Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Witch Auntie?

For some reason, I've recently developed an aversion to garlic.

The Army Dude and I went to Salem, MA on Monday. That's right, we went to a tourist destination on a holiday weekend. I don't know what I was thinking. Actually, I do - I was thinking that the town would be filled with professorial types in sensible shoes and cardigans with elbow patches taking advantage of a day off from school to revel in colonial history. I was wrong.

It was filled with the same sorts of people who visit every other tourist spot. Loud people. People who wander out into traffic. People who say to their children "witches believe..." and then get it completely wrong.

The performance artist was great, though. The picture doesn't really do her makeup and costume justice.

My nickname at work is Fatima. As in Our Lady of. If I have to explain to you why that is the best nickname ever, it's not going to be funny any more.

I tried to convince the Army Dude to get a Tarot card reading, or his palm read, or a picture taken of his aura. No luck. Capricorns. They are so sensible.

This very pretty headstone is in the noisiest graveyard in Christendom. Seriously, there were people all over the place. Kids were running around and climbing trees. There was a loudspeaker announcing the times for tours of a nearby attraction. It was like a carnival, but with gravestones. You'll note that Mistress Higginson's stone does not say "rest in peace." Good thing, because she isn't getting any.

Eventually I had to mentally block out my fellow tourists because they were getting on my nerves. I tried to focus on the history and architecture, like this door on the house at number ten Chestnut Street. It's not every day you see a doorknocker wearing a tricorn hat.

Or this building, which had a pagoda-like feel to it and I have no idea why. It was pretty, though.

Over all, we didn't get more than a smattering of history, and what we did get I already knew. So our trip to Salem was not the learning experience I'd hoped for. We didn't even go the the House of Seven Gables, because it turns out the Army Dude still harbors some resentment against Nathaniel Hawthorne for a little book you may have heard of called The Scarlet Letter, which the Army Dude was forced to read in high school.

My friends, I was not about to argue with an Army Dude who has been nursing a grudge for thirty years.


juliearrison said...

Hi there,

Great write up on Salem in October. Next time you are on Chestnut Street, come to the Phillips House museum. You'll get some great history and maybe even some of those "professiorial" types you had hoped for!

Also, check out the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the Peabody Essex Museum. You can go into the "pagoda" looking house, more fondly known as the Yin Yang Tu House.


perusek_jason said...

Halloween is my favorite time of year. Thanks for the taste of Salem. What are you and the Army Dude going to dress as for Halloween? I'll be sitting in a rocking chair, outside, all dressed up with scary music and lights in Bristol, RI.

Maria said...

@Julie, thanks so much for the tips! Chestnut Street was beautiful and Salem was great, but next time I'll go at some time other than October.

We've already decided that next time we're going to devote some time to the Peabody Essex Museum. It looked wonderful, but we ran short on time.

@Jason, I'm going to dress as an Old Maid With A Cat. DUH!