Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mud, Money and New England Charm

Seventy degrees today. Beautiful. Sunny, warm breeze. The ground is thawing and the mud is piling up. Everywhere.

I once read a great article on the mud seasons of Vermont. I know Vermont has it much worse that we do but in Boston, we have six seasons, not four. Summer, Fall, Fall mud, winter, spring mud, spring…

The boys were stomping in the mud the other day. And then tried to enter the house. No.

But half the city of Boston is built on harbor sludge. We respect our mud along with surly waitresses and holding money tightly- it’s part of the New Englander theme song.

And dirty water. We love our dirty water.

We’re famous for being a hearty breed that complains about weather every chance we can. We drive like maniacs; although the rest of the area would like to have Boston, and Boston alone, hold that title. We can give good directions but will lose the deed to our homes if we do. Rotaries give new meaning to “Live Free or Die.” We root for the Red Sox and secretly enjoy being forever the underdogs. We love the Patriots winning Superbowls, but they will never be the Sox. We celebrate waitresses that berate us and then leave them a lousy tip.

Which brings me to the reality that New England is one of the least generous areas in the country. Donations to public charities are much lower here. Need help shoveling? Sure. Ask me for a donation? Go work for it yourself.

I’m having a fundraiser for a political candidate that I really believe is great for the position. I sent a mass email out to a bunch of people- having a party (which means free food and booze), bring your kids (I'll do anything), please support the cause (I'd be better off asking for a kidney).

One friend responded, not sure if I can make it… love to swing by…

He knows I always have good food.

It’s okay, I responded, just send a check. Five hundred is the max you can give.

Is that lira or bucks?

Bucks. You wish it were lira.

Not missing a beat, he responded, no YOU wish it were bucks.

Like getting blood from a stone.

Or mud out of your carpets between March 1st and May 30th.

But I love New England. It's all part of the charm.


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