FIFA World Cup and Polish Boyfriends

Hi all. I’m definitely a bit behind this week. Just started the summer program in my school district and spent about four hours total trying to schedule three mornings worth of students. I suppose lots of folks hope to win the lottery, but I’d be satisfied with $500/week for life. Then I’d take the summer off—for once since my early teenage years, when I wasn’t old enough to work. (I’d still have to keep the day job, but figure $350 after taxes ain’t a bad thing…)

Anyway, y’all know tennis is my game and I’m currently following Wimbledon. Yes, I know, Rafa is out. He managed to hold his own during a trouncing by qualifier Nick Kyrgios, but I’m happy Rafa beat Rosol in the second round. The rest—it is what it is. Who knows? Federer might take Grand Slam #18. That would work too. :)

tennis Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art

I’m not a big fan of soccer—that’s my little Italian mamma’s thing. She keeps me updated on FIFA World Cup standings, but I know it’s a big deal to lots of folks (including many of my favorite tennis players).

We’ve talked about the anxiety that seems to run on my mom’s side of the family. I promise you, some of these wonderful folks can take the simplest of situations and work themselves into a ridiculous frenzy over what they conjure into horror shows in their minds. Earlier today I remembered some loony stuff that ties into the 1990 World Cup.

I was working at my first full-time job, at a hospital in one of the boroughs of NYC. My friend had gotten married right around that time. She and her new hubby lived in a neighboring borough, had a couple of cats and needed someone to apartment-sit.

I offered. My anxious Italian mamma was not happy with my decision. In fact, she was so annoyed with me, she told me I shouldn’t have bothered calling her on the Monday immediately following the wedding, my first day as cat-sitter.

So the next day, I hung out late at work. Stayed to watch the final match, West Germany vs. Argentina, the team that took out the host team, Italy. (My friend might not have had cable. This many years down the line, the details are a tad fuzzy.)

soccer player

Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art

Aside: I’m not sure how valid this statement is, but don’t most Italians believe Italy should always win when it comes to soccer? If I remember correctly though, there was some questionable stuff associated with Argentina’s win, so any fans of Italy rooted for West Germany just to see Argentina get its due.

BTW, I didn’t call Mamma. (She told me not to bother the day before, right? I was being a good listener :D .)

Went to see a private patient after the game. Rolled into my friend’s apartment around seven or so.

I might have been in five minutes when the phone started ringing. (This was in the pre-cell phone era.)

At the other end was a work friend. “Call your mother. She’s looking for you and she sounded upset.”

A second friend called a very short while later. This one lived in my state, about twenty minutes from my house. “Call your mother. She has no idea where you are. She’s really worried.”

My newly-wedded friend’s mother called. “Call your mother! My husband’s going crazy over here.”

Turns out, my mamma went through my phone book and started making calls to any name she recognized. My newlywed pal’s stepfather—let’s call him Teddy—was born in Poland. His English is broken (but very entertaining) to this day.

I learned Teddy had the misfortune of picking up the phone. His conversation with my mother had him defending himself that he had no reason to take up with a 26-year-old girl. (My friend and I still laugh about it, and Teddy has retained the honor of being “first Polish boyfriend.” The second one never worked out. Thank. God.)

Anyway, I’m sure I wound up in an argument with my mamma that evening.

But for the sake of the people in my phone book, I called her the rest of the time I apartment sat.

Any FIFA World Cup memories of your own to share? Or stuff your parents did to make you nuts stories to tell about? You’re among friends here!

On a separate note: Quickie shout-out on behalf of long-time friend and very prolific screenplay writer Ric Rodriguez. He’s recently discovered blogging and sharing about his journey and other thoughts.  Check out his website/blog and show him some love! Many thanks to those of you who take the time to do so. :)

American flag

Happy Independence Day to all my American buds! (Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art)

Here’s to a wonderful day,

Joanna

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. staceywilk
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 06:03:50

    To answer your question, yes, Italians think they should always win the World Cup. I know my off-the-boat Pop-Pop would have. He believed Italians invented everything too. Italians are very proud of their heritage, but you know this. ;-)

    my mother would have called in the National Guard looking for me. I feel your pain. And now I’ve become her. Pay backs I guess.

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    • Joanna Aislinn
      Jul 03, 2014 @ 06:58:00

      If the number to the NG had been in that phone book, my Nervous Nellie Italian Mamma would have called them too. I have made a conscious choice not to become her, lol. (She tells me I take after my dad. I get a real kick out of that statement when her best friend whispers it to me. My answer: “Thank God!”)

      Wow. I didn’t know Italians invented everything too, lol. I’ll make a note of that.

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      • Joanna Aislinn
        Jul 05, 2014 @ 22:22:43

        That little Italian lady who gave birth to me said she PRAYED for Costa Rica to lose against Holland. The former team beat Italy, and Nonna was highly annoyed by the people in town driving around, tooting their horns, shouting, etc. Try convincing her Costa Ricans were happy to advance to the next round. They were bragging about beating Italy, of course.

        Italians, however, would have been allowed to tear down the streets at 3 AM, hooting, hollering, beeping…

        Told her she’s mean.

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  2. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 07:59:52

    I can’t remember the last time I had the television on and also am not a sports fan.
    As far as Mama moving mountains to find me and having a heart attack doing it, yes, yes and yes. She wasn’t even Italian. She was Polish. I thought she was ovr the top, you know but, I later turned into my mother. :-D :-D

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