Tourism – a love/hate story

I live in a tourist town. 100% no denying it.  Tourism is what fuels much of our economy and helps keep this province afloat.  I mean, we have a very successful exporting market open the world, as well as a thriving Aerospace industry along with several others, BUT tourism has been the backbone, in my opinion.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world descend upon our tiny island and massive cruise ships continue to grace our harbour each year well in to the fall.  Every single one of these tourists are spending money in shops, campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, festivals and shows, all owned by local islanders making a life for themselves here.

I have all kinds of love…

But you know what grinds my gears? And before you say anything or shake your head at me for being a curmudgeonly old fart, I already know that I can’t have one without the other and the other far outweighs the one so shut your pie hole and leave me alone to bitch…

Anyways, you know what drives me to the absolute brink of insanity? Tourists! They’re everywhere.  They walk around like they’ve never seen the place before (I suppose they haven’t, but still) all “oohs and ahhs” with their mouths wide open looking at everything taking out their giant iPads to take a photo (whaaattt??) Then taking up the whole side walk to stroll at a glacial pace down the main thorough-ways, and then waffling about on the street corners.  Are they crossing the road? Which way are they going? Should I wait before driving through? Or should I just go?  So they don’t do anything for an extended period of time while they deliberate and traffic is building behind you and people are getting angry and honking because you’re holding it all up so you decide the tourist has no idea what they’re doing and you just go for it and BAM… they step off the side walk right in front of you and you’re now officially stuck in the middle of a four-way intersection holding traffic back from ALL directions and no one can go and wait….HOLY FUCK, are the pedestrians stopping in the middle of the crosswalk because they’re unsure they took the right route?  Yes, yes they are.

By the time they’ve figured out what direction they want to go in, 10 more tourists have joined the hullabaloo and are doing the exact same thing in all directions thus forcing you to gingerly maneuver your way though a sea of waffling pedestrian tourists with your car and dear Gawd all-mighty, you just want to get to home after a long day.  Forget parking, that’s just not going to happen.

So what’s the answer here? Do NOT leave your office during the day unless you have absolutely have to. ie.. life or death.  For your own safety, stay indoors.  Do not attempt to walk down the street for anything.  Drink the office coffee, just suck it up princess, it’s going to taste bad but it’s still better than the rage that comes from trying to walk to the coffee shop among, not one or two cruise ships docked in the harbour today, but FOUR! Yes, that’s right, there is currently FOUR giant cruise ships docked in the harbour and ALL of those people have come to shore on a beautiful fall day in PEI.  Bless them for the dollars they’ll spend, and the happy memories they’ll make and they’re appreciation of our sweet tiny island but I’m just going to sit tight and wait it out.

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The lost art of the love letter

I lay awake at 2 am, lamenting my feelings that were bottled up, congested and congealing in my chest until I couldn’t take it anymore, and I proceeded to pour my heart out for the object of my affection to read as clearly as I was able to express.  It was like that scene with Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give .  I could almost hear Eartha Kitt’s C’est Si Bon playing in the background.  It was so scary.  My heart raced as I typed.  I wasn’t going to sleep until this was done.

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In this day and age we’ve been reduced to texting acronyms and emojis and left to decipher what they mean.  (OMG I sound ancient, shaking my old lady fist in the air declaring “Back when I was young…”) I was terrified that if I sent this long heartfelt letter he’d think I was crazy and maybe never speak to me again.

I lay awake another night debating whether I should send my declaration of undying love.  Many times, I had typed out my feelings in a text, a simple “I love you” or “I miss your face” and carefully back-spaced each letter out of fear of what might happen. I needed to give this man the space I’m sure he wanted and definitely deserved.

But it’s amazing what you’re willing to do after several sleepless nights.  So I said “F*ck it, I’m sending it” and I did.  And you know what? It was OK….and I slept….finally!  I couldn’t bare the thought of carrying the weight of my feelings around for the rest of my life wondering “what if ?”  It didn’t change the way I felt about him, but now I knew.  I  wanted this person to know what they meant to me regardless of how they felt in return and now they knew too.

You’re probably wondering, “well what the eff happened next?”  I did everything I reasonably could from my position and carefully placed the ball in his court. So there’s really nothing else because the rest of the story is not mine to tell and belongs solely to the receiver of the letter.   Is he reading this letter about my letter?  I don’t even know that.

Anyways, I didn’t want to leave you (the reader) wondering what happened but you’ll have to keep on wondering I’m afraid!  My point is the letter, I poured my heart out, laid it out there the best I could and it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done but also the most freeing.  I stepped out from the safety of my emotional walls and offered honest, raw and open expression and I meant every single word. The fact that the receiver of my letter didn’t do any of the horrors I imagined and acknowledged it with nothing but kindness was a testament to his amazing character and I will always be grateful.

So why don’t we do this any more? According to the old movies I used to watch as a kid, and the more modern love stories like The Notebook, we did this sort of thing all the time back in the day.  We openly expressed our feelings to our beloved without shame or fear of reprisal.  (Special shout-out to Hollywood for creating unrealistic expectations, DAMN YOU Jerry Macguire!!!).

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I realize we’re not all built to write.  We can’t all express how we feel through words.  We have different love languages and to be honest, I prefer touch, but that’s not always possible, and I highly recommend getting permission before touching another person (no means no),  so  I am forced to write because speaking the words are difficult for me.  I find myself tongue tied with too many things to say.  My thoughts become bottle-necked and nothing comes out. I AM that girl shuffling her feet back and forth awkwardly, looking nervous, stressing about what to talk about because there’s just too many things I want to say all at once. Or I say everything but what I actually want to say, so I have to write.  I have always written but kept those letters to myself.  But this one letter though… I wasn’t going to rest until it was sent.  I will never regret it.

If only my hand writing was more legible, I could really get in to this “written” word. Do people still use cursive?  I’ll leave that thought for another day.