Saturday, June 14, 2003


After a long road trip, it's always good to get back home to one of the states with a 70 mph speed limit; having often been accused of being a proponent of the "nanny state", I have to admit that I'm a big fan of both the Interstate Highway System and upper-tier speed limits. (I'm not anti-car. I'm anti-marketing huge topheavy gas-guzzling SUVs and fueling a veritable vehicular arms race while claiming that these behemoths are the safest things on the road. Just wanted to clarify that matter.)


This really should be the motto of my home state. It was easiest to understand when about half the state was Italian-American (like my mother), and the other half had a better-than-even chance of having at least one relative (like my Polish-American father as well as one of his brothers) who had married into an Italian-American family. Then again, although Connecticut, like most U.S. states, is much more ethnically diverse than it once was, I don't doubt that you can name just about any foodstuff imaginable and find an occasion in the state on which it's shared a plate with ziti. Pierogi, corned beef and cabbage, gefilte fish, moussaka, fattoush, ma po tofu, lutefisk, sauerbraten, chicken vindaloo, Twinkies, you name it -- if it's been served in Connecticut, it's on some occasion had to jockey for position on its plate with tubular pasta in marinara or meat sauce. I think it's a state law.

I'll undoubtedly write more later about the five days that Rick and I spent with my mother (who rarely cooks ziti these days, although we did share some in an Enfield restaurant). However, it takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude, as they say, to tackle the baggage of so many decades of family life. So ....


I'm still reflecting on the 25th reunion and will probably continue to do so over the next week or so, at least as much as time permits while I'm trying to revise a previously rejected paper (they're gonna accept it this time, dammit!) and put together a third of a masters' quizbowl packet (I'm playing at a tournament in Wisconsin with an all-over-40 team in a couple of weeks). I'll make one prolonged and sweeping statement, though: We all look just like we did when we were freshmen in 1974. I don't care whether some of us are gray, or balding, or fatter or thinner, or more tired or more energetic, or whether we dye our hair or wear more makeup, or have experienced great health or ill health or a combination of the two, or have been married or divorced, or have kids who are a lot like us or kids who are a lot different or no kids at all, or have founded or bought or sold businesses, or been to graduate school, or been fired, or changed careers, or whether we spend more or less than we used to on cars or cameras or clothes or travel or beer. We're still us. We don't throw water balloons much these days, but we haven't forgotten how we did it or why. For the most part, we're saner than we were at 18, and happier, and every bit as cute. I promise.


Post a Comment

<< Home