I am half Italian. I know by looking at me you can’t tell but nonetheless, I am. My father is 100% Italian. As you can tell by the picture below, there is no doubt about his ethnicity:
I look more like my mother’s side of the family. I am fair-skinned and have a reddish tint to my hair. Although I may not look like him, there is no doubt that I have his attitude and the older I get the more like him I am. Sometimes when I am fussing as my son, I hear my father in every single word that comes out. My dad had the shotgun approach to parenting. Shoot first, let the smoke clear, then clean up residual damage. To say my dad has a temper is quite misleading. My dad has the temper of all tempers. He can go from zero to pissed off it 1.6 seconds and truly happens that fast. He will get mad at us for anything and everything he thinks we are doing wrong. He may call you every name in the book along this tirade and there were times you were watching for an object or possibly a fist in his younger years. Now don’t get me wrong, my dad loved us with all he was, he just had that Italian Blood coursing thru his veins and that come along with a temper. Let me tell you a story about my dad so you may get an example of what I am talking about.
When I was a junior in high school, I had a test tube blow up in my hand the cut me in between the index and middle finger on my right hand. The school nurse determined I needed stitches and told me to call my parents. Like most, both my parents worked when I was in high school. My dad was a foreman at manufacturing facility in Greenville, MS and my mom was an administrative assistant at the power plant. We never had Dad’s number at work, only Mom’s so if something happened to us at school, Mom is who got the call. I went to the office and asked if I could call my mom to get permission to go to the doctor. One of my friend’s called his dad and got an excuse so he could drive me so I had a ride. We called my mom’s office, no answer. Tried again and again, no answer. Knowing I did not have Dad’s work number, I called my grandmother (my mom’s mother) and told her what had happened. She gave the office the ok to let me go and off we went. I ended up getting 3 stitches in my hand and by the time we were done, school was over so we headed home. As we came into the house, there was Dad and he was fightin’ mad! “WHY THE HELL DID YOU CALL YOUR GRANDMOTHER AND NOT YOUR MAMA!!” he screamed. I told him that we had tried repeatedly to call mom but never got an answer. He was even louder with the next words, “BULLSHIT!!! YOU DIDN’T CALL!!” I said, dad, yes I did. Call the school and ask. My friend piped in, “Mr Olmi, I was standing right there, there was no answer when we called Mrs Olmi. Again, Dad bellowed, “THE HELL YOU DID!! YOU UPSET YOUR MOTHER FOR NO REASON. YOU DID NOT CALL YOUR MAMA!!” I again stated, “Dad, I had to go get stitches, see? I had to have permission to leave, I don’t have your work number, mom did not answer the phone so I called Mamaw. I promise you I called Mama first.” Then Dad looks dead at me and say, “Are the lights on?” I look at my dad, look back at my friend, then look back at dad and respond bewildered “Sir???”. “ARE THE LIGHTS ON!!” Having no idea where he is going with this, again I say. “Are the lights on? Dad, I am..,” ARE THE DAMN LIGHTS ON!!!” my dad hollers at the top of his lungs. All I could say was, “Yes Sir?!?!” “THEN YOUR MAMA IS AT WORK!!” (remember, mom works at the power plant.) Dad was not upset that I had gone to the doctor, he was upset that A: I did not call my mom and B: I found later that my grandmother had actually forgotten why I had to go to the doctor. He and Mom had no idea what was wrong and that scared them. He was worried but anger was the emotion he used and it did cause some problems growing up. The older I got, the more I resented being talked to that way. Now that I am much older, I understand a little better how my father is.
I have that Italian temper. I can get angry at the drop of a hat and for a lot of years, it got the best of me. Sometimes, it still does. If you read my bio, you see where I call myself an ass, that is because I am and can be. I am sarcastic by nature anyway so mix that with an Italian Temper and you really have a mess. I am just mean to anyone and everyone when I get mad. Fellow employees know to stay away if my face turns red. I am kind of like the Hulk, you wouldn’t like me when I am angry. My son has taken a lot of this anger growing up. He, just like his father, is hard-headed and does things his way instead of doing as he is told. That usually leads to Dad getting angry. Making bonehead mistakes due to laziness, causes anger in me. I have pushed away several people because of my anger issues and sometimes, I used it to my advantage to get rid of them. It had gotten so bad one time that even a preacher I went and talked to about it said, “You just need to get this person out of your life if they make you this angry. Just talking about them I can see the anger building.” One of my good friends tells others. “He is an asshole but, that is ok” I really don’t like being that way but, it is who I had become over the past 7-8 years, so I have owned it.
When I started dating my wife in 2015, I could feel some of that anger letting go. I began to be a happier person and that in turn, diffused some of the anger. I still was an ass at work, and most of the time to my son when he would not follow directions but, there was a change coming. We got married later in 2015 and I can honestly say, I am not as angry of a person as I have been. One of the things I promised myself at the beginning of this year was not to let my anger control me. When dealing with the public, that can be very difficult but, I read something somewhere that stuck. “You can not control other’s attitude or the situation around you but can control how you react to it.” I have kept that in the back of my mind and pulled it out anytime the situation calls for it. It ahsn’t been easy but, so far so good. I have lost my temper 18 days, keep praying for me!
The other day, I got a notice from my mortgage company that my home insurance was going up $672 this year with no explanation from my insurance carrier. I have called for the past 4 days and finally got in touch with my agent yesterday. She was trying to explain to me that she was on top of this and what she had been doing to find out what caused the increase but had not had an answer from the underwriters yet. The old Ricky would have let her have it but, this is a new day. I calmly explained to her what my letter had said, that because of this increase along with the property tax increase, my escrow was short. Now my monthly was increasing by $183 and anything she could find out would be greatly appreciated. She said to me’ “Mr Olmi, you are awfully calm considering what you just told me.” I said, “Well, being upset with you won’t help this situation. You didn’t make this increase so, it isn’t your fault.” I could actually see her smiling over the phone, “Mr Olmi, that is a very nice way to look at it and very mature I might add, thank you for that. I will do everything I can to find you an answer and if you don’t like it, I will help you shop for a better rate.”
This nice thing may work out after all huh?