In case you didn’t know, Maine is a very white state, I believe its only second to Vermont as far as the whiteness factor. Now, when a sista decided to move here 6 years ago, I knew it was white but I figured what the hell, I already own one white person (aka spousal unit) and despite growing up in Chicago I attended predominantly white schools, so I felt as comfortable as a sista can around white folks. Heck, I figured one white person is about the same as another, how different could the Maine white folks be versus Chi-town whites or my own California version?
Well I would soon learn, they are a little different out here, for starters they all seem to have a deep love affair with fleece and anything that comes from LL Bean. Now in the defense of my fellow white Mainers, LL Bean is headquartered in Maine, so that makes sense and while I do find most fleece clothing lacking on the style factor, the reality is its cold as shit here 11 out of 12 months (nah, I am kidding its cold 8 out of 12 months, on the real I generally turn my heat off in June and that is real.. mind you I am from Chicago so I know cold weather, here its not hawk cold like in Chicago, its a low grade type of cold that never ends).
However the one area that I discovered where Mainers are different than the folks back home is with regards to their deep and abiding love for their dogs. Now to be totally stereotypical, in general it seems white folks love the dogs way more than Black folks. I have known Black folks who loved their dogs but it just isn’t the same. Back in Chicago, my biggest gripe with dogs was that folks seemed to never want to keep em on leashes or they would use a leash so damn long that you wondered why they even bothered. That said, most of my dog issues back home were in my neighborhood, so I could reasonably assume that if I went to downtown Chicago, I didn’t have to worry about seeing dogs. It was an understanding, you keep the dogs at home, the park, or near your home.
Mainers though, well, they take their dogs everywhere and I don’t mean that jokingly, I have seen pooches sitting patiently in the car at the movie theatre parking lot. Um, why? Seriously, the average movie is at least an hour and a half if not longer with previews, you cannot bring Fido in the theatre so it seems to me, Fido would be happier at the crib chilling out. I have seen dogs at eating establishments in our largest city despite the fact that there are laws forbidding such things, yet I guess the general assumption is everyone likes dogs.. Who cares if Fido is running around while you are enjoying a latte or in a real life example trying to get a burrito? Most Maine folks don’t but guess what I do, I don’t like dogs, I used to be extremely scared of dogs, now that fear is only reserved for large dogs and scary breeds aka pittbulls, dogs of that ilk.
Which brings me to last night, the family and I went to a street festival in town, gorgeous night to walk and partake of some good greasy french fries and other foods I generally avoid. So how come my night was almost ruined by folks strolling around at a festival/fireworks with dogs? Not cute lil dogs, no folks walking rottweilers and pittbulls at a family festival, come on now what the hell is that all about?
I guess I was more bothered because just a few days earlier a dear sista friend originally from NYC who lives here in Maine, contacted me about a situation she was having with dogs. She has asthma and was trying to connect with a group of folks for a work retreat and she simply asked the leader of this get together to not bring the dog because she has asthma, well long story short, leader woman who is a White Mainer said no, the dog is family and he goes where I go.
Well, as you can imagine that spawned some heated dialogue but for both my girl and I we realized that culturally Black folks just don’t dig on the dogs like White folks do. I have a Black girlfriend here who has a large dog and whenever she invites me over, she has no problem putting the dog up for the few hours I am going to be over. Yet with white folks, you ask can they move the dog so you can breathe and they act like you tried to smack the shit out of em.
Its cultural differences like that, that despite folks like me being married to a white guy and Obama being the Democratic nominee for president that keep me aware that we have a long way to go before white folks and black folks will truly connect. Its cool to love your dog but damn what about the humans?
6 thoughts on “Dogs and Mainers.. they really love their dogs”
I suppose I understand not liking dogs, but it seems like you shouldn’t move to a place like Maine if you have such a problem with their culture. I live in Colorado, and it’s the same here. I assume it’s about the same in every really outdoorsy area. People love their dogs, and the culture is laid back enough that it is assumed that no one minds if people bring their dogs into public. It seems like it was a bad idea for you to move.
Sorry, the wink face was meant to be the end of the parenthetical.
I’m actually sort of disturbed by your irrational hatred for pitbulls (aka “scary dogs?”) and rottweilers. Stop perpetuating uneducated stereotypes about dog breeds.
That being said, my dad works with someone who brings his dog to work every day, and by “brings his dog to work” I mean he LEAVES HIM IN THE CAR all day whilst he’s in the office!! Some people’s “love” for their dogs is more like animal cruelty. It’s unsafe, uncomfortable, and inappropriate to take a dog certain places. People who pull shit like that are feeding their own insecurities and acting very selfishly.
Ha ha, oh man. I know what you mean. Dogs are okay, but I’ve been attacked by a lot of dogs owned by a lot of White folks back when I was in junior high. If someone owns a dog that they know going to bother or attack people, they should keep it on a leash. It’s called common courtesy. Even if they don’t, they should be considerate of other people.
I only have this problem with White people, I don’t get it. If I have to punch a dog in the face to protect myself (while the owner is right there with the leash) I don’t know what the world is coming to? Because there’s only so much I can do with this skin colour.
Hee hee. Very true. I love dogs (more than cats) but I don’t elevate them to the status of person. I have similar issues in my very gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn. I am also allergic and it drives me NUTS to see dogs in public enclosed places where they don’t belong.
2 days ago a woman got on the subway and stood next to me holding her medium sized dog in her arms. WTF. Mind you we were going in the tunnel to Manhattan so it was a loooong stop. So my nose starts itching. Isn’t that shyt illegal?
Yes, there is definitely a cultural difference around doggie love.
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