled egg breakfast complete with potatoes, toast and bacon for my parents and little brother.
My mom doesn't remember this short-lived Sunday ritual of me cooking them breakfast, but I do and I loved it. I would quietly pretend I was on a cooking show like a young Julia Child with a Long Island accent. In my head I would say, "First we crack the eggs, careful not to let those nasty shells in" ... then I'd look up as if a camera was panning in on me. I'd smile, happily whisking the milk and egg yoke mixture. I'd peel and slice potatoes and add spices like Paprika and onion salt and toss them in a butter-laden frying pan (I didn't know about oil). Where did I learn this? My mom never made breakfast potatoes. How did I know what Paprika was?
Afterward, we'd pile into the family Oldsmobile Cutlass with full bellies and go to church. Now, I'm not gonna lie, church sucked. I swear, I never once listened to the stories the priests told and found the crying babies and cute alter boys way more fascinating than whatever lesson we were learning that Sunday.
Worse yet, my mom had this habit of physically forcing me to sit nearest the stranger while she plopped herself down between my brother and me. She seemed to thrive on having me sit butt-to-butt with a polyester-clad lady that reeked of moth balls. If not that, my pew partner was an older man with knobby knees and wrinkly hands I was forced to shake during the whole dreaded "Peace be with you" portion of the service. It was pure agony. My luck never had me seated next to an adorable preteen boy wearing a Gremlins shirt and Pony sneakers like myself or my current crush from school.
I remember that 45 minutes of my weekend seemed like an eternity. It felt as if it droned on and on as I anxiously awaited the priest to dismiss us with, "You may go in Peace, to Love and Serve the Lord."
Today, I'm an adult and other than being able to skip church, Sunday seems to go sorta the same way. The ball game is always on - it seems like it's an extra long game on Sundays. It really does. I wonder if they tell the teams to drag it out a bit longer or something. We consume a plentiful b-fast then discuss dinner minutes after the egg covered pans and dishes are washed. We tend to lay around. That sick stomach I'd get thinking about school the next day now replaced with thoughts of the work day ahead.