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.
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.