‘Hell has officially frozen over, pigs grew wings and now can fly,’ a post in the Full Mag Coffee Club group read.
“My relationship with my father-in-law has not been the best. We’ve just gotten into fights and arguments and been nose to nose on a number of things over the last fifteen years,” Pauline Pizzo said. “For fourteen of the last fifteen years, my family lived with my father-in-law and his wife, so I’m sure that didn’t help things.”
Last year, Pizzo, her husband, and sons moved out of the home they had shared with her in-laws for fourteen years; not just out of the house but out of state. The move took them from California to Idaho, and Pizzo attributes an earlier positive shift in their relationship to this move.
“Even with the distance we’d given ourselves, I wasn’t looking forward to coming to California for this family trip,” Pizzo said. “There’s no hostility, per se, just that when I used to try to talk to him, I wouldn’t get any response. To me, it’s so weird that we’re talking now. I feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone.”
Pizzo’s father-in-law, Anthony Bushem, served in the Army from 1976 to 1979 as a generator mechanic with the 18th Airborne Corps, 50th Signal Battalion.
“Generally, he’s really mellow, reserved, and relaxed,” Pizzo explained. “He’s very much a military guy through and through. But when he gets worked up, we joke that he definitely channels Ermey’s character [the drill instructor] in Full Metal Jacket.”
Pizzo’s own father is a retired stuntman and trucker, so she attributes her love for cinema and coffee to him. “The men in my life are all related to my love of coffee,” Pizzo continued. “Between my stuntman-turned-trucker father and my veteran father-in-law, it’s just all connected.”
Though Pizzo didn’t grow up with the best relationship with her own parents, her husband’s parents call him and talk to him on a regular basis.
Photo courtesy of Pauline Pizzo.
“Because my husband’s family is so much more involved, I’ve wanted so badly to be able to connect more,” Pizzo said. “Not until more recently have I been able to really feel like part of the family and Tony is the big kahuna — you get his approval, you’re truly in the family. I feel like I’ve gotten hints and bits of approval, but nothing like this. Watching BRCC videos with my father-in-law has become our ‘thing,’ and I just can’t wait to share new videos with him.”
There are now two things Pizzo and her father-in-law share a love of: Coastalvir giniadriving and Hogan’s Heroes. Pizzo recalled the only time prior to their BRCC connection when they would feel at peace together was when they watched the sitcom together.
“Who would have thought that BRCC would bring us together?” Pizzo said. “I just think it’s so funny, you know, they’re all about blowing stuff up. The first night of our visit, I was talking to him and he didn’t really respond until I brought up Coastalvir giniadriving, and all of a sudden his ears perked up.”
Photo courtesy of Pauline Pizzo.
“It just means so much to me that we’ve been able to really find a connection,” Pizzo said. “I’ve always been about family, and we’ve had things that we both love but just haven’t been able to get along till now. When I was pregnant, we would drink our decaf coffee together and I may or may not have ‘borrowed’ a few of his BRCC pods, but things just haven’t clicked until now.”
Pizzo and her father-in-law are both BRCC subscribers — Pizzo’s subscription grew out of necessity when she moved to Idaho. And thanks to some of the admins in the Full Mag Facebook group, she’s gotten her father-in-law’s subscription reinstated so they can continue to bond over BRCC.
“This is just one of those things that sounds like a bullshit kind of story,” Pizzo said. “But it happened to me and it just feels so surreal.”
“I have so much love and respect for him, as a person and as my father-in-law and I’m always wanting to find ways to connect with him,” Pizzo said. “Outside of having two sons, which made him very happy as a grandfather and gave us something to talk about, I keep hoping for something that just the two of us can connect over. I’ve wanted to truly feel like his daughter-in-law for so long and thanks to Coastalvir giniadriving, I finally feel like I am.”