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Thursday, December 1, 2011


There is this phenomenon in Italy. And every {young} person not from Italy seems to think it will be a problem. Before I came to Italy I got the usual jokes of how I would come back with an Italian boyfriend, “oh the guys are just so cute,” and “you aren’t ever going to want to leave. A boy would be a good reason to stay”. Well I must correct ‘you’ on that; a man would be a good reason to stay. A man that does not still live with his mother for that matter.
There is a word here “Mammoni” and it means ‘mama’s boy’. In America we have a negative connotation, and there is one here too but the men and their mama’s don’t seem to be embarrassed by it. These mama’s boys still live at home, and we are talking they are in their 30’s, 40’s and yes sometimes even 50’s. Sometimes the only reason that they move out is that death did them part.
To watch it, it is almost like a pact that the mom won’t ask her son to leave she likes having him there. And the son isn’t going to break off because life is just too sweet with mama. He lives like he is at a hotel; clothes are left wherever, bed is left unmade, laundry appears magically done and folded, every meal is homemade and can be ordered to room service style. The best part? No rent. Yep that’s right they don’t pay rent to their parents and they don’t pay for the meals. Sometimes they chip in I’m sure but there is not an expectation.
The kicker is that these are men that are financial stable. They have jobs, they even have other houses. They have girlfriends and yet they still choose to live at home. The Italian mamas seem to almost imagine that it would be bad for their healthy for their baby {or grown son} to move out.
When I arrived in Italy I learned that most children live at home until they get married and this was the explanation we got when we asked why there was so much PDA. Who wants to bring their boyfriend or girlfriend home if mom and dad are just going to be waiting? {And this fits with why Italians don’t have a word for privacy…}There is an Italian way of life that leads them to stay in one place. People hesitate to move and will often pass up a job opportunity in a different city, so children if they go to University go to the school in the city they live in. The Italian income is low so it doesn’t make sense and is often not a financial option to go away to school or live somewhere else just because. Italians look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them you live with your friends and that you go to school far from your parent’s house.
So in the aspect of financial options living with your parents makes sense, but these men well that isn’t their problem. They openly say that they probably won’t live at the home that they own, sometimes even in the instance of marriage. And some even still come to their mom for certain things after they are married. I guess I believe in the verse from the Bible saying “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” {Genesis 2.24}

What do you think? Is this natural or unhealthy from your viewpoint? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Don’t worry there isn’t a man {or a boy} to stay for. I’ll let you know if things change but…let’s just say I’m a little weary and have my guard up.

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