I met Aunt Millie a short time after I met her nephew, John, my husband (29 years ago). Uncle Phillie and Aunt Millie exhumed warmth through hospitality from the very beginning. From year one, Christmas Eve was not only the most special day of the year for the Mangino/Calderone family, but always an eating extravaganza that ended with hilarious gift-giving memories.
Here’s what Aunt Millie has given me over the years:
Best Advice about Mah Jongg from Millie:
- You can NEVER win Mah Jongg second.
- “Mushing” is crazy (why would you ever want all the junk that already went around?).
- How could you play without a pie?
- Don’t sit next to her (she’s a terrible passer).
Best Advice about Life from Millie:
- Be good to one another. (Millie modeled this with her husband Phillie and with her family.)
- Don’t use more than half a paper plate. It’s much too much waste.
- Worry more about others than yourself. (Millie worries more about upsetting her children than the challenges that she faces herself.)
Stand-out Mah Jongg Memory:
We were playing at Angela’s house when the game was ending. Aunt Millie left early because she had the longest ride home. When I went to leave, I searched my coat and pocketbook for my car keys, then became frantic because I couldn’t find them. Who took them? Aunt Millie…Why? Because if she sees keys on a table she puts them in her pocketbook regardless of whether they’re hers. We laughed because that was not the only incident of her taking other people’s things without realizing it.
What always makes me smile is when Aunt Millie bought the special diet ice cream pops. She smirked because we were all so happy to enjoy them (and how lucky that they were dietetic), since we ate cookies and cake along with those diet ice creams.
Millie’s presence is always necessary to make any family or friend event complete!