Weird Is Just Another Word for Superpower
When "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" came out, I was determined to hate it. I felt like Nia Vardalos had beat me to the punch in some way and had cornered the market on what it meant to grow up a first-generation Greek-American. I was convinced no one would ever want to hear my perspective because the ultimate depiction was already grossing hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. My dreams were crushed.
My American friends would ask me my opinion of the movie, and I would say something along the lines of, "yeah it's funny and some of it is true, but growing up Greek is a lot more depressing than she makes it seem." That's a weighted answer, to say the least.
I now realize that my thoughts on the film were based purely on my own limiting beliefs and a healthy smattering of self-preservation. (I will get into all of that in future posts, so if you're curious, please subscribe to the blog). In fact, the cursory view we all got into what it can mean to grow up in the United States as the child of a Greek parent was only her perspective. While there are some universal elements, there is still so much that can be learned from hearing each and every person's story.
Here are some things from the movie that I can relate to.
I am one of FOUR first cousins named Diamando, so that Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick and Nicky stuff- that's real.
While my father didn't use Windex as a cure-all for things, he did carry around a stick of After-Bite that he used on us for far more than mosquito itches.
When I tried to become a vegetarian, my family didn't understand what was happening to me. "Ahh, you no eat meat? It's OK, I cook lamb." It may be a funny line from the movie, but it's so close to what happened to me that it's almost uncanny.
Greek people actually do spit on each other to ward off evil. See more below.
You know when she’s walking down the aisle and everyone starts spitting on her? Well if you’re not Greek, that probably made no sense to you and also seemed really gross.
Truthfully, it’s not ever that extreme so don’t be afraid to be around Greek people. We get animated and loud and use our hands a lot, but we won't actively hawk a ball of phlegm onto you.