You Know What Happens When Mama’s Not Happy…

, , , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2020

I’m the author of the story Oh, Brother!. I am driving down the way that the old restaurant used to be and notice that a new place has opened up: a new Italian place, even, with a sign very similar to the old one. I’m curious at the odds of an Italian business so like the old one opening up, so I go to walk inside, and I’m stunned to see the brothers there working. 

They see me, they obviously recognize me, and they give me a big, genuine smile. I feel like I’ve walked into another universe, so I go up and ask what’s up and if they’ve decided to try again.

One of them laughs kind of uncomfortably and looks back towards the kitchen and then leans in and whispers, “Mama heard our fighting ruined our business and came to America just to kick our a**es and make us work together again.”

Just then, a frail, old Italian lady hobbles out of the kitchen, smiles at me, and asks her sons if they’ve taken my order in one of the sweetest, gentlest voices I’ve heard.

I decide to go ahead and get something to support the new business. All three are nothing but genuinely polite to me, and I end up wishing them the best and heading home. The food is better than what they were making when I was working at the old place and it’s so delicious I end up making it a frequent stop for dinner. And it stays open for longer than four months this time. 

Moral of the story: there is no force of nature that’s more terrifying and more capable of stopping familial conflict than an enraged Italian matriarch.


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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