Mid-gene crisis

I was raised Italian. That is to say, I was raised to believe I was Italian. I met my father just once, when I was 13 years old. My parents were in court for divorce when my father, Albert Ricci, found out my mother was pregnant with me. They wanted nothing to do with each other so I was raised with a single mom, and several stepfathers along the way.

When I did get to see my father for the first time, he spoke with his hands, had olive toned skin and dark hair. In fact, you couldn’t have looked more ex-mafia boss than my father. Add to that fact my half brother from his first marriage was constantly in trouble with the law, and I was a living stereotype of an Italian-American.

From that moment on, any time I let my temper go, spoke with my hands, got passionate about a project or my thick, brown hair gave me trouble, it was because I was an Italian.

Only, this was a lie.

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Either Albert Ricci isn’t my biological father, or, he wasn’t as Italian as he believed. I ordered a DNA test kit and learned I had allowed myself to become my own social experiment.

Turns out, I’m french, german, Irish and Welsh. Sure, there’s Italian there, but only 8%. That means even my “father” was less than a quarter. That is, if my mother has no Italian genetic markers.

This whole time, I had a lot wrapped up in my heritage that turned out to be such a lie, that it caused me to re-evaluate myself and how I viewed me.

What did we learn here kids? That your background is no excuse to be a punk-ass, and it’s probably not even accurate anyway. So just be nice, realize you’re a mutt, no matter what you’ve been told, and above all else, it’s only dna.

We can dance

As someone who was sexually abused when I was younger, I am compelled to make people feel safe in my presence. It might explain my need to do the most impossibly jackass thing when I first meet someone I like. I *completely* lose my shit and start talking about farts, bukkake, or how I’m not really a red-head. I just NEED to let people know it’s okay to let your guard down and just chill out with me.

So when I read this, I wanted to cry:
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I don’t know Mara, but I wanted to hug her right then. I still do. I want to eat cookies with her and just be a real person with her. Recently finding out she’s from right here in Burbank, I somehow feel that if she hadn’t given up on this area, that we would have been neighbors, perhaps even friends.

I hate that women today are still being attacked. That it’s hard to walk outside around others without being targeted for sexual harassment.  When we’re not being sexualized, we’re sometimes being targeted for control by others.

Tomorrow, a protest is being organized for the grand opening of a Hobby Lobby store here in Burbank, the first since the SCOTA ruling. I can’t even go into why this makes me feel so angry (and unsafe) better than Dan did, using some of my points I’d made in other posts, but there ya go. If you’re local and feel strongly about this one way or the other, may you lend your voice.

The big 4-oh

Truth is, I’ve been forty for four years. How do I figure that?  I knew that my ego would have a problem with leaving my thirties behind, so sometime when I was thirty-six, I started lying about my age. I told people I was forty. Yes, OLDER. Of course, this brought the temporary narcissistic pleasure of hearing “oh my gosh, you DO NOT look forty!” and thusly I knew the sting of actually TURNING forty would be gone, having said it aloud for years anyway.

An unexpected thing happened in all of this, I stopped giving a shit. I mean, I honestly stopped giving a shit. I can’t say how or why. Some might chalk it up to life experience, wisdom, age, clarity, I don’t know. The two may not even be related, but gosh, do I feel good. I stopped modeling, stopped wearing makeup and largely attempt to stay off the public radar except as an ambassador for animal welfare.  I’ve realized how fleeting (and silly) the notion of beauty is. Most women are just judged by their makeup skills, and not by who they are as a person. So I’ve decided I’m not only refusing to play that game, but instead be a happier person.

I celebrated yesterday the way I wanted. No big bash, no crazy ideas of proving my youth (or my liver’s), but a relaxing morning treating myself to some me time, followed by a group of about 30 people, made up of wise, witty and wonderful friends, laughing the night away.


To my old life, I say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” because learning to step into your grace is a beautiful feeling.