Mary Parachiniís Principles to Guide Life:
30 Ways to Live To Be 100

Amy Z, for her thesis, wrote a biography of her great-grandmother, Mary Parachini, who is still alive at 100 (soon to be 101, in 2002). She came from Italy to America in 1917 at the age of sixteen and had to make her way in the new world. Following are her principles for a general philosophy of life.

On Travel:

  1. If the boat sinks, "Donít blame nobody. Thatís a destiny."

  2. When you arrive in a new country, wear your best clothes.

  3. When you have to read in a new country, read fast. Youíll impress them.

  4. Over here, everything may be fine, but over there, they finagle.

  5. When an official demands something you forgot, say you left it at home.

On Work:

  1. Have the right documentation. "Get the paper."

  2. Count your money. Get whatís coming to you.

  3. Never let people blame you for something you didnít do.

  4. When an employer or worker harasses you, hit him with whatís handy.

  5. If an employer breaks his promise, strike!

  6. If youíre getting good money, be happy to work.

  7. Never let your boss squeeze you.

On Dating, Sex, and Marriage:

  1. Itís okay to kiss on the first date, but only on the cheek.

  2. When you marry, refill your mattress.

  3. When you have children, keep them fastened (swaddled).

  4. When dating, have a chaperone. "Straw near the fire catch flame."

  5. When children cry, feed them pastina.

  6. For women who want to date and marry: Throw a small object out the window. If it hits a man and he returns it, invite him in. "You got a window?"

  7. Small children can eat pork chops if they shred them with their teeth.

On Life in General:

  1. Pick a neighborhood for its convenience.

  2. No leftovers! Make just enough food for the night.

  3. "Donít ask no permission. You are the leader."

  4. Insist upon doing whatís right. Tell others, "We gotta go!"

  5. Youíll never freeze, never starve, if you can make nice soup.

  6. When you make moonshine, use a copper pot.

  7. Use the library!

  8. Witch doctors canít cure you.

  9. Never complain that there isnít enough to do. Go for a walk.

  10. Expect appreciation!

  11. Finally, remember: "If I donít do it, nobody do it!"


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