So it's fun to go over to the L. L. Bean Mother Ship--actually it's called the Flagship Store but Mother Ship is so much cozier, don't you think-- to get a dose of Americana and remind yourself why it's good to be here. Just like they say about New York's Times Square, everyone who comes to Maine goes to Bean's. Plus it never closes, ever, so if you're feeling lost and alone because your husband is out of town, just to pick something at random, you can go there and find comfort among all the smiling salespeople and goods we import from sweat shops the world over.
Today I was craving a Starbucks skim milk extra hot latte, so I drove the two and a half miles into town and got one, then moseyed over to the Bean "campus" to join civilization for awhile. There are lots of tables and chairs and benches all around, making it quite conducive to set a spell, and so I plunked down in view of the famous Bean Boot, which is a 22-foot tall replica of the, well, the Bean Boot. Next to it is a sign that says, "For your safety, please do not sit or climb on the boot." Naturally everyone sits and climbs on the boot. The other thing everyone does is take a picture of themselves, their kids, their gramps and grannies, their dogs and their nannies on the boot, leaning against the boot, and standing in front of the boot. Personally, I was stunned. I'm no statistician but I'm guessing that in the half hour I was there, 90% of all visitors who came along took pictures of the boot. Couples who were alone stopped total strangers and and asked them to take their pictures.
I found that interesting and I thought you would too.