I know I might have fooled you with a "last name" like Kennedy. But in reality I am a first-generation Italian, 100 percent. In New England, where I grew up (hence the "Kennedy" moniker), there were few enough Italians around that *I* was most people's example, or stereotype, of what we're like. That is, Northern Italian, tall, bilingual (and pretty well-spoken in both), college educated. More Giorgio Armani than Tony Soprano, shall we say.
It wasn't until I moved to New York that anyone had the temerity to think I might have Mob connections. One guy who was trying to pick me up in a bar dashed all his chances by insisting repeatedly that my grandfather was a mafioso, because of course he knew my grandfather better than I did (hah). For the record, my dad's a physics professor. And the closest I've ever come to the Mafia was when a former (WASP) coworker's boyfriend's brother (did you follow that?) had his car blown up over bad gambling debts. So there.
(And if you're wondering where the Maggie comes from, this bridge is near my house in Tuscany.)