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You Know You’re Greek When . . .

You Know You’re Greek if… (thanks to my Facebook friends group called “Greeks Invented Everything” for the list

  • You make frappe before leaving home, when getting to the office, after lunch, when having guests, before the guests leave, after the guests leave and before going to bed.
  • When shops have a sale they call your mom.
  • You still have clothes that you used to wear when you were five stored in suitcases.
  • You call an older person you’ve never met before “Thio” or “Thia”.
  • You hide everything from your parents, but they still think they know everything about you, and make you believe that they actually do.
  • You learn how to beg the personnel at the airport to allow the excess baggage you’ve got as soon as your father stops doing that for you.
  • When you arrive home you find 20 people waiting for you at the airport.
  • You always curse at Greeks and then when you travel to Europe or the States you only make Greek friends.
  • When you come back from college you still have to live with your parents, and fight over curfew all over again, as if you never left them before.
  • Your relatives alone could populate a small city.
  • Everyone is a family friend.
  • You fight over who pays the dinner bill.
  • You teach Europeans/Americans swear words in your language.
  • When you go on a date you start thinking of places that you never thought of before to avoid family or family friends. You end up in a lousy place and still bump into the relative with the biggest mouth.
  • You think you are liberated when you can’t even smoke in public.
  • If you are 25 and not married yet, your parents make you feel that you are getting too old.
  • Getting married becomes the only way you could escape your parents.
  • You tell your friends how to rebel against their parents when you can’t stay out past midnight.
  • You always say “Open the light” instead of “Turn on the light”.
  • You ask your dad a simple question and he tells you a story of how he had to walk miles just to get to school with no shoes.
  • You’re 5’4″, can bench press 325 pounds, shave twice a day, but you still cry when your mother yells at you.
  • Your uncle owns a restaurant, has $300,000 in the bank, but still drives a ’76 Monte Carlo.
  • You share a bathroom with your 5 brothers, have no money, but drive a $45,000 Camaro.
  • Your mechanic, plumber, electrician, accountant and travel agent are all blood relatives.
  • You have a relative that has done something that required the IRS to threaten him.
  • Your 2 best friends are your cousin and brother-in-law’s brother-in-law.
  • You are a card-carrying V.I.P at more than 3 dance clubs.
  • Despite the hair on your back, you still try to impress the ladies by wearing your “Just Do Me” tank top.
  • At least 5 of your cousins live on your street.
  • All 5 of those cousins are named after your grandfather.
  • A high school diploma and 1 year of community college has earned you the title of “professor” among your aunts.
  • You are on a first name basis with at least 8 banquet hall owners.
  • If someone in your family grows beyond 5′ 9″, it is presumed his mother had an affair.
  • There are more than 28 people in your bridal party.
  • You netted more than $50,000 on your baptism.
  • At some point in your life, you waited tables.
  • 30 years after immigrating, your parents still say “Embros” when answering the phone.
  • You have at least one relative who wore a black dress every day for an entire year after a funeral… or their entire life!
  • You spent your entire childhood thinking what you ate for lunch was pronounced “sangwich.”
  • Your family dog understood Greek.
  • Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting papou and yiayia or extended family.
  • You’ve experienced the phenomena of 150 people fitting into 50 square feet of yard during a family cookout.
  • You were surprised to discover the FDA recommends you eat three meals day, not seven.
  • You thought killing the lamb each year and having feta, tzatziki and olives on your dinner table was absolutely normal.
  • You grew up thinking no fruit or vegetable had a fixed price and that the price of everything was negotiable through haggling.
  • You were as tall as yiayia by the age of seven.
  • You thought nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.
  • Mamas main hobby is cleaning.
  • You were surprised to find out that wine was actually sold in stores.
  • You never knew what to expect when you opened the margarine, after all you thought washing out and reusing margarine containers was normal.
  • You thought Orthodoxy was the only religion in the world.
  • You thought every meal had to be eaten with a hunk of bread in your left hand.
  • Yiayia never threw anything away, you thought seeing washed plastic bags hanging on the clothes line was normal.
  • You learned to play tavli before you went to school.
  • You have at least one relative who came over on the boat.
  • You have relatives who aren’t really your relatives.
  • You drank wine before you were a teenager.
  • You grew up in a house with a yard that didn’t have one patch of dirt that didn’t have a flower or a vegetable growing out of it.
  • You thought that talking loud was normal.
  • You thought everyone got pinched on the cheeks and money stuffed in their pockets by their relatives.
  • Your mother is overly protective of the males in the family no matter what their age.
  • There was an icon in every room of the house, including the bathroom.
  • You wear or at least own a gold chunky bracelet.
  • Garlic is considered a main meal.
  • Olive oil is like a drug – you can’t survive without it.
  • You don’t know half your relatives.
  • You have a wedding at least twice a year.
  • You or at least most of your uncles own a spit
  • You consider soccer the eighth wonder of the world.
  • Your cheeks receive their weekly work out every time you visit an aunt.
  • Your last name ends with: opolous, os, as, or is
  • Your last name consists of the entire alphabet
  • When leaving a house, you stand at the front door for a half hour more and talk
  • You arrive 2 hours late to a party and think that is normal
  • Your church has a fully loaded bar
  • No air conditioning is on at the house or you’ll get sick… “regma”
  • You use plastic grocery bags as garbage bags
  • Your parents have never realized phone connections have gotten better in the last 20 years and still continue to scream on the phone when calling Greece
  • You expect atleast 600 people at your wedding
  • Your 15 year old brother/sister can out drink ANY American guy
  • Your only vacation is back to the homeland
  • You tell your parents you’re seeing someone and they start sending out wedding invitations.
  • You’re home an hour late and you’re already listed as a missing person.
  • You’re Dad has those old Greek tapes in the car, and plays them on family drives. Especially in the vicinity of attractive members of the opposite sex.
  • You break a leg, and yiayia thinks your life is over.
  • You tell your parents you’re having a party. They buy out the whole supermarket.
  • It doesn’t matter if people can’t hear what you’re talking about – you talk so much with your hands that people know what you’re going on about anyway.
  • You go to a wedding, and take a fancy to one of the guests. Later you discover that the guest is somehow related to you. =(
  • You go to a wedding, and are introduced to cousins that you never knew existed.
  • You tell mama you’re not hungry and she thinks you have an eating disorder.
  • You can distinguish between kefalotiri and kefalograviera
  • You’re an adult and are forced to be with your family at 12 midnight on New Year’s eve
  • Your yiayia / mama / thia has a miracle cure for everything.
  • If you’re a girl, your mother still tries to put those pony tail holders with the BIG plastic balls on the end on your hair.
  • If you’re a guy, your mother still tries to make you wear that super frilly dress shirt with that huge bow tie, because it looked so cute when you were 7.
  • Your mother or father still feels the need to tell you, “katse kala” in public
  • You have been hit at some point with a pandofla
  • You can dance kalamatiano, tsamiko, zembekiko without music
  • You go to church picnics pretending you’re there for reasons other than to check up / gossip about other Greeks
  • You or a family member has been photographed with a donkey
  • You are familiar with the phrase, “Sto leo yia to kalo sou”
  • You have one or more of those porcelain figurines in your house or you have broken one of those porcelain figurines and mama still hasn’t forgiven you for it
  • Your parents make up the name of a street / store / TV show because they couldn’t remember it or they couldn’t pronounce it
  • You still get scared when you hear the name “Baboola”
  • Upon meeting another Greek you try to find out what village they’re from
  • You or a family member wears their Sunday best to go grocery shopping
  • You were spanked by your friend’s parents because your parents gave them permission to
  • You go to a wedding or a baptism and complain about the food, but are the first one to ask for a “to go” plate
  • You know someone who always feels the need to point out how much something they bought costs
  • You have a bottle of OUZO in your house right now
  • You have been threatened to be eaten by the Kako/ baboola / yero / pontiki when you were little
  • Add aki to the end of any American word, and it becomes Greek
  • Someone in your family owns any type of restaurant
  • Your family inheritance includes olive trees and xorafyia
  • Your entire house is a needlepoint warehouse…