Several years ago, my cousin and I stopped in an Italian Deli in an Italian section of Bloomfield. Neither of us had ever been there before. Like most Italian Delis, this one was jam-packed with great things to eat, which collectively produced an aroma that would make an anorexic patient hungry.
We were wandering among the salamis, pepperonis, and dried peppers hanging from hooks and surveying the other items in the aisle close to the front door of the store. The two guys in white aprons behind the counter at the far end of the store were having a loud, rapid fire discussion in pure Jerseyspeak. (I don’t think it is an unfair or an unkind generalization to note that Italians often speak loudly, particularly when they are animated.) Even though their conversation was loud, I had tuned it out, being more interested in shopping.
I felt certain that neither of the men was paying any attention to us, given the distance between us and them and our doing nothing more at that moment other than “browsing.” All of a sudden, one of the men yelled, “Yo! Either o’ you guys married?”
We looked around to see if perhaps there was someone other than us in the store, and when we didn’t see anyone else, I said, “Yeah. I’m married.”
He hollered back, “Ain’t it hard?”
I love Italian Delis.