Mary Panza

Housewife Tuesday – Vacation

Mary Panza

I am sitting here in a great house on the Cape. This is a tradition my family has carried on all my life. We take a week, pack up 20 or 30 bags of groceries and head off on 28South. This tradition has been going on way before I was born. It is actually rumored (and the timing seemed right) that I was conceived here. Take a moment to etch-a-sketch that from your brain as I will be doing the same.

The Cape is a tradition for a lot of middle class families from my old neighborhood. We never knew we didn’t have much. We always had food on the table and in the fridge. We always had a family car. Our mother’s kept clean homes and our father’s always had jobs they hated. College was not an option; it was expected. In Italian families (as I am sure with other ethnic families), the point of coming here was to do better than what was in the old country. You didn’t have the choice. So we went to school (Catholic for nine years and then Troy High) all year and we were rewarded in the summer with a week by the ocean. It was what I lived for every summer. I could swim (float) in the salty Atlantic. It always makes me feel like part of something bigger. I would clean away the school year and the drama and just be. We would take one night, go out to a restaurant and eat lobster. I could justify wearing a bib and dipping the sweet insides of a lobster in as much butter as I wanted. After all, it is vacation. I could ignore my parents fighting. It was really some of the best times of my life.

When I was eighteen I rented a house with my friends and it became a different kind of fun. Drinking and acting like adults. Then I recently was reminded of a weekend trip to the Cape in a “borrowed” car with my crazy redheaded friend. It was the last time I wore a two piece. We lost the keys to the car in the sand after being up all night drinking with a bunch of people we met randomly on the beach. I remember coming here a few years later with Don Levy. Being surprised at how much he loves the water and red he got after being in the sun for two minutes. These are great memories.

I don’t say lightly that I love things. I love it here. I am here with my three nieces, two nephews, their spouses, my sister and brother-in-law, me and my daughter. We are loud. Really freaking loud. We argue over how to make eggs, whose cheating in cards, my easy victories in  trivial pursuit, and just about anything else. We love to talk loud. We applauded when my daughter tried lobster in butter and gave her family two thumbs up. We mock each other’s crazy Italian hair in the humidity. We love each other. That is the best part of this tradition.

I will return to the real world next week. I won’t think about that now. Too much to do here.

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2 thoughts on “Housewife Tuesday – Vacation”

  1. I loved reading this, thanks. Makes me want to have a place at the cape and/or be Italian.

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