I’m a New Englander in almost every way. I love that I can drive an hour and a half in any direction from my house and either hit the ocean or another state. I know that there are 3 kinds of clam chowder, though Rhode Island and New England are my favorites (probably because they’re products of NE). In fact I’ll eat a clam any way it can be served–steamed, fried, baked, stuffed, and [my favorite] raw on the half shell with a little cider vinegar. I can say without hesitation that New England is hard to beat when it comes to fall foliage–nobody does leaves like us [especially VT--and can we talk about their maple syrup? heavens me. Mrs. Butterwho?] And it’s pretty nifty that when I turn on the television in any part of the country, the newscaster will speak like I do.
But, while I take immense pride in my region, pride is not all a New Englander makes!
Where I fall short of earning the full-on New England badge is in my sports loyalties. I’m from smack-dab-in-the-middle central CT, which means that our stores have to sell equal parts Yankees and Red Sox paraphernalia. On this front, I’d like to say that I’m neutral, but if I had to choose, I’d go Yanks over Sox. This doesn’t lose me my NE card, however. See, while my part of the Nutmeg State may be divided when it comes to baseball, we’re less divided when it comes to football. Sure, you may find some Giants or Jets fans, or some Steelers (hi Katherine!) or Cowboys (hi Casey!) fans, but, for the most part, the Pats have a hold on the majority of the state. My dad, a huge Packers fan, will root for the Patriots because, as he says, ‘I’m from New England and they’re our team.’ I guess despite our baseball differences, New Englanders like to unify under the holy banner of the pigskin.
Me? I’ll take the maple flavored anything, apple harvest festivals, coffee milk, lobster rolls two ways (mayo or just simply butter, but always on a toasted buttered hot dog roll, thank you), Ben and Jerry’s and drive up 91 in autumn, but I will kindly pass on Tom Brady and his Patriots. I don’t really have a good reason; I’ve just never liked them and didn’t see a point in jumping on the bandwagon when we got a good looking quarterback.
So, when the Giants won last night, I wanted to decorate the chocolate cupcakes with silky peanut butter SMBC I had just baked and use only Giants logos. I was plotting to post them to facebook to taunt the sad stream of Pats fans on my newsfeed, but I thought better of it. I made cupcakes for both teams. So, in keeping with the divided tradition of my part of the state, I put aside my anti-Pats feelings and send congratulations to my friends who are NY fans and condolences to (most of) New England (well, except maybe Tom Brady. He goes home to Gisele; does he really need condolences?).