How We Really Feel About The Visitors...
I posted a question on our Facebook page the other day asking for help in choosing a blog topic. It is August, and my brain is tired, so I wanted suggestions on what to write about. And I got them, a lot of them. So, the first suggestion I am going to post about is: Locals perspective when the tourist season is in full swing an businesses are flooded with people. Do we mind, do we secretly hate it? Are we frustrated because our favorite restaurant now has an hour wait? Hate traffic? How DO we really feel?
Well, I can only speak for myself...and a few friends...and I am happy to say that I have evolved over the 40+ years I have lived here. You learn to adapt. I appreciate the many people who come here to spend a week on our Outer Banks, who spend their money here...who, in reality, make it possible for me to live here. That is just the truth. Now, could I get a job somewhere else since I have "mad skills" (insert smile)...yes, I probably could. But, at this point in my life I am not ready to leave the area.
Now, does this mean it is all kittens and rainbows? No, it does not. However, the vast majority of people visiting the OBX are polite, patient and respectful. And I know that after mid September, I can get right into my favorite shops and restaurants again. I did not always feel this way. When I was much younger I would get very exasperated with the crowds, the wait. With age, hopefully comes maturity and patience and wisdom. I do not have an "it's us against them" mentality. I feel as if the Outer Banks is my home...and I welcome anyone who wants to come.
I think once you live in a resort/beach area year 'round you have to learn to be tolerant and patient. And I know that when I go somewhere, whether it is a small town or a big city....I try to be very considerate and understanding.
When I go out to eat here and it is really crowded, if I do not know the server or host/hostess, I always tell them I am a local. I want them to understand that I am "get it" and am not going to be upset if my meal takes a little while to come out, or if I do have to wait to be seated. Just the way it is. And I do not eat out much in the summer...I can wait.
What I like about the summer:
Hearing and seeing happy kids in or near the water. Having fun, pure and simple.
Seeing people out very early in the morning on the beach...hunting for shells, reading, or just relaxing
Well behaved children...any and everywhere
Music and all the activities that are available for the little ones and adults. So many more than in years past.
What I don't like about the summer:
Rudeness, by anyone...locals included. If you don't like our visitors, then move or get over it. Everyone has a right to be here. I respect your opinion and empathize to a certain extent but this is the way it is.
Cigarette butts on the beach
It's hot. I don't like to be hot.
Suggestive t-shirts worn where kids can see them. Just not cool.
I won't see some of my friends until after Labor Day. We can talk and text but we probably will not get together until September. Just too busy.
Do I miss the days when the By-Pass was two lanes and everything was basically over right after Labor Day? Yes, sometimes I do. But you cannot stop progress and I had to learn to accept that. You adjust. And, you treat visitors with courtesy and respect. I am glad they are here, and I want them to come back. Again, not every day is filled with sunshine and unicorns. Occasionally I have had to deal with some unpleasant people...mostly from my days working for a big hotel here and some from when I worked for another vacation rental company. But, it was few and far between and if you listen to people and let them know you are trying to help them, most of the time they calm down.
I am fortunate to have been able to raise my two daughters here...they both love it. And so do I.