and Marinara Sauce
by Jerry Guarino
They say opposites attract.
Well, not in all situations. Sometimes people
from diverse backgrounds are attracted to each
other, only to find their differences leading to
incompatibility. Its like foods. Mashed
potatoes and marinara sauce are great ingredients,
but together they just dont mix.
Kelly Johnson grew up in the Midwest on a farm.
Yes, she was a farmers daughter, but she
left that life behind for college in Boston.
Kelly and some of her girlfriends were in the
North End for lunch one Saturday.
Oh Kelly, you have to try the pizza here,
like nothing you ever had in Wisconsin said
her best friend Angela.
Im ready. We have the good cheese,
just not the sauce. I guess the sauce makes all
the difference Kelly replied. The young
waiter walked toward their table as the foursome
Just like men said Angela. The girls
Posso aiutarvi belle signore. May
I help you beautiful ladies?
They all noticed Kelly locked on to the waiters
eyes. Angela smiled and whispered to Susan.
I think Kelly just fell in love.
My friends tell me we have to try the pizza,
said Kelly. What do you think?
Very good choice. We won Best in
Boston the last three years, said
Well, then bring us the best one you have
and a bottle of Chianti. And what is your name?
My name is Vincent. Ill be back with
your drinks presto, shortly.
Susan and Angela answered together. Thanks
Vincent and then looked at Kelly.
What? as she gave them a look.
We saw you looking at him. No one like that
in the heartland?
Susan walked over to the jukebox and made a
choice. The song filled the air. When
the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie,
thats Amore. The girls laughed
while pointing to Kelly.
All right. Lets not get carried away.
I think hes nice, thats all.
Yeah, nice. We know what that means.
The girls kidded Kelly for the next half hour as
they ate. Eventually, they let her off the hook.
OK, Kelly we know youre only
discovering something they didnt have back
home, a genuine Italian boy.
Be nice or Ill marry him just to
spite you. And youll have bridesmaid
dresses that look like that. She pointed to
the green, white and red Italian flag in the
corner next to a soccer team picture.
Vincent put the check on the table, smiling at
Kelly, and thanked them for their business. una
splendida giornata, Have a wonderful day.
Kelly took the check, insisting she pay for
everyone. You opened my eyes to wonderful
Italian food. Let me pay this time. There
was no argument from her friends, college
students living on a budget. They didnt
even notice when Kelly wrote her name and phone
number on the bill.
That night Vincent called Kelly. She suggested a
night at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace across from
the North End. They quickly got acquainted, this
town boy and the preppy coed from the heartland.
By the end of the night, they were walking hand
in hand and talking about their next date.
Unknown to her friends, Kelly started seeing
Vincent on weekends after he got off from work.
She knew they were an odd couple, but it was a
nice diversion from the grind of papers and
lecture halls, something to get through sophomore
year with. She had time to find a suitable
husband next year. For now, she just wanted to
have fun. It had been months of meeting him in
Boston when Vincent arranged an alternative place
He met Kelly at the Harvard Square red line stop.
They walked past the Harvard Coop and the famous
newsstand. Where are we going? she
I know a place on Dunster Street, around
the corner. Youll like it. They
walked up to a large yellow house with a crest
and signet ring surrounding a nettle.
This isnt a restaurant Vincent. Its
some sort of Frat house. Kelly was puzzled.
Actually, its a coed final club. This
is where I live. Vincent saw Kellys
face change from confusion to adoration.
You go to Harvard? You never told me you
went to Harvard.
Well, I wanted to make sure you liked me
for the right reasons, not because my family
owned a restaurant in Boston.
It wasnt until the wedding after graduation
that Vincent found out her family owned the
company that supplied pizza dough to his parents
Oops, Kelly said to Vincent when he
They lived happily ever after.