Monday, September 04, 2006

Everybody Outta The Pool!!!

On Saturday I happened to stop by the small convenience store located just down the street from Chez Sheep. Gas was down to $2.75 (usd) per gallon on that particular day (lower now, of course...) and I thought I might treat myself to a big 'ol diet Mt. Dew. Big day for The Sheep.

It was a bit busy and I jokingly noted to the harried clerk that next week I'd be the only one in there at that particular time. She looked at me with deadpan face and tired eyes and said,

"Thank Gawd fuh that, deah."

We're all a bit tired at this point. I recall posting back at the beginning of the summer in a humorous manner about the challenges of finding my favorite frozen pizza at the local grocery store and how I liked to use my one and only French phrase, "nomme de plume" to help make our Canadian guests feel more welcome in our friendly state. I chuckled over the rainbow of license plate colors in any given parking lot.

I'm over it.

I have lost patience with the crowds. I am weary of fighting my way through gaggles of ladies in coordinated track suits, full make-up and three inch heels as they debate with one another over the relative virtues of various potato chip flavors. I want to drive on roads where no one mistakes the bright yellow line down the middle as a path.

In short, folks, it's been great. But it is time to go home now.

Let's face it. None of us is really our true self while on vacation. We are out of our element. We are, perhaps, even a bit defensive about our lack of knowledge regarding certain regional customs. We may be from a place that has more Starbucks per square foot. And despite our having traveled to this other place specifically to get away from that kind of life for a while, we might just feel a bit superior. And its not like we are ever going to see any of these people again...such is the life of a tourist. I'm no different when I decide to head out and clutter up someone else's homeland for a while.

A knowledge of basic human nature is enough to get me through mid-August. I'm grateful to live in a place that is appreciated enough to be called, "Vacationland." Labor Day Weekend represents not only the end of my summer vacation, but also the limits of my tolerance for my fellow man.

So, if you happened to be traveling southbound on the Maine Turnpike today and caught a glimpse of a lone woman waving, "bye-bye" at you in what you perceived to be a somewhat sarcastic manner, please let me apologize. I just need a little space.

Please come back and see me on Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be rested up and ready to welcome you with open arms, give you directions when you need them and help you with the correct pronunciation of the city name, "Bangor."

Have a pleasant and safe trip home!



Anonymous said...

I love this post! I grew up in a very touristy area of Northern Michigan and know the feeling very well.

I've been to Maine once, during the winter of '96 (to ski) and it's quite beautiful. I can understand why folks invade your area in the summer.

Blogger won't let me use my account to comment.

mrichme said...


Now that we've gotten to Labor Day we only just getting started with tourists. Don't forget about those people who come to Maine looking at those darn leaves that I spend hours raking.

I was wondering who that was on the Turnpike. Thanks for the clarification.

BTW, isn't the phoenetic version of Bangor, bang-ger?

Julie said...

Oh Sheepish, You were not the only one waving goodbye! I'm always sad when Labor Day arrives becasue it means fall and then winter are just around the corner; but I am always quite happy to say goodbye to the tourists. Imagine, being able to drive 95N on a Friday or 95S on a Sunday again. Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

trek said...

The tourists are leaving us too!

Beth said...

Maine is one of my two favorite places in the US that I've visited. I almost got to live there, too. My husband had just taken his first job in Alabama, because the company in Maine didn't come through with an offer soon enough. When they did call, we felt it would have been a professional mistake to leave the company after just a few weeks.

We don't usually go to the beach when we visit our friends up there. The next time we do, I'll be looking for you by the side of the road!

Diana said...

While you are waving good-bye to tourists, I'm (unfortunately) saying hello to winter. I feel the cold commin' on. Labor Day is a sad day for me.

Sheila said...

It sounds like a great place to live, or visit! Just be happy that all of those tourists don't decide to move there...that would really suck!
I hope you have a good first day tomorrow.

Teri S. said...

I don't like tourists. Even when I'm a tourist, I don't like tourists. They seem to lose all common sense. Of course, I find that seems to happen to people as soon as they get behind a grocery cart, too.

The Purloined Letter said...

Ahh, I think I have to come up and visit you next summer. Maine sounds beautiful. But I'll let you rest a bit before I pull in!