I need to grab my rosary every time I think about these...
There has been so many times in my life where I've been told stories by friends and coworkers, and have thought to myself WWMPD (what would my parents do). I guess you could say that Italian kids are programmed to think of their parents reaction and the lecture to follow before making any rash decisions. This year for example, I've seen people on social media hop on a plane and go for a quick vacation, and among every reason why I personally chose not to do that at a time like this, I think of WWMPD. In case you don't already know where I'm going with this... my parents would FREAK THE F*** out. I'm sure many Italian kids can relate when I say that it gets to a certain point where it's really not worth the battle. You don't know how many sleepovers, and weekend getaways we've missed out on, and future experiences we will miss. This is why I'm always so fascinated by the life of a mangiacake.
In case you haven't read my previous post, and have no clue what a mangiacake (aka caker) is, the definition is quite simple. A mangiacake is an Italian term used in Canada to describe a person straight out of Canada, or who are of pure English, Scottish, and Irish descent. These are the kids us Italian kids grew up with, who had parents that were "so chill", and could get away with just about anything because they could do no wrong in their parent's eyes. These are those same kids that would have us pick up our rosaries and pray just thinking of how our parents would react if we pulled any of the s*** they get away with.
Here are 10 things mangiacakes do that would not fly in an Italian household:
Sleeping over at your boyfriend/girlfriend's house OVER MY DEAD BODY would my parents ever allow my boyfriend to stay over at our house. Italian girls are not allowed to have boys in their room, let alone have their boyfriend spend the whole night in their house. Our doors had to remain open at all times, and if we had any male friends over at the house, they needed to be in the living room right where our parents could see us. There is no point even asking to stay over at our boyfriend's house because the answer is a definite hard NO. It doesn't matter if you're out late for a friend's birthday or if there's a blizzard from hell, you better get your a** back home.
Be allowed to sleep in the same bed as our boyfriend/girlfriend Okay so if hell freezes over and you're somehow allowed to have your significant other stay over, you better not even dream that you'll ever wake up next to that person. It's a miracle that they're even staying in your house. Italian parents don't trust ANYONE, and no matter how much they "like" your boyfriend, you better believe he's sleeping in the guest room, or in a room that has a whole other floor between the two of you.
Wearing shoes in the house THIS actually makes me cringe, because I can feel the wooden spoon whop me in the butt while I think about this. Italian mom's have this thing with floors where nothing is sacred enough to touch it except a slipper. My mom will FREAK if she sees my bare foot leave a print on the hardwood, and I think I would need a hearing aid after getting yelled at for casually wearing shoes around the house. *Let me know down below what your Italian mother would do if she saw a scratch on the floor from your pair of heels* Wearing outdoor shoes in your home is a HUGE sign of disrespect, and it's also just plain unsanitary. I can only think of two occasions where I wore shoes in house FOR A FIVE SECOND PICTURE, and had to 1) clean the bottoms of the shoes till they were brand new, 2) take the shoes off IMMEDIATELY, and 3) scrub the floor hard enough to erase the memory of the tragedy ever taking place.
Taking an international trip with your new significant other. Have you ever heard a story of that Italian girl who went on a trip to Australia with her new boyfriend that she's only known for a month? CUZ I HAVEN'T, SHE DOESN'T EXIST! I feel like it's just classic caker fashion that someone would want to do something like this, and get approval from their parents. Even if we think he/she is going to be long-term, our parents want to see that time put in first. They want time to build trust with the person that is going to get on a plane with their kid, and a month is not gonna do it.
Moving in/ quarantining with your significant other. I'm gonna give my fellow Italians a moment of silence while they think about this... Every one of us Italians know at least one caker who moved in with their significant other after dating for six months to a year, and got the green light from mom and dad. For Italian kids, the light will always remian RED until they are engaged or married, because again, Italian parents trust NO ONE. Now this year, we know of at least one caker family who let their son's girlfriend move in for the lockdown so that "the kids could spend some quality time together" because she "lives 30 minutes away, and it just made more sense for her to stay there". All I can say is that while the cakers were cozying it up with some kraft dinner on the couch, us Italians were the ones making Houseparty and Zoom rich, because that's as close as we were ever gonna get to "quality time"!
Not giving your parents a heads up when you're coming home from a night out Italian kids always have to report back to their parents, and if they don't, they get 20 missed calls from mom. We will never utter the words "don't wait up" to our parents because we know that's a recipe for disaster. And if Italian kids don't answer their phone when their parents call..........Let's just say while Thomas and Susan are fast asleep, Domenico and Lucia are up all night thinking about the ways they're about to kick my a**.
Not introducing yourself to your friend's parents, no matter how "chill" they are I was raised that no matter who's house I'm at, I need to go acknowledge the person who's having me over. It's about building a rapport, and not acting like a complete stranger even if you are one. I can't even tell you how much I've felt like a disgrace the one time I went to a caker's house, the parents were on the phone or doing housework, and the kid said "don't worry about it, they're so chill". I know still to this day that if I have any friends over, there needs to be at least a brief introduction to my parents, and you better believe my mom and dad are sitting at the table waiting for their arrival.
Not coming home for dinner I've never understood how people can just randomly cancel their dinner plans with their parents. I can't just pick up the phone and call my mom 10 minutes before dinner to tell her I have last minute plans, because I know she's been cooking a feast all afternoon. Italian kids need to provide minimum 24 hours, yes, 24 hours notice if we are unable to attend dinner to avoid getting an earful from our moms. Think that's extensive? well here's the breakdown: 24 hours = "okay, no problem sweetie", 12 hours = "but I'm defrosting a chicken for tonight", 6 hours: "I already went to pick up a lasagna at your favourite place, I was gonna surprise you.. can't you go another time?", 10 minutes= "ARE YOU !$@$#$%#$". Even within the 24 hours safe zone our moms still find a way to bring up "the nice meal I made the other night when Juliana had to go out with her friends".
Eating in your room or on the couch I remember watching tv shows growing up where the kid would get punished at the table and get sent to their room to finish their food, and I couldn't help but think YEAH RIGHT. Only the McGuire's and Matthews' would think that's okay, but definitely not the Angelicchio's. If I ever got in trouble at dinner, I was forced to sit there and get the stare down from my parents before I spent the rest of my night in my room. The only place where Italian kids eat at home is at the dinner table, because our parents have convinced us we're going to make a mess anywhere else. You don't take any soup up to your room, and don't you f****** dare take your plate of pasta and sit on the couch. If one drop of tomato sauce touches those cushions, that's it.
Eating frozen pizza, or cheese-filled sausages from a box Okay, I'm holding the rosary real tight for this one. There is just NO way anyone should ever be able to pull this. An Italian's idea of a horror story is watching a caker reach into their freezer, and pull out a Delissio Pizza or some Shneider cheese filled "sausages". Let me just say, I'VE SEEN BOTH, and those things are called hot dogs people!! If I ever did such a thing, my mother would pick up the phone, and call my zia or my nonna or any other Italian, and publicly shame me for the bearing of sin. I was brought up eating Italian sausages from a butcher shop, and pizza from my kitchen or an Italian restaurant, where you can spell the ingredients, and know they are not processed. Listen up kids, if your pizza or sausages came out of a box....... from your freezer....... IT IS NOT REAL FOOD!!!!!!
Ah mangiacakes... you never fail to fascinate me. But hey! One thing's for sure, your hearing is going to be in great shape as you get older since you won't have your parents yelling at you for your entire life. Continue to live your best lives, and share with me in the comments what life is like on the other side.
Let me know down below if you can relate to any of these scenarios I've mentioned, and like this post if you enjoyed it!
Fa la brava,