Dear Nicole: What’s so bad about being “from away?”

Dear Nicole:

My wife and I just retired to the area and love it. She is from western Maine and I grew up in Wisconsin. I’ve noticed something that I find odd. Oftentimes in conversation a local will say to me, “Well, you’re from away,” as if to explain my comment or question. While they never say it in a mean way, or condescendingly, it does make me feel a little like day-old bread. Am I overreacting?

— Retired to Maine


Tina Fey in her book “Bossypants” says what I feel about this better than I could: “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically… Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”

Keep having your opinions, Retired. Nothing wrong with injecting a little diversity into any gene pool. If someone wants to be dismissive of your opinion because your mother didn’t birth you over this state line, that’s their issue, not yours. Say your thing, don’t care if they like it. I assure you plenty of us appreciate diverse opinions and will say something if we agree with you and are in mixed company.


Dear Nicole:

My wife turned 65 in December and casually announced that she was treating herself to the gift of never shaving her legs again. Apparently she considers shaving a burden and a time suck (I’m expected to be clean-shaven).

I didn’t say a word because I didn’t know what to say, but I find hairy legs a huge turn off. I’d rather entice her to resume than tell her how gross she looks, which I don’t think will give me the desired outcome. Any suggestions?

— Hates stubble


I totally get this and I will say, if you measured the square area of your face versus the square area of her legs (and anything else us ladies are supposed to maintain body hair wise), you’ll see why she’s annoyed at this comparison.

So it’s not so much your wife is insisting on hairy legs, she just doesn’t want to shave. Look into alternatives. How about waxing, or more permanent hair removal?

Agree to stick some of the family budget toward her trying another option(s). If you talk to your wife about you understanding that she needs an alternative to shaving, I bet she’ll be a lot more receptive to the conversation.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]

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