I’m feeling good about things, because it seems like everyone, little by little, is inching their way toward happiness, or at the very least, away from dread. Even the emails I’ve gotten in response to my own that voice dissent have a courteous tone to them, something I haven’t seen in years. (You’d think that what little replying there is to a restaurant’s email would come without reason for open hostility, but evidently, even food can be controversial. And I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’ve been brazenly expressing the occasional personal opinion.)
It’s an utter delight. I was privileged enough to live in Italy in 1989 and ’90, and though I came back home after failing to secure a work permit without a penny to my name, there are things that have stayed with me. Clearly, there’s a respect for food that makes me shake my head for America, particularly when I see a line of cars snake onto Speedway from the fried chicken fingers place. And art? Florence is an amazing place if you can stand the crowds. But these emails of polite disagreement make me think of something I saw daily when I lived there. It was usually men- old guys- but occasionally I’d see other people as well, and here’s what it was: they’d bicker. They’d pound the tabletops in cafes. They’d gesture wildly. Spittle would arc from their mouths as they quarreled, about soccer, about politics, about which restaurant was better- and then, their conversation ended, they’d walk away, arm in arm.
I’m attributing it to what I’ll call cultural maturity. We in the US are spring chickens. Our country is young, and I’ve seen us behave as the enfants terribles of the world. That doesn’t make us bad people, but I think we have a way to go before it’s integrated into our culture to be able to squabble with each other and walk away with our elbows locked. I’d also like to see us stop waiting in line for chicken fingers, but hey- baby steps.
Anyhow, I thank you all for your messages of support, and likewise for your messages of polite and respectful disagreement.
I can’t imagine anyone will have anything to gripe about when I remind you all that you have only another day and a half to sign up for this benefit that we’re doing with Child and Family Resources a week from tomorrow,
though you have a few days yet to pick up samples for our Saturday Aussie wine tasting.
You can order from our food menu
or beverage menu
any time, as well as make a contribution to our next run of donated meals
And keep your eyes peeled for more. All this talk of old Italian guys makes me want to make gnocchi.