La Famiglia: A Love Story.
My husband and I were on the way to my brother’s house for dinner when we decided that eating there and being there with my brother was the best date night experience we have.
The food and wine was always the best, the service was always the best, and the stories were always the best.
The last time we were there, my brother told a story about how when he was a little boy, he would go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of American bread — American bread being what my born-in-Italy mother called any bread that wasn’t Italian bread — a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly, and then would take it all into his bedroom and put it under the covers.
That way, he figured in his little boy’s mind, if he ever got stranded on a desert island, he would have everything he needed.
What a story — so much in it to love. So poignant that it made me want to get right up from where I was sitting at the table behind my glass of wine and go right over and kiss the little boy who still lived inside the 64-year-old man who’d told the story right off the top of his head.
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Everything a little boy would need if he ever got stranded on a desert island.”
From the stove where he’d been standing, my brother brought over to the table a huge bowl of rotini swimming in fish broth.
Three forks. No separate plates.
We all ate out of the big red bowl in the center of the table, the soft billowy pasta floating perfectly in the broth.
“Where’d you get this pasta?” I asked.
He’d brought it back with him from his vacation in Italy, put it in his backpack, and brought it back on the plane.
We ate and we drank and we laughed and we rolled a few American Spirit cigarettes, and then it was time to go.
We told him again how fabulous it was to be there with him in his fabulous new house, and what a fabulous job he’d done in putting it all together. He looked around and said, “Yeah,” and that he was happy there.
“When I get up in the morning, come out to the kitchen, and look at that sink,” he said, gesturing towards the windows that were then dark with night, “I feel happy. My kitchen sink makes me feel happy.”
So, here’s to brothers who give you and your husband the best date nights in town, who bring pasta home from Italy in their backpacks, who are happy when they look at their kitchen sinks, and who will always have enough American bread and peanut butter and jelly on hand, just in case they get stuck on a desert island.
But, more than that, here’s to stories that make you want to get right up and give someone you love a kiss.
This article was originally published on The Tattooed Buddha.
Carmelene Melanie Siani is a 74-year-old woman who began writing for publication on her 73rd birthday in 2015. She writes stories and vignettes about life and how life itself gives us the lessons, hopes and direction we need to put our feet on higher ground. You can find her writing at elephant journal, the Kindness Blog, and on her writer’s Facebook page.