My whole life there have been two groups of people I have been equally fascinated by; WAPSs and big ethnic families. While these two groups seemingly have little in common, they are both completely alien and exotic to the way in which my family conducts itself, which is the commonality that lends to my fascination with them both. Even though I am a Cashew, (which for those of you who never caught on to the reference which is the namesake for my blog, means I am part Catholic and part Jewish. Hence, "Cashew.") I was raised in a pretty typical upper-middle class, Midwestern fashion. Like, even though my mom's Hungarian we still have turkey for Thanksgiving which is pretty much a dead give a way we're diluted and American-ized. And while one would think the Catholic side of me would add some ethnic flair, it comes from my dad's very "eins, zwei, drei" German side instead of something cheeky and fun, like Italian, so thus in my family a christening is not an occasion for a brawl or excluding a sad, mayonnaise-based macaroni salad, pasta of any sort. I always envied Italians from Staten Island or Irish from Boston, the kind with loud accents who could use racial slurs affectionately to each other at family gatherings without being racist. One of my favorite things to do, especially after movies such as "Gone Baby Gone," or "The Town," is fake a Boston accent and say, "Ohmigod, I swear if these f*(&ing kids don't stop screaming their fat little heads off I'm going to eat them like a mother f*(&in praying mantis. " Because, you know, that's obviously what all Irish from Boston do. Stereotypes exist because they're true.
|A typical, NON-STEREOTYPICAL IN ANY WAY, Italian christening.|
|Again, ALL BOSTONIANS are EXACTLY like this. NO STEREOTYPING INVOLVED.|
But on the flip side, a stark departure from the loud, cursing, accent laden, pasta munching, brash, fresh off the boat, ethnic families I was always sad to not be a part of, the WASPs held equal fascination for me. For those of you who don't know, WASP stands for white, anglo-saxon, protestant, and they are a fascinating race. Picture families that don't hug. Also those who hide feelings, have several chocolate labs, vacation at Martha's Vineyard or Cape Cod, belong to a country club, and brag about the fact that they can trace their families back to the American Revolution. While I don't want to BE a WASP per say, their L.L. Bean wearing ways have always intrigued me, and I wished very much to study them, just like Jane Goodall studied the gorillas. My boyfriend, however, IS by definition a WASP, and he aspires to the WASP lifestyle in ways that I find hilarious.
For instance, his number one goal in life is to own a sailboat. And his aspirations are not for a dinky little schooner that one could take out on Lake Erie for the weekend, no no, he wants essentially a yacht. Also part of the dream is that he could send out Christmas cards with his children (assumably four, two girls and two boys, all blondes) lined up in matching red turtlenecks in front of his yacht. He also is currently a member of "The Wine of The Month" club and talks seriously about investing in a pair of white linen pants. This man is a WASP wannabe! And what's fascinating for me, is that I get listen to his thought processes behind these things that he covets, while I know, in comparison, my children will be swarthy and hairy and if we had a christmas card picture (which I doubt will even be a thing that I would do, my mom and dad never made us flaunt our awkward stages to distant relatives and B-friends during the Yuletide growing up, so I tend to think I'll pay that courtesy forward to my potential future children) it would be in front of a station wagon, at best.
To add an exclaimation mark to my boyfriend's WASP-esque ways, last night he and I played Bocce ball, drank wine from Matt's "Wine of the Month" club, and Matt smoked a cigar while wearing his Sperry's and a striped oxford shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren. I told him he looked like a robber baron, and I was waiting for him to say, "The rent is due, O'Shannahan. I can't make a profit on 'your word'," to the down-on-his-luck tenet that asked for an extension because his wife is sick. Matt just chuckled and puffed his cigar like Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly. But basically, the whole thing is my dream come true... I've dated ethnic people before, but this is the first time in my life I've broken into the inner circle of the ever elusive North American Wasp!
|Actual photo from Matt after Bocce Ball.|