I live in Maine, but I’ll never be a Mainer. I have lived here since 2006, but, even if I live in Maine for the rest of my life, I will never be a Mainer. I’ve got an additional four years of Maine-ness from my time in college, but that doesn’t get me any closer to being a Mainer. My dad was born and raised in “the county,” a fact that garners respect from Mainers, but still doesn’t make me one of them. Although my dad has spent more of his life in Massachusetts than in Maine, he is a Mainer (a “Mainer Living in Exile” as one of his favorite coffee mugs says). But I’ll always be “from away.”
To be a true Mainer, you must be born in Maine. This exclusivity used to bother me, but the events of this week have changed my mind. I was born in Boston. I grew up north of Boston. I am a Masshole and I am fiercely proud of my roots. I love the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics—like most Massholes, I’m not just a fan, I LOVE them. I know how to pronounce names like Worcester, Gloucester, Haverhill, Concord and Peabody (and I will judge you if you mispronounce them…I’ll feel bad about judging, but I will still judge). I use wicked as an adjective. I’ve been told that I don’t have an accent or that my accent is a combination of Canadian/North Carolinian/Bajan/Hawaiian, but when I’m really tired or talking really quickly it’s all Boston.
And I tell it like it is. I didn’t realize this was a Masshole trait until fairly recently. If I don’t like something, you’ll know it. If I like something, you’ll know it. If I believe in something or someone, you’ll know it. I believe in Boston. I believe in the people of Boston. I believe in the people of the North Shore and the people of the South Shore. I believe in Massholes—even those living in exile. I AM A MASSHOLE.
You can take the girl out of Mass, but you can’t take the Masshole out of the girl.