Friday, June 17, 2005

I went to dinner at this place Mezzogiorno with Mom and Grandma. I'm pretty sure that Mezzogiorno is a hangout for the Scotch Plains mafia, mostly because it's the only nice Italian restaurant in town and obviously the Chinese mob already runs Hung's Shanghai down the street. I'm in there, sniffing around — literally — and there's this sweet, pungent aroma in the place. Could be food, but actually I think I recognize it from my junior year of college.

"Mom, does it smell like marijuana in here to you?"

And Mom, who dormed at college and has also visited the Netherlands, replied, "I don't know what marijuana smells like."

How do you not know what marijuana smells like? Burning cannibis has the smell of giddy, laconic hallucinations, and even if you've never smoked so much as a cigarette before it's instantly recognizable, "Oh, someone around here's doing reefer." Not only does this reflect Mom's white-bread puritanical fearmongering approach to child-rearing, but it calls into question every micromanaging decision Mom makes on my behalf (and usually without my consent) under the flimsy justification of, "I have more life experience than you, Helpless Naif-Child." It's one thing to say you've never smoked pot; it's another thing to be so isolated, so far from any range of human diversity, to say that you've never been in the vicinity of someone smoking pot. Did she go to an Amish college?