Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A One Woman Regulatory Commission

As you are well aware by now I was recently traveling with my daughter. She is a great lover of the law and has a healthy respect for rules and government regulations probably due to the fact that in her line of work she sees on a daily basis how these things can be put to use for the protection of the average Joe. Well, that's here at home. While we were in Italy and Greece she was exposed to a different way of doing things.

There aren't hard and fast rules for tipping, or parking, or driving. There are however very strict rules for important things like visiting the Vatican and ordering espresso. 

The hazy rules made my daughter a little uncomfortable...

"Who is in charge of this?"

"Isn't there any code enforcement?"

"These people just do whatever they want!"

"That's a disaster waiting to happen!"

As we climbed Mt. Vesuvius, I picked up some rocks to bring home.

"Mom, what are you doing? That's contraband. You can't take that out of the country!"

In a classic case of mother-daughter role reversal, I rolled my eyes.

She had some issues. In Naples when our bus was heading up the side of Vesuvius, the tour guide pointed out that the volcano is 5 years overdue to erupt. The government has declared a large area at the base a "red zone" and prohibited any building. There are literally thousands of houses there, all built without any inspection or oversight of any kind.

The look on her face was priceless. 

A certain mother was entertained. :)

This same mother couldn't help wondering how a child who flouted and disregarded every rule ever laid down by parental authority came to have such a high regard for rules.

Go figure.


  1. There's something here that wants revisted -- something in 'the file folder' labeled 'Both sides now" that relates to a life journey from routinely disregarding to highly regarding rules. It's just posing some difficulty for me to articulate it in summary fashion.

    Does your daughter have designs on law school? If so, I'm particularly delighted she's had that trip to Vesuvius. One should never embrace the law without some perspective on its obvious limitations.

  2. She has a bachelors degree in paralegal studies and did think about law school for a while, but is now considering teaching instead.