One evening in Maine, my family decided to try out a new restaurant. The restaurant boasted a “twin lobster special,” which my dad happily ordered.
When the waitress lugged the plate of two steaming lobsters out to the table, he mustered a look of pure juvenile disappointment and, with only a hint of wryness in his otherwise defiant tone, scoffed, “These lobsters aren’t twins! They don’t look anything alike!”
Unsure whether to laugh or apologize, the waitress struggled to explain as my sister and I, overcome with embarrassment at our father’s mischievousness, stared down at our plates.
But I was young then, and flinched at pretty much any public act made by either of my parents. I have now come to appreciate two key aspects of this event: a) the comic genius of my dad’s remark, such that it has warranted repetition on numerous occasions, and b) the importance of calling people out on missing details.
In this case, the missing details manifested themselves through false advertising, and someone — someone being my dad — had to reveal the truth:
The lobsters were not twins.
Genetic evidence was in order, but the restaurant was unprepared to fork over molecular proof. Nowhere in the menu was there fine print that read, “There is a good chance that your twin lobsters will not, in fact, be twins.”
I have clearly held on to this event in my family’s history and taken my father’s actions to heart. I too have recently noted some missing details, and, in true dad-like fashion, I now seek to mask my disappointment with humor and render these details un-missing through comedic means.
Two weeks ago the Yale Herald published a front-page article entitled: “Hometown Yalies: Growing Up Eli.” My roommate, Matty Fasano, and I were the missing details.
Both graduates of everyone’s favorite local feeder school, Hopkins, and the perfect paradigm of growing up Eli, Matty and I were hurt.
Granted, Matty is from North Haven. But I’m as full of New Haven pride as a girl can be. I may not have gone to either Wilbur Cross or Hillhouse high school, but I attended New Haven public school through eighth grade, and I surely gained the bulk of my world consciousness throughout these formative nine years.
I staunchly and dutifully claim my city’s invention of the pizza. I mourn the loss of Horwitz Bros. and lament the anticipated loss of the Coliseum. Four days ago I went to the New Haven Free Public Library, and my name was still in the computer system: The words “Elisabeth Kinsley — Child” flashed onto the screen alongside my Westville address, proving that New Haven is and always has been my home.
But no. Not even an interview.
This huff on Matty’s and my behalf would not be made public were I certain that it was solely rooted in a vain desire to have our names in the paper.
My personal huff, I’m quite sure, goes much deeper.
I am extremely proud to consider myself a “townie,” and I’m sad that I couldn’t contribute my voice on a subject that hit so close to home for me. I’m sad that, in my senior year here, I couldn’t publicly comment on the city which I’ve consistently advocated since I stepped foot onto this campus.
So, I write this week not to point out disappointingly unlike crustaceans, but rather to highlight a missed opportunity for reminding the Yale community how important it is to keep in mind that our experience at this fine University extends way beyond the campus’ hallowed halls and lush courtyards. The Yale community is merely a part of the much larger, much more true-to-life New Haven community.
And that community is even more special than REAL twin lobsters.
Liz Kinsely is looking for her crustacean twin.