Thursday, November 16, 2006
Mama's Got A Mustache, Daddy's Got A Beard
I am not Italian, although it's not for lack of trying. Every so often me and some of my cousins will put on some oversized track suits, hijack a truck delivering TVs to the airport and then kill a guy who offended our family honor. But those are just vicarious, passing thrills. Sure, it's fun, but I will never know what it is to fit neatly into any single stereotype. You know, other than Fat Lazy American.
Being Italian to me just seems like a sweet-ass gig. First of all, the bar for social interaction is so much lower as most people are just relieved that you haven't gone upside their head with a crowbar or shaken them down for "protection money" within the first five minutes of a conversation.
Second, all Italians eat for free at the Olive Garden. It's true.
Third, you get a whole extra holiday in Columbus Day. In this respect it's not as rewarding as being Jewish. They have a different holy day ever other week it seems like. Plus Hanukkah is a whole week of dreidels and gelt and PlayStation 3. But Columbus Day is good too. It's kind of like St. Patrick's Day without the complication of food coloring in your vomit after you've overindulged.
Plus this week, if that weren't all enough, Italians all get to share in the pride of hosting the upcoming Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes wedding. Wow. Biggest thing to hit Italy since Gregory XI moved the papacy back to Rome from Avignon in 1378. Because in those days, the Pope was almost as big a star as Tom Cruise is today. He would have been bigger, but he just didn't have the Scientology technology to give him that last little push.
What the pope didn't know was that you can be a Scientologist and a Catholic. It's true. I've seen it on their website. And seen the exact same text repeated verbatim by several prominent Scientologists with eerily similar vocal emphases, cadences and inflections on TV. So it's probably true.
But we don't need to wonder because we have our Katie Holmes, a Catholic Scientologist. I bet her parents are thrilled.
They can take some solace, though, because from what I'm reading, a Scientology wedding is no different from the rite and custom celebrated by most western cultures. Dress, vows, rings, the whole shot:
"A photo of a Scientology wedding usually has a bride wearing a white dress and the groom wearing a dark suit and the party behind them. It is a joyous affair," said Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw.
Of course, the Scientologists are very careful with their words and highly PR-conscious. Ms. Pouw is describing a still photo specifically. Scientology wedding photographers--who are required to be at least OT VI in order to be equipped with the right mental technology and of sufficient commitment to the cause--are quite skilled at framing a shot in just such a way that neither the virgin nor the volcano are almost ever in frame.
If you're worried that sometimes they might on occasion confuse the sacrificial virgin with the bride, well, you know even less about Scientology than you thought.
As far as what is said at the ceremony (and I am not making this up) "...the groom is reminded that 'girls' need 'clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat' -- and is asked to provide them all."
Sounds rough, frankly. Can't I just make a vague promise to love and honor and cherish and all that other shit? Pan-acquiring and cat-fetching seem awful specific and will probably cut into my football-watching time.
As for the chicks, they are given very specific marching orders as well. "The bride, in turn, is told that 'young men are free and may forget' their promises."
Less specifically scavenger-hunt-y than the groom's list, but it's quite an out-clause. And by "out" I mean gay. Really what they want Scientology brides to remember is that they shouldn't hold on too tight.
Kelly Preston says: "Caveat emptor!"
But then, I shouldn't draw conclusions. After all, Travolta is Italian. They're a passionate people. Maybe a split second after this picture was taken, he bit this guy's face off, fitted him for some cement shoes and THEN had penetrative anal sex with him.
Just for the record, my cousins and I will not be trying that.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 5.9