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."
Well done Mazzy! I can’t even get Monkey to say ‘Mama’.
That framed photograph of the Corleone family in the guest room? I laughed so hard when I read that.
So cute! Love how the video was pieced together.
Happy birthday Uncle Mikey.
What is it about those Godfather pictures that really captures our hearts?? It always shocks me to see a young Diane Keaton act like such an idiot. ALSO, what happened to Al Pacino after those movies? His restraint was beautiful and then, he went off the reservation in every movie after that.
“sunday, monday, tuesday…” BOOM.
Ilana, I think this was one of your strongest pieces yet.
Thanks for the birthday wishes and sitdown Mazzy & Co. — I had a great day.
Carrie, I so agree! He’s become such a cartoon character over the years!
OH I love the Godfather…I can’t say ‘Trilogy’ because I do NOT love III. But the first two? I could easily spend an entire day watching them…and have 🙂
We actually saw him in The Merchant of Venice on Broadway earlier this year. He was great.
I find it more shocking that he used to be so good looking. What happened?
My husband would agree with you on the the third installment. I’ve actually never seen it but heard it was horrible.
Happy Birthday, Godfather.
Not as hard as I laughed when I figured it out!
This is the cutest! By far probably the greatest gift Mikey received!
Can’t get past Tony Danza.
Must take the rest of the day off now…
I’m surprised you are the first person to mention that. His steadfast defense of the man’s talent is legendary amongst our friends and might warrant a whole post on it’s own.
We’re going to the mattresses over this post.
Oh, how this post made me laugh. I can’t believe your husband’s groomsmen walked down the aisle to the theme from The Godfather. LOL!
My husband idolizes Stephen Tobolowsky, who played Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. He did the whistling belly button in the school talent show (Ned Ryerson, not my husband).
Men are weird.
if that video doesn’t melt mikey’s heart then you’ll know he actually IS part of the mafia!
Brian? Jeff? Is that you?
Love the bottle of wine in the corner !!!!
Shhh, I pretend like I’ve seen The Godfather when my husband asks, but I’ve never seen any of those movies.
OEG (Oh Elmo God)— this is my favorite comment EVER!
Can I just tell you how many times previous boyfriends have tried to get me to sit through the first godfather and I have fallen asleep ten minutes in EVERY SINGLE TIME?? I have seen the wedding scene probably about thirty times but I don’t know if I can tell you what happened in the rest of the movie. There was a day when my husband and I watched the first and the second back to back and I don’t know where my head was because I still couldn’t tell you what happened.
Also— confession time: I kinda glazed over during the mafia parts of the Sopranos and came to for the family stuff. Shhhh.
See??? It’s not just me! I think it’s possible that the people who rave about these movies are crazy and we are the smart ones!
Oh Lordy. That is way too much. A framed picture, the music? That is above and beyond any man I have ever known when it comes to this obsession.
Now, when it comes to Tony Dabza, I feel him, but not quite to that extent. Please tell me he was a fan of his talk show, too?
I’ve never seen The Godfather (I know, the rock on top of me is heavy) but that is the sweetest birthday message ever!
I’m with Shell. I hear quotes and such and I’m all “yah, that’s hardcore” *files nails *yawns.
I don’t get it.
Mazzy being CUTE? Get That!! And Her God Fatha commented? Way hardcore.
Adam and I entered our wedding reception to the theme song from “The Sopranos.” So I think this might be one of those cases where I actually get along better with the husband than the wife. FYI.
My husbands love for the Godfather goes so far as he not only has all the dialogue memorized he also has the Italian dialogue memorized as well as the dubbed/made safe for tv version. 2 examples “make sure he doesn’t come out with just a “stick” in his hand!” & “you and your whole “phoney” family.” He also has a HUGE poster in his man cave of “Il Padrino”!He is serious!!!
My favorite godfather story is once I was in a bookstore and someone was looking for the “novel” and both the clerk and person interested in it said it would be in non-fiction. Because its a true story, right?! ha
Ilana, I’d like it to also be public mommyshort knowledge that at your wedding I opened my best man toast with these words addressing your dad… (which of course is a play on the dialogue that Luca Brasi says to Don Corleone at Connie’s wedding.)
“Don Rosengarten, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter’s wedding… on the day of your daughter’s wedding. And I hope that their first child, be a masculine child.(Mazzy’s cool though) I pledge my ever-ending loyalty. I gave your daughter a bbq light from crate and barrel for her bridal purse. Don Rosengarten, I’m going to start my toast now, because I know you are busy…”
I have to apologize for this blatant plug, but the timing is crazy. My husband was an anonymous juror for the big Chicago Mafia trial and we are writing about his crazy-ass experience now. Your husband might get a kick out of it. Promise: no horse heads!
Too Adorable! I’m jealous. Now that Mazzy said happy birthday Mikey, I can’t wait to hear happy mother’s day.
That video is just too damn cute.
Hey-o…oh-aaay. I don’t supposed Mike has a penchant for vacuuming curtains and cooking dinner???
I have seen The Godfather, but I admit, it was also a yawn.
Once it aired on TV in “chronological order” which means you saw the Deniro stuff first. Then I about passed out once it made it to anything “current” in the 2nd movie – so boring and slow.
Really, the only part I like is “the past”, which is when Deniro was the Don-in-training.