Melissa's Painful Memories
Melissa shares how difficult it was to write about her father.
I’m so proud of Albie and Chris for opening their new restaurant Little Town, NJ! It’s sweet to see how Caroline and Albert’s boys have taken their parents’ restaurant talent and made it their own. I thought it was cute that Albert had to give his opinion on the menu. He’s a dad. He’s got to stay involved and try to help. And not for nothing, the Brownstone has been in business for over 20 years so he must be doing something right. I’ve been to Little Town and it has amazing food and an unbeatable view. If you’re ever in Hoboken, you’ve got to check it out.
Thank God for Jacqueline with her angry Botox face. She made me laugh, which was much appreciated in a pretty heavy episode. Rosie killed me, too, when she said, “I’m not Amish.” She likes her scotch and smokes. You’ve got to love a woman who knows what she wants in life. Moonshine on, Rosie!
Teresa said in her blog last week that I used “her parents publicly.” I’m going to have to disagree. As you can see, other people chose to show themselves going to the hospital. When Antonia and I went to visit Nonno, you did not see it. I didn’t want to exploit his illness on the show. Teresa is the one who kept and is still bringing up her parents. Publicly… on Twitter, in blogs, etc. Again, I’m being accused of something that someone else is guilty of. It’s as predictable as the tides.
For the record, soon after my father-in-law got out of the hospital, he and my mother-in-law came over for dinner. We cooked together and had a wonderful meal. My father-in-law said nothing at all about any bad feelings. Afterwards, Joe and I were sitting with my mother-in-law, and I asked, “Are you mad at me, or upset at all? Have I done anything wrong? Have I hurt the family in any way?” She looked me in the eye and said, “No. You’ve done nothing wrong.” Joe was right there. He and I know the real deal. Teresa was always claiming that she never said anything negative about me. I couldn’t help but notice how in almost every scene she’s in, the people she’s with trash me while she sits there smiling, nodding, and pretending she doesn’t want to hear it. It’s either her husband, her side kicks, or even her mother-in-law! On this episode, Teresa is shown being the “good” daughter-in-law. What I don’t understand is why on Earth would Joe Giudice’s mother want to spend her de-stressing pedicure time talking about me and how I dress? I wonder if she is regretting that statement now that she sees Teresa’s bubbies have been on display all season long.
I think you can see on my face that it was all weighing on me. I looked unhappy and aggravated. A lot was going on that had me in a terrible mood. It’ll all come out soon. Suffice it to say, I’m mad at myself for letting it get to me. My usually bubbly self wasn’t there.
The gym scene. Well, it started out hilarious. Joe and I giggled about his grunts. I work out with him. He does get into it when lifting, but I didn’t think his sounds were that loud! Working out is how Joe releases stress. Some of it comes out through the throat. What I saw from my husband’s conversation with his sister is that Teresa can dish it out, but she can’t take it. Come on girl, toughen up! I take it all the time. On Season 3, she mocked my music and called me a gold digger. On Season 4, she said I’d leave my husband for a richer man and I was questioned by her about being a stripper. We already know I’m a bad daughter-in-law. I don’t know how many more negative things I can be accused of.
During their conversation at the gym, Joe stayed calm and just threw a little shade back at Teresa. And she freaked out, threw water, flipped a trash can and stormed out. He gave her a taste of her own medicine, and she did not like it.
A lot of the episode was about my father. He was an incredible man, a loving father, and a great provider. As a husband, he wasn’t the best. It was a hard decision to write about him. But Love Italian Style is about my marriage, and my parents’ marriage is part of that story. In any memoir, the writer has to include a chapter or two about her childhood. I agreed with my team at St. Martin’s Press (love them all) that a memoir would be incomplete without it. The heartbreaks of those years made me who I am now. So Chapter 1 in my book is called, “The First Man in My Life,” about my father. I sought a partner like my father in many ways -- ambitious, funny, an adoring parent -- but his opposite in others. He didn’t come home every night. I was determined to find a man who did. And I found that man and more in Joe.
As necessary as it was to bring up those memories, it was painful as hell. It was devastating to go through the photos and find the card my father sent me within a week of his death. I struggled with translating those emotions to the page, believe me. Writing wasn’t easy, especially with three kids running around, screaming for cookies and juice. I had to do most of the work at night after the kids went to sleep. Joe wasn’t too happy when I got into bed and put the computer on my lap. But when I wrote the chapters about keeping our sex life hot after almost nine years of marriage, he couldn’t wait to jump in there to add his juicy tips! Wait till you hear them!
Joe and I are old school Italian in our values. I was proud to be a housewife before I became a Housewife. We have a traditional lifestyle, but with a modern twist. Mutual respect, support in what we do, and showing affection are just as important as who brings home the bacon and who fries it up in a pan. My book is part memoir of our story, and part advice about what we do to grow together so we never grow apart. I included chapters on how to fight right, look hot for your man, handle money matters, dealing with crises, and of course fashion and beauty. Four chapters are devoted to our favorite subject: keeping things fresh in the bedroom -- and other places, too.
Marriage has so many sides to it. The diamond ring Joe gave me when we got engaged really is a symbol for our marriage. We try to shine on all sides. And when we don’t, we set out to make it better. No marriage is perfect. It takes hard work. But nothing worth having is easy. I’m proud of us, and that’s why I had to write it all down. Hopefully, readers will relate to our stories and advice, and get some laughs along the way. If you’d like to see all our photos and read our stories -- especially Joe’s advice for the ladies -- in the book, we call them his “Joements” -- you can preorder Love Italian Style and get it mailed to you on September 17, 2013, my first pub day!
Please check out my website for all my appearances and my performance schedule. Follow me on @MelissaGorga Twitter and Instagram.