For all you whiners out there, I've broken my last post into two different posts so you won't have as much to read at one time. You know, because I haven't spent the last four days catching up on the 200 posts you wrote while I was gone or anything, but whatever makes your life full of sunshine and rainbows. This is why we're still friends, right? That, and the money?
So here is my mushy post about my undying love for Maine. There's nothing funny here at all I'm sorry to say. There was nothing funny in the last one either, but at least I tried with that one. (Amazing how my thoughts are so much more hilarious to me at 2am.) If the Simpsons have taught me anything it is "You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try." For those of you who already read it in the last post, you can go ahead and skip this. In fact, I highly doubt the rest of this post would be of interest to anyone else but me, so consider yourselves duly warned (and how often do I do that for you?). So go read Here in Idaho instead. It's funny as always. Go.
Since I just deleted the whole portion of the last blog I'll give you the gist of what was there. My ancestors have been in Maine since they moved there from Massachusetts in the 1600s, right on up through my grandfather and his family. Evidence of my family's presence is scattered across the entire town where our cottage is. My dad and his sibling visited every summer to a cottage there on the shore, a cottage up the street from where his father vacationed in the summer and down the street from the cottage we visit in the summer now, all three having been on property that has been in the family for four generations. I have gone there since I was a small kid and I have always loved it there. It's been a part of my heritage, my family, and it's seared into my blood. I long for it and I feel a strong connection to the state, but more to the area we visit. I feel like I'm supposed to belong there. And yet I am an outsider.
Mainers are a private people. They don't like outsiders with loads of money taking their state away from them (we're outsiders with no money at all, does that make it better?). If a Mainer perceives you as one of his own you are treated as an old friend. If a Mainer sees you as an outsider, you get the cold shoulder. I've known this since I was small and I've tried to fit in the best I can when I'm there, trying to avoid typical touristy behavior, if nothing else to avoid the chilly reception. Some people don't perceive it as much, like the Husband (a relative newcomer to the state), who suggested he could get away with laying his own lobster traps off shore expecting to catch his own lobsters. While I couldn't expect him to know otherwise, the thought make me snicker and I had to tell him the best that could possibly come from that situation would be to have his line cut by the other lobstermen. The worst would be, well, much worse. "Oh. So not like crabbing then." "Not at all." I still laugh at the image of him trying to get away with that without getting killed.
Back to the outsider thing. I've explained where I'm coming from. I love it there and I feel the familial and lifelong connection. But I never feel like I belong. Even walking around I feel like I'm wearing a sandwich board advertising I'm a tourist on vacation and it would be in your best interests to shun me. And egg my car if you have time. I don't expect Mainers to accept someone like me, especially knowing their attitude towards people just like me. But I can't help feeling a part of it nonetheless. It's like I'm in some sort of limbo. I love them and their state and they hate me and can't wait for me to leave. It's an awkward feeling to say the least. I have never been one for needing to fit in anywhere--marching to the beat of my own drummer you know--but I want to belong there. And I don't. And I never will, either. It reminds me of a question that was submitted to Yankee Magazine several years ago. A couple had moved to Boston and their children had been born there. They asked if that then meant their children were Bostonians. Yankee's answer was, "If my cat had kittens in the oven, would that make them biscuits?" That's pretty much the attitude in Maine, only more so. And I'd never do something as stupid as try to fake a Maine accent or start saying "wicked" after every third word just to try to fit in or anything. I would just like to be regular, normal me, but minus the fricking sandwich board. Not to be.
And now I will go cry into my little pillow until I feel better. STOP LOOKING AT ME. Go watch Youtube. Hey! Remember, Celtic Thunder is always good for a laugh! Now go.