Italian Mother Syndrome, more commonly known as IMS. To my knowledge, I am one of the only young women out there afflicted with this rare, untreatable disease.
I was diagnosed with IMS as early as high school. Symptoms included doorway-wide hips, a moustache like my mother's, and my persistent clarion call of "Eat something!!!" My friends started to suspect something was amiss when I kept getting cast as mothers, old women, and tough broads in school theatrical productions. Thank God they were paying attention--I thought all young women with any sense acted this way. Turns out I was wrong.
In the years since, I've slowly come to accept my situation. True, I worry about everything and everybody constantly. I fawn over every baby that crosses my lap. I will prepare fresh, healthy food for anyone whose stomach makes so much as a peep. I adore hugging people, and then smacking them. I was recently cast as a 40-year-old woman in a community play. (The man who played my 18-year-old son was 10 years older than me in real life.) I would rather be married than date. And I will never be a size 2.
But when all is said and done, IMS isn't such a bad thing to have. It's made me passionate, earthy, loving, and dedicated. Nobody's complained about all the free meals and hugs. I'll take it.
Now for god's sakes, mangia. (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, what am I gonna do witchoo ...)