“Massive argument with my boyfriend and mother”

My boyfriend is a loud Italian man. He is younger than me by a handful of years. He has the biggest heart I’ve ever encountered. His Italian anger can be rather in your face. This last weekend, we spent time at my mother’s installing a sprinkler system for her. He generally enjoys being around my brother and mother. He feels like family.

However, she took us to dinner and told him to order whatever because the food was cheap. She saw the bill and cracked a joke about how half of the bill came from his meal. Then on the way home, she drove and isn’t the easiest to ride with – she drives jerky and all gas, all brake, she managed to slam on the brakes heading toward a stop sign. The left over food from dinner went flying and he and I got choked by our seat belts. I commented on how food went flying and he tried to play it off by cracking a joke about her driving. She snapped. She yelled and cussed at him about how he was disrespectful and degrading. He’s been around for a couple of years now, but she has never snapped at him like that. I was floored and awkward and said nothing. I told her, when we were getting out of the car, she shouldn’t have reacted that way. Meanwhile he was grabbing a few items and demanding we leave. I was so floored by both of them I snapped at him, made it worse, and my mother and brother decided because he and I argued that my boyfriend was a scary man. I didn’t feel threatened or worried at all. He was embarrassed and upset and trying to leave. I don’t know how to feel. I now feel trapped in the middle. They are both holding grudges. He, because she cussed him out. Her, because she felt he shouldn’t comment on her driving or ‘tell me’ we are leaving. Someone help me get some outside perspective, please.

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