Yesterday was my sister's husband's birthday. His name's Mike but we call him Mikey because my husband is also named Mike and he was here first (both as part of our family and on the earth in general). I'm not sure Mikey likes his Life-Cereal-loving moniker but it's too late and too bad— he's stuck with it.
Mikey's marriage to my sister has given him two important roles in Mazzy's life. The first is as her Uncle, which is by default, and the second we selected for him intentionally— as Mazzy's godfather.
Now. The title of "Godfather" was not bestowed lightly. And I don't mean because the role of a godparent is very important and blah blah blah significance, responsibility, familial tradition whatever.
I'm talking about my husband's unreasonably large amount of love for The Godfather Trilogy and the importance of handing someone a title that, in his eyes, puts them in the same esteemed class as one Don Vito Corleone.
I don't know if this is true of all men, but my husband and his friends seem to embrace the lore of The Corleone Family as if it were their own.
I'll give you two examples:
1) Mike had The Godfather theme song play while his groomsmen walked down the aisle at our wedding. The song is actually a funereal march (romantic!) but since it was one of the few wedding details that Mike felt especially passionate, I let it go.
2) When we moved in together, one of the few decorative touches that Mike brought from his place was a framed old family photograph. It had been hanging in our guest bedroom for months before I took a closer look and noticed that one of the family members beared a striking resemblance to a young Al Pacino. Yes, it was an 8X10 sepia-toned Corleone family portrait. (His "sentimental artifact" is now living out the rest of it's days happily in a box in our storage unit.)
As you can imagine, the role of Mazzy's "Godfather" was coveted amongst Mike's friends and the lobbying was nothing short of intense. The time Mike spent weighing our various options might have been some of the most grueling moments of his life. I'm also sure he would have given the title to himself if it didn't defeat the purpose entirely.
Editor's Note: I believe this behavior to be tongue in cheek, but as with many things my husband seemingly takes seriously (monkeys, late 80's Bon Jovi music, and most oddly, Tony Danza)— I cannot be 100% sure.
In the end, the title was given to Mikey (for obvious reasons) but not without playful (I think?) snubbing and scrutiny from my husband's friends.
Regardless, Mikey has really taken to the role. So much so that yesterday, he requested a 3pm sit-down with Mazzy at the park for his birthday. We had no choice but to oblige.
Unfortunately, it is customary to arrive bearing gifts and we came empty-handed. So to make-up for it, I spent hours upon hours trying to teach Mazzy to say "Happy Birthday, Uncle Mikey" on video.
Next, we'll work on— "I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home. May your first child be a masculine child."