Today is Uncle Carlo’s 33rd birthday. I shall take a moment to address some things…
My parents brought me home on Christmas Eve 1980 and placed me under the Christmas tree. Carlo was not thrilled with his new present.
A few months later I wouldn’t stop crying so he bit me and then confessed to my (crying) Mother, “I bit her, she wouldn’t stop crying.” And so it began.
Carlo was notorious for cutting my Barbie dolls' hair and stealing my diary. I cried often as a child. He told his friend I got my period. OK, people! OK!!!
When I entered HS, Carlo was a junior and he made it his mission to harass, yet protect me. He even at one point, held a boyfriend by the neck for disrespecting me. Looking back, it was justified. At the time, my life was over.
When I was 16 I had to have my major 9-hour Spinal Fusion. The post-op was horrific and I was dosed up on so many meds. I woke up hysterical in the hospital because I was certain Carlo was DEAD. D.E.A.D My Mother, who had moved into Columbia Presbyterian with me, assured me Carlo was living. My Father who was in a Pediatric room suite verified this. I demanded Carlo come to the hospital. So, at 7 AM Carlo arrived and missed school. He stayed with me all day. He held my hand. You would think that would be the turning point in our bro/sis relationship and the harassment would end, ah, no.
When I was 17 my father was very sick in the hospital, so Carlo took me for my Driver’s Test and I failed. And I cried and Carlo in that moment did comfort me. Then made fun of me until I took the test five days later (thanks to my Father’s friend—I was a brat) and passed.
See how Carlo responded to my new friend here.
My senior year of HS my friends and I went to the shore for Memorial Day Weekend. My brother had intel and began Operation Protect Sister MDW 99. When I showed up to the hotel with my friends, Carlo and his college buddies were sitting on the patio right underneath MY room. What a delightful weekend!! He raided the room and found beer, Black House, vodka—and condoms. The condoms were not mine. They really weren’t.
When I moved to Philly for college, Carlo moved me in, quickly realized I was living in a co-ed dorm and immediately began introducing himself to all of the guys. He was pleased to find that many of them were not on my team—I did go to art school after all.
When my college boyfriend broke his neck, Carlo left his shore house and drove to the hospital to be with me and well, my boyfriend. After a year of constant caretaking, Carlo was the person who helped to rejuvenate me and my life. He started showing up at the rehab and removing me. He brought me to his shore house. He brought me back to life. I made out with his hot Argentine friend and to this day, dear Carlo has a hard time accepting this. Ah, it happened, over and over. You can read about that horrific event at glamour.com It earned me a March 2007 Coverline and interview with ABC's 20/20.
When I moved to NYC he thought it was the stupidest thing I could do. I mean, I had no money and I worked in NJ. He wasn’t exactly wrong. Nonetheless, who moved me into that SoHo shoebox that cost me $1150 a month that I shared with a complete stranger? Carlo.
Enter JD’s Dad, A. They met once. Carlo shook his hand and busted his balls. A said he liked Carlo's Jeep. That was it.
While he took my pregnancy news, at first, with rage, he quickly morphed into the problem solver/helper/ultimate uncle in training—he even refrained from killing JD’s father—admirable. This is all documented in Rattled! btw—buy a copy today. You can download the live, super fun and emotional version on Audible.com
Carlo moved me out of NYC when I was around seven-months-pregnant—it was 97 degrees in my tiny apt and there was no AC. A was long gone and offered no help. My friend Kateri decided she wanted my mattress since I was tossing it, so Carlo offered to help her bring it to her apt. When they got to Harlem, the doorman told them the elevator was broken. Carlo carried the mattress up 6 flights of stairs.
He drove me to the hospital the day JD arrived and called my editor at Glamour to announce the news and claim JD looked like him, yeah OK. He has always been at my side and has always provided some sort of Plan B when I needed one. He is insane and a ball-buster, but he also has a GIANT heart and loves my son and me. He is the ultimate travel companion and I say this not because he in fact helped tons with JD while we were at Aulani (and when I had an anxiety attack prior to boarding our nonstop flight home), but because the entire staff at Aulani was referring to him as “Uncle Carlo” within 30-minutes of arriving on the grounds. That says something!
JD made this yummy berry, marshmallow, carmel, fudge salt sundae for Carlo last night (I made Taco Tuesday!!!). He loves his uncle!!
Happy Birthday, big brother. Enjoy those socks, balloon and beach towel your godson got you. And remember the Coppa kids are a tripod unit. When I watch RHONJ and see how Theresa and Joe treat each other, I feel sad for them, but it reaffirms our connection and how we will never be like them, despite our own unique dysfunction. Oh, and I look forward to freeloading at your condo at the shore this summer. #FamilyForever #Bloodisthickerthanwater
Wish Uncle Carlo a happy bday!! Woot Woot!
More info @ ChristineCoppa.net