1. Thou shall respect her time at the beach.
With 100 beaches in a state less than 40 miles wide and long, she has never lived more than 30 minutes from the beach. It is her favorite past time. Never fight her desire to bake in the summer sun, sitting towel next to towel at Narragansett Beach, or her desire to pick up seashells in the freezing, blustery cold of winter.
2. Thou shall always keep Autocrat coffee syrup in the fridge.
She will mix Autocrat coffee syrup with milk, or if she goes big, she will make herself a coffee cabinet with coffee ice cream, coffee syrup, and milk. Chances are, you will be happy about this item in your fridge too.
3. Thou shall learn to decode directions with landmarks.
You must not get frustrated and ask her for street names because she won’t know them. She will swap street names for words like the gas station, old school house, Italian bakery, and house with a funny pink door. Important: Ask her to avoid using Dunkin Donuts as a landmark, you will get lost, as there is one on about every corner.
4. Thou shall not be intimidated by a large extended family.
You will be baffled at how many people she knows in Rhode Island. When she is out, she will be running into aunts and uncles, cousins, second and third cousins, friends of the family and friends of friends. In every town in Rhode Island, she will know someone. Throw yourself into the mix, be friendly, and she will love you for that.
5. Thou shall never take her to a bad Italian restaurant (especially if she grew up in Cranston).
If you have not been to the Italian restaurants of Federal Hill, Cranston or Johnston serving homemade Italian food, don’t even try to suggest a place to go. Let her choose. Italian-American or not, she knows good Italian food, it’s impossible to escape it in Rhode Island. Hint: Pick up some homemade ravioli or pasta from Venda Ravioli and cook them at home for her. They’re easy to cook, and she will happily approve.
6. Thou shall expect frequent summer visits if you don’t live in Rhode Island.
If she hasn’t already convinced you to live in Rhode Island, she will at least make sure your summer schedule is packed with visits. Long beach days and cool events like Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and Water Fire in Providence will keep you wanting to visit too.
7. Thou shall not keep her away from the ocean for too long.
If you do live away from Rhode Island, and not near the ocean, you may notice this restlessness in her during the summer months, this is a sign that she has been away for too long. To avoid this, just simply get her to the nearest ocean as fast you as you can. Or better yet, schedule a trip every summer. With one sniff of the salty air, she will once again be content.
8. Thou shall embrace the Rhode Island food culture.
Rhode Island’s unique foods are a large part of its culture. She will be excited to share this with you. Even if it sounds weird, just try it for her. Embrace the endless fresh seafood and try quahogs, oysters fromMatunuck Oyster Bar, lobster, steamers, calamari, stuffies (baked stuffed quahogs), Rhode Island clear chowder and clam cakes (deep-fried balls of dough mixed with clams, spices, and milk) from Iggy’s orAunt Carries. Then try “party pizza” from Caserta or Calvitto’s, a hot wiener from Olneyville NY System Wiener and one of the best donuts you will ever have from Allie’s Donuts. A summer trip would not be complete without her taking you to Del’s Frozen Lemonade and out for homemade ice cream from a locally owned shop like Brickley’s in Narragansett.
9. Thou shall never talk smack about Rhode Island.
Poking fun at her beloved Ocean State is a good way to piss her off. It’s her home, it’s in her blood, and she is proud of it. Rhode Island is beautiful, at times peculiar, but it has been the best place to grow up, and she will always defend that.
10. Thou shall think her accent is cute.
If she is from any town between Warwick and Providence, she will most likely have an accent. You must adore it! You might even find yourself catching on by replacing words like water fountain with the word bubbler, or as pronounced in Rhode Island “bubblah,” and saying things like Rhode Island is wicked awesome.