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Guest Post: A Southerner in New England

My husband wants to tell you in his own words about our adventures up north. Take it away, Israel!

As most loyal readers know, Josie is a Southerner from Memphis, Tennessee and I am a Northerner from the most Yankee place in the union—New York City. A curiosity that led to some witty back and forth banter the night we met in Nick’s Nightclub, line dancing capital of Alexandria, VA. Of course, Josie couldn’t resist calling me out for “trying too hard” by wearing a plaid shirt and jeans to go line dancing. Perhaps she was right, which is why I’d been looking forward to taking Josie to Cape Cod (or The Cape to the locals)—more comfortable surroundings for me and a chance to play tour guide at a place Josie had never been to before.

In addition to the rude demeanor (of some) New Englanders, Josie found the Massachusetts accent: “grating.” Her words, not mine.

But before Josie’s large and loyal New England readers write her off completely, I must tell you that The Cape was the setting to one very memorable Ortega family vacation that won’t soon be forgotten. Besides taking part in the usual Cape Cod activities that all vacationers are expected to cross off on the list, like hitting the beach, eating ice cream, taking a trip out to Nantucket, we also made time for two summits! The Budget Summit and the Baby Name Summit.

Why a summit? Because we have clearly been in Washington, D.C. for too long, where we have been led to believe that a summit can bring together seemingly intractable and irreconcilable differences to hash out an agreement. Think last summer’s “Beer Summit.”

It really is too bad that C-SPAN was too busy covering the debt ceiling negotiations on Capitol Hill, because this certainly would have made for some good day time television. Like the drama unfolding in D.C., the Budget Summit turned into an argument over spending. What’s particularly ironic is that I found myself calling for more spending, seeing that I work for The Heritage Foundation (a small non-profit that also happens to be conservative think tank). In a sheer sign of desperation, I was resorting to name-calling, labeling Josie a “tea party Republican.”

It got ugly, yes. But in the end, we made a tremendous amount of progress and if the Wall Street Journal had been there providing coverage, their post-summit headline would have probably read: “With Baby Ortega on the way, Ortegas Agree to Major Cuts in Favor of More Savings.”

While far more amicable in comparison to the Budget Summit, the Name Summit was nonetheless a very passionate affair. There was a lot of back and forth on why we had come up with our list of top name choices for our lovely daughter, including my insistence on going with a really preppy name like “Bootsie”—only to be reminded that it probably wouldn’t go well with our very Spanish last name.

Unfortunately, the outcome of the Baby Name Summit did not end like the Budget Summit. We hate to leave you in suspense but we don’t have a name to announce to the world quite yet. Stay tuned!

But in all seriousness, going to Cape Cod and getting a chance to spend an entire week with Josie was a great reminder of how truly blessed I am to have a sweet, thoughtful, intelligent, responsible and beautiful wife. God has a way of prodding you to reevaluate what you are doing in all aspects of your life from time to time, and as we embark on this new chapter together as parents, it is obvious to anyone who knows Josie that she will make a wonderful mother.

Awww shucks. He’s a good egg.

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3 thoughts on “Guest Post: A Southerner in New England

  1. I thought that New Yorkers were a completely separate and distinct class of Yankees not to be confused with Yankees of a more general type…

  2. Pingback: Fishmael Part II, or How To Choose Fantastic Souvenirs « tell me a story

  3. Pingback: Naming the Princess | tell me a story

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