In today's Home and Garden, readers stuck in a hot and humid New York are able, via a fun slide show, to peek into the high-WASP corners of Rhode Island, that little state that (yes!) borders New York. The little mental vacation was fun and infuriating. And it raised questions!
Who names these people? Topsy? Oatsie? Nuala? (Nuala, okay. But Oatsie?) To what distant and vaunted colonial past, on what strange planet, do these names pay homage? Is there some American History textbook we didn't get? To you and I, Betsy Ross stitched the American flag—but to Rhode Island elementary school children, she's better known as Oatsie.
Though the WASPs we meet here are all seniors, one need only look so far as New York Social Diary or the recent WASP book party we crashed to unearth names never meant to be 'stowed upon man. Exhibit A: our dear friends Celerie Kemble and Boykin Curry.
Question Two. Topsy, you really use this house to take naps in? That's like when my roommate and I hired a topless maid from Craigslist and then it turned out that both of us had to leave before she took her shirt off. (He to brunch, me to therapy!) That is to say, you're wasting the view! Let's make a deal. You give me your nap house and I'll let you nap in my 300 square foot apartment.
[Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times]