Ever since I was a child, I can remember someone in my family dropping their lower eyelid with their index finger and giving someone “malocchio”. This is the evil eye, usually given to someone you dislike or wish misfortune on. The traditional message is that is brought on my jealousy or envy.
When I was working in Manhattan, my secretary was 100% Sicilian….from Staten Island, originally from Brooklyn….need I say more? I had broken my leg twice in a 6 month period and Phyllis was convinced that someone had given me malocchio. The very next day she comes in with a red ribbon on a safety pin; literally opens my blouse and pins it to my bra. She proceeds to tell me she went to Brooklyn to her family priest (don’t all Italians have one?) and he made this and blessed it for me to ward off the evil. I had to wear it for 6 months straight for it to work. So, do you think I did that? HELL YES. I even got pat-down at Laguardia because the detector was set off by the ribbon and pin! I miss you Phyllis…..
I have used the malocchio many times myself, for things I am not proud to admit:
1. when my kids play a sport, score is tied and the other team is on the foul line…I whip out malocchio…at the ball, not the player, jeez!
2. one time at Price Chopper, no lie, there was one 20 pound turkey left on the Wednesday night before thanksgiving. I just flew in from Chicago and ran to the market. This “lady” and I were in the throws of a beat down for that last big bird. I could not reach my eye to actually give it to her but I thought it! I left with that bird that night and I will say no more.
So maybe all these years of giving it out has come full circle. Last night my husband went to the basement to get something from the utility room and guess what? the hot water heater was a goner…water was everywhere. Nice, and we just renovated the entire basement after the water damage in the fall. Oh well, it’s OK, it’s not life and death right? My knee is healing nicely from the surgery, kids are safe and sound, life is good. Called a wonderful friend to help and he did, THANKS BIG JOHN!! Not so fast, we thought we drained it all last night. Nope, water leaked some more so we are back to moping up but this time we left the hose there.
As I am coming back up the stairs, I smell gas, very strong, enough to make your eyes water. Really? No, Really? So I call Niagara Mohawk and God bless them, out they came with that little magic wand and gave us the OK. Did I mention that the people on the phone at NiMo said do not turn on a light or anything electrical, do not start you car in garage. Wait, so I cannot leave? Oh no, that does not fly. I need Starbucks. So I swear to God, I get in my car and my wonderful husband pushes that SUV out of the garage to start it to go get coffee. (By the way, if you ever do this, remember your steering and brakes are power and do not function well. Found that out after backing into the shrubs.)
We now have no hot water so we are scrambling to take showers elsewhere. (Thanks Amy). I figure I can do a load of delicates in the meantime because I only use cold water anyway. All of a sudden I hear an alarm go off. The washer is dead. I promise this is true, I cannot make this up.
I am going directly to Capiello’s right now to see if I can borrow an Italain Horn (although I do not have a hairy chest or gold chain). I may have to settle for “mano cornuta”, which also wards off the Evil Eye by extending only the pinkie and index finger like a pair of horns and pointing it down. I hope this day ends well and safely. I would stand or drive a few yards behind me if I were you.