I know that most lovers of the Santini books have a special place in their hearts for Joey Santini. I can understand because I do too. So, when I started to get to know Marcella Santini, I realized that they were very different in their way of dealing with their children, but they both amazingly strong women. I guess you have to when you have so many children.
Marcella and Joey are physically different, but they seem to be closer than some biological sisters. Joey’s blonde hair and slim build are the direct opposite of Marcella’s curvier build. Long, straight dark hair and golden skin are a testament to her Mexican background. Her hazel eyes always seem to sparkle.
Follow me after the jump to hear what the two women had to say.
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Joey and Marcella Santini have known each other since the late 70’s when Tony and Marcella were married. I met them in one of the great places I discovered in the Warrenton area, Blue Ridge Seafood. Marcella and Tony were taking some time with Joey and Papa so we decided to meet up over some crab legs. In the short time I spent
MEL: So, first things first, ladies. Is there a secret cabal with the Santini wives? I mean, you ladies seem to control most of what goes on in the family.
MARCELLA: Laughes. I don’t know if we control everything. I do know that a lot of it falls on our shoulders. As a military wife, you understand that the details of kids and life at home are pretty much handled by the spouse at home. It doesn’t really change when they retire either.
MEL: That’s the truth.
JOEY: And truthfully, it’s easier when the smartest people are in charge.
MARCELLA: There is that.
MEL: You both had a a ton of kids, at least by today’s standards. I’ve talked to Joey about handling that many boys with a military life that is always a little crazy. I look at Marcella You had six–
JOEY: Marcella always has to have the most.
MARCELLA: We had the same number of pregnancies. I just had two sets of twins.
JOEY: Smirks See.
MEL: Okay, but back to what I was asking about. You both have different ways of dealing with your kids but you both seem to be very involved but in different ways.
MARCELLA: Joey is very good at being pushy.
JOEY: Aw, thank you. I am damned proud of that fact.
MEL: But, I know for a fact that you are pushy, just in your way.
JOEY: She has your number. Looks at me. Marcella likes to pretend she isn’t that pushy, but there is a reason Elena is the way she is and it has nothing to do with her father or brothers. Not entirely. Go ahead and tell her about how you and Tony met.
MARCELLA: I don’t think we need to go into that much detail. But, he was kind of… Face turns red.
JOEY: Yeah, she isn’t going to tell you and your readers just yet. Understand though that our little Marcella is not as sweet and innocent as she likes to pretend. Let’s just say that when she first met Tony it was for one reason and one reason only.
MARCELLA: Josephina Santini!
JOEY: It’s not like she isn’t going to let her readers know at some point.
MEL: I think we need to get back to the interview.
JOEY: See, she thinks she’s in charge.
MEL: That’s because I am.
Both women laugh.
MARCELLA: We might think we are in charge and for the most part, we are. But we control things at home because we know the scary part of not having control.
JOEY: Exactly. We keep things together at home because while our husbands were active duty, we controlled nothing. Their assignments, how many times we had to move in a two-year span.
MARCELLA: And we had no control on how dangerous their jobs were. We could have asked them to quit, but it would have been like asking another man to cut off his arm.
MEL: And now, to an extent, you deal with it with your children.
JOEY: Yes. It’s worse, don’t you think, Marcella.
MARCELLA: Yes. And when Carlos was injured in Iraq a few years ago, I almost lost it.
MEL: So, Joey, you are a grandmother several times over. And you have one child married and another on her way to be married. Are you ready for this chapter of your life?
MARCELLA: Yes. I love babies.
JOEY: That’s why she had to outdo all of us.
MARCELLA: Bite me.
JOEY: Laughes. I never thought I would love another person as much as much as I loved my children, but it is a hundred times more wonderful being a grandmother.
MARCELLA: It’s because when they are kids you have to worry about so much. And as a military spouse, you are so busy keeping the homefront going. You can never show the fear you feel for the spouse out there risking his or her life. Not in front of the kids. So, you hold it together.
JOEY: But with grandchildren, you worry, but it is like a completion of your duty and you get all rewards. You made sure your kids made it to adulthood and now you get this perfect little person to spoil.
MEL: So, I heard there might be a trip across the pond to see some of the other Santinis?
MARCELLA: Yes. Dave and Bess settled over there after he retired. Bess is English with a little royal blood in her.
JOEY: But don’t let her know we told you. She likes to pretend she’s one of us, even though she’s in line for the throne.
MARCELLA: She is not. Well, not really. But, she has some family businesses she took over her father.
MEL: Family Christmas here in Warrenton with both families?
MARCELLA: Shakes her head. Unfortunately not. We are heading back to California to spend time with both sets of twins. Anthony is going to try and get a hop back over.
JOEY: The families will be here, but Gee is deployed until the first week of February. Marco is deployed until March.
MEL: I know you are both busy so I will let you go. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat and let my readers know you better.
Make sure you check out Joey in her book A Santini Christmas. The THUNDERCLAP is still going on for Falling for a Santini! And make sure you check out the Falling for a Santini page so you read the first chapter!