Monday, February 2, 2015

The Spelling Bee: an Imagined Memory

There was an article in the paper this morning about the school district spelling bee. It reminded me of something that never happened. It might have been a dream I had, several years ago.

In my dream (if that's what it was), one of my daughters was in the spelling bee. She was standing on the stage, at the microphone, with her number hanging around her neck, and the black stage curtains behind her.

The moderator said "Calzone." BUT THE MODERATOR PRONOUNCED IT WRONG. She pronounced it American style, with the soft Z and the silent E. Stupid Americans. My daughter glanced at the moderator and then looked at me in the audience, a look of confusion distorting her face.

I shrugged my shoulders and cocked my head at her, with my hands in the classic Italian, "what do you expect me to do?" gesture. What else could I do, right?

She asked, "Definition, please."

The moderator said, "An Italian pastry made with pizza dough and stuffed with meats and cheeses."

My sweet daughter paused for a moment. Then she looked me in the eye and said confidently: "Call-TSO-nay. C-A-L-Z-O-N-E. Call-TSO-nay." SHE CORRECTED THE STINKIN' MODERATOR.

She nailed it. And, come to think of it, so did I. I raised 'em right.

You may now roll your eyes.

Endnote: It could have been any of my daughters. Or my sons. That's how cool they are.