Christ, Marco! I’m a nervous wreck!” wailed Tina. “This is the first time I‘m meeting your mother. Do I look ok?”  

“Are you kidding me? You look great! She’s gonna love you!”  replied Marco as he put on his mother’s favorite Dean Martin record. 

Carrying a box of Italian pastries, Marco’s mother Francesca arrived promptly at 6:00 – ready and quite curious to meet her son’s first female roommate. Introductions were made, niceties exchanged and Tina went to check on dinner. “She certainly knows her way around that kitchen well enough”  Francesca thought to herself. 

While Tina put the finishing touches on dinner, Marco brought out some appetizers. “Ah, bruschetta!”  exclaimed Francesca but when she bit into the small slice of toasted Italian bread, she discovered the topping was raw meat. “It’s steak tartare, Ma” explained Marco. Francesca made a horrified face and hastily deposited her half-chewed delicacy into her napkin. “Oh God! Raw meat will kill you!” Francesca emphatically declared, “I hope the rest of the meal is cooked”, she mumbled. 

In an attempt to quell rising tempers, Marco showed Francesca around the apartment. 

“Look, Ma. Isn’t this nice?  A small but functional kitchen, a dining area, and a comfy living room. But the best part is two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom so there’s no fighting over who gets to shower first.”  Marco laughed self-consciously. 

Yes, dear. Very nice.”  

Francesca silently simmered. “What’s this world coming to? Whoever heard of boys and girls as apartment  roommates? Maybe in a large house with five or six people but an intimate little apartment with two people of the opposite sex?”

Finally dinner was ready. During the course of the meal, Francesca couldn’t help but notice how attentive Tina was to Marco. She suspected a romantic relationship between the two of them and their actions only made her more suspicious.

Throughout the evening while watching Marco and Tina together, she became convinced that there was more between them than met the eye. Reading his mother’s thoughts Marco said “I know what you’re thinking, Ma, but I assure you Tina and I are just roommates.”  His mother smiled thinly but said nothing. 

About a week later Tina said to Marco “Ever since your mother was here for dinner I’ve been unable to find the napkin rings we used. You don’t suppose she took them, do you?” 

“Well, I doubt it”,  he replied, “but I’ll email her.”  

Dear Ma – I’m not saying that you DID take Tina’s napkin rings and I’m not saying you DIDN’T take them but they have been missing ever since you were here last week. Love, Marco  

He immediately received a reply: 

Dear Marco – I’m not saying that you DO sleep with your roommate and I’m not saying that you DON’T sleep with her but if she was sleeping in her OWN bed she would have found the napkin rings by now – under her pillow. Love, Ma 

Lesson learned: Never try to fool an Italian mother! 

NAR © 2019

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