Come to think of it, that’s why I love May, too.
Dylan Thomas has a line that reminds me of May, when the season is young, when we all quicken. With our “red veins full of money,” we “advance as long as forever is.”
How are you going to spend this summer?
With May as our window seat, there’s so much ahead of us to decide. Not surprisingly, I recommend ‘magazining’–spreading your dreams across a glass coffee table, clipping advertisements, discovering the best pre-season deals–because the first blast of summer is a very private holiday I need to swear you to secrecy about.
Every May, between the 15th and Memorial Day weekend, we Mainers conduct a private vacation just for ourselves, where we sample all of the state’s attractions before the tourists. It’s called the Fakecation. Don’t pass it on.
Like responsible taste testers, we just want to make sure the lobster thermidor isn’t poisoned before the King and Queen have a crack at it. So, hey, we take the first bite. Someone has to do it, right?
We check out the Red’s Dairy Freeze in South Portland since the fire (how Maine-like, for us to snoop around–I know someone who’s been out there five times already).
We slip into Petite Jacqueline to see what all the talk’s about and share a Belgian blossom orange just as the buds on the trees go green outside the big windows. We try the amazing onion soup and close our eyes in pleasure, almost traveling with the flavor. We try the poireaux–braised leeks with espelette vinaigrette–and break into a grin.
A friend chimes in, “My favorite time to go to Bar Harbor is May 15, when all the shops have just opened up, when it’s still too cold for tourists to come, when, okay, you don’t have to wait to use the bocce ball courts outside Lompoc Café.”
In this space, insert your fantasy.
During these covert operations, those of us who wouldn’t be caught dead in the lines at the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth on the 4th of July put our parkas on (seriously) and race out to the big Atlantic to buy our first lobster rolls, so delicious we all feel like millionaires. “Mainers love to come in early,” says Phil Mullin at the Lobster Shack. “It’s like they know something.”
We do…May. As in, before is the new after.
We might even dress like tourists while conducting these Fakecations. We don yachting caps that would embarrass Jerry Lewis and ride the Casco Bay Lines ferries. (Um, no we don’t.) But at least we think of doing that. We sit on the window seat of doing that.