Thursday, May 30, 2013

More thoughts on being a Mainah

It's been a couple of years since I recorded my thoughts about what makes a person an authentic Mainah but with the arrival of summer, and along with it the "summer complaints" that Mainahs love to grouse about, it seems like a good time to enhance my definition to list a few disqualifying characteristics since some of the summer visitors will try to lay claim to the title on dubious grounds.

You cannot lay claim to the title Mainah, even if you were "born and raised in Maine", if any of the following descriptions apply to you:

1. You own a car with plates that don't say "VACATIONLAND".
2. You don't pay any state income tax because you claim "residence" in a state that doesn't have an income tax.

3. You voted in the last local/state election in a precinct not in Maine. Or you just didn't vote - either one disqualifies you because who's in charge matters and Mainahs care about these things. We don't all agree but we all care.

4. You read "Down East" magazine to stay up to date in Maine news but you don't read a Maine newspaper.

5. You order from LL Bean because you like to "shop local".

6. You don't own a snow blower, or even a snow shovel, because - well, why would you need one?

7. You think the primary reason to own a generator is to make sure the A/C doesn't go off.

8. You call the drive-in restaurant on the old Bath Road in Brunswick "Fat Boy's".

9. You come to "visit" in the summer but "go home" when the weather turns cold. "Home" is where the heart is but you can only have one - you're either a Mainah, or your not.

10. You stop in New Hampshire to stock up on cheap booze on your way to Maine for the summer. (OK, Mainahs do this too, but we do it year-round whenever we're coming home on I-95.)

11. You really hope the proposed tax reform bill doesn't pass because it would raise taxes paid by tourists and non-residents. (You get a "bye" on this one if you actually know what I'm talking about.)

12. You think Maine is a great place to visit but you wouldn't want to live here year-round.

So there you go - if any of the above applies to you, you are not a Mainah no matter where you were born and raised or how long you've been coming here. You may call yourself a "native son (or daughter)", a Mainer-at-heart or maybe a displaced Mainer, but to be a Mainah you have to take the good with the bad and participate to make Maine a better place. To do anything less makes you a tourist.

Thanks for visiting - see you next year?

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