Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)
Originally published July 17, 2010
My kids had turned just about every light in the house on and went out. When they came back I said, “Who do you think I am, Rockefeller?” They looked at me with a very strange expression. I should have updated it to Donald Trump.
I find the same words my parents said to me as a kid are now coming out of my own mouth. My father always threatened that someday the roof was going to fall in on me, and that my big mouth was going to get me in a lot of trouble. My mom used to say, “I hope your children treat you the same way you treat me.” There were many more.
I asked my buddies to toss out a few gems from their parents that we could have a laugh about, and here they are. As always, thanks to all my Facebook friends!
Don’t cross your eyes or they will stay that way. Eat your broccoli. There are children starving in China. When you live under my roof, you live under my rules. I’m going to count to 3. 1 … 2…
When they used your full name you were really in trouble, like … James Steven Del Ponte, you get over here this instant! I’ll give you something to cry about young man! Now, go back down to Lionel’s Barber shop and get a real haircut! Because I’m the mother and I say so, that’s why. I didn’t just fall off of the turnip truck! Children should be seen and not heard! If your friends were jumping off the Ball Square bridge would you jump too? When you’re old enough to have your own home you can do what you want, but as long as you live in my house you’ll do what I tell you to.
Stop spinning that channel knob so fast, you’re going to break it. Your room looks like a cyclone hit it! Wipe that smirk off your face right now young man or I’ll wipe it off for you! Don’t get smart with me! Don’t give me any of your lip. Who do you think you are?
Don’t talk with your mouth full. Next time, call when you’re going to be late. Drive slowly but hurry home! You must think money grows on trees! I’m sick of hearing MA! MA! MA! MA! I’m changing my name! “She” … has a name … and it’s mom! You want how much? When I was a kid we could ride the trolley to Boston, see two movies, get a candy bar as big as your head, eat lunch, all for 25 cents!
Here are some more:
One friend told me that he said to his dad, “Jesus had long hair. Why do I need to get a haircut?” His Dad said, “Jesus also walked everywhere, so I don’t think you really need a car.” A friend’s mother would take a situation and turn it into stern statement. For instance, if there was a matter of a broken window, she would say, “I’ll window you!”
Make sure you have on clean underwear in case you get in an accident and have to go to the hospital! Don’t lie or your tongue will turn black. Don’t make me pull this car over and come back there! Put that down before you put someone’s eye out. I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.
A friend of mine who grew up in an Italian speaking home told me that his mother used to say, “Tu si bum di Somerville.” Translated it meant, “You are the bum of Somerville.” Happily, mama lived long enough to see her “bum” become very successful.
Today we hear parents using the phrases “time out: and “good job!” I heard those words also. My dad said, “If you keep getting lousy report cards you’ll never get a good job,” and, “It’s going to be a very long TIME, before you see OUT-doors again, young man,” or “Time out while I take off my belt!” (P.S. He never used it on us!)