It is easy to say that Albanians are some of the most loving people on the face of the Earth. Let us look at Mother Teresa, she was Albanian. Albania even proudly named their airport after her, Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, or commonly named Rinas Airport. Mother Teresa is a fine example of what an Albanian mother is like - all sacrificing and endlessly loving. The remaining branches of the Albanian family are, of course, a proper by-product of this love which is common to all Albanians, and this American as well.
One would imagine that it would have taken me seventeen years to have finally entered the Albanian “Circle of Trust.” (Imagine Robert DeNiro saying it….Who, by the way, is of Albanian linage - sorry Godfather fans.) However, Albanians are funny social creatures, once I was accepted by my Albanian, I was genuinely accepted by the family, one and all. Wether an Albanian person knows you personally or not, is apparently not an issue when they knowingly embrace you as the woman who will marry into family. What is good for the goose is good for the gander sort of idea.
I could have been a raging, crazy, jealous woman (and I'm not saying I’m not). But without even a glance, I was in the 'Albanian Circle of Trust.' Now, once you are in the Circle of Trust, there is no going outside it either, in fact you can’t even be kicked out. (I'm pretty sure I've warranted being kicked out too) Robbed a bank? Had a baby outside of wedlock? Joined the Communist party? Your Albanian family will defend your good name to the end. Period.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being accepted. Doesn’t everybody? However, I enjoy being accepted because I am an awesome person with admirable qualities, not because I have drunk the Cool-Aid of this cult existence called, the Albanian family.
Some Actions That Should Be Warranted As Worthy:
Your art is being featured in an art exhibition…in Florence, Italy? Not impressive to Albanians.
You run a successful real estate business at 24 years old? Yawn! Albanians don't care.
You lost 10 kilos and look stunning in your wedding gown? Wow! You get the Albanian stamp of approval - which also happens to be in the shape of the double-headed eagle (also their national flag symbol).
How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You...not really
I was raised by a single-mom who I'm sure had ambitions for her children. Even so, she wasn’t much into pushing the college and professional ambition agenda on us. She was more concerned about us just turning into decent, kind, human beings while she tirelessly worked to put food on the table; and rightfully so! Although I’m pretty sure she missed the mark with my sister and brother, (Zing! Big-bro and Sissy!…Write your own blog!) As such, growing up I gave myself a few personal goals: college, travel the world, move overseas, learn to speak Italian, marry someone with an accent - you know, the usual stuff. I was a determined young lady, and strived to do my very best at everything. I’m not sure who I was trying to impress though. Perhaps I was trying to prove to myself that I could do anything I put my mind to. I found a sort of solace in knowing that I didn’t need anyone to make me feel significant or accomplished. All that experience went down the tubes when I got married though. I was automatically considered ‘significant’ to my new family without having to do a single thing. It was kind of refreshing and sweet, albeit awfully annoying at times.
The Golden Womb
My one goal when I was 26 years old was to be the best daughter-in-law, ever. Strangely enough, I was already considered that even before the day we exchanged vows. So how can you go up from there you ask? You give birth to - not one but - TWO male Albanian heirs! Now when I walk into a room filled with My Albanian family, Beethoven’s Ode To Joy plays as my theme song, and a light emanates from my extremities. And I remind them all of my greatness whenever I get the chance. Who made those baby boys?…That’s right, I did. It’s my little slice of joy and satisfaction, after years of trying unsuccessfully and unnecessarily to impress. See, I can put anything I put my mind to.
Funny enough, My Albanian has been warned and frankly told not to screw up our marriage by pretty much all of his family. They warned him that he would never find another wonderful person like me, and it would be all his fault if the marriage went sour. Awe! I love my Albanian family! They pretty much gave me a ‘Get Out of Jail’ free card from every argument for the rest of our married life. Not too shabby.
It would seem that I’ve pulled the wool over their eyes; that I’ve rigged the system and gotten lucky. However, I can assure you that this is how it is in an Albanian family. When you are loved, you can do no wrong. You will be loved endlessly until the day you die, and even after that. And it is like the Beatles said, “All you need is love.”
This image shows the two little Albanians I created in my (can do no wrong) womb, oddly enough, at Nënë Tereza Airport. I'm pretty sure she must have blessed this most recent trip to Albania, this was at four in the morning, and they are getting along and chipper!
What is the strangest interaction you have had with your in-laws? Do you get along with your in-laws?
I'd love to hear from you! Comment below
Stay tuned for a few stories about our most recent trip to Albania and much more.