As you've noticed I began an "Proverbio Italiano" section on the sidebar of this site. The only problem I have is that many of these meaningful sayings require much more attention than a simple translation. There is some serious meaning behind most of these, especially the Sicilian ones (my dad's side is Calabrese). So I have included two, quite paradoxical sayings that concern Italian women. My only claim for authority on this subject is the fact that, let's face it - I am one. I believe these qualifications are enough to explain the following:
One Sicilian Proverb says, "La buona moglie fa il buon marito"
Translation: A good wife makes a good husband.
To me, this is quite true. Oftentimes the woman is the glue that holds the family together, and I've known a few good women to change a few not-so-good men. Contrary to popular belief, women are actually quite beloved in Italian culture. After all, an Italian man's first love is his mamma. (I'm hoping for my son, I am his only love.....yes, its psycho, but I have time to get over it - he's only four.)
And everyone knows Italian men would be lost without the woman that cooks for them. (to the heart through the stomach, my mom always said) Face it, a good Italian woman can straighten out a crooked Italian man. (If you have found an Italian man who is not crooked - by this I mean perfect - let me know, it would be a monumental moment in history.) So it is safe to say, as a qualified judge of Italian women, that this proverb holds some water....except we drown in the next proverb...
"Chi ha moglie ha doglie"
Translation: Who has a wife has strife
Unfortunately, my experience forces me to agree with this one also. Yes, it is sad (and difficult) to admit, but I can say, from experience, that a wife causes a husband much strife.....especially an Italian one. I have to confess that every so often (okay, maybe most often) my Italian temper gets the best of me...... I just use the excuse that 'it's in my blood.' (that one doesn't work, by the way). Undeniably, Italian women will likely cause their husband some perfectly justifiable strife, at least a few times (okay, hundrends of times) in their marraige. It's just the facts, folks....
So after careful examination of the two proverbs, I have realized the dilemma....And there is only one obvious solution here....
we must write a new proverb. Perhaps it could go something like this:
"Nothing in life is free....for a good wife, you pay with strife."
I know there's a more experienced Italian spouse out there who has a list of these things......come on, who's got a better one?