Living: Getting back to normal – whatever that is
anyone else noticed that with each business that reopens, we’re all
super excited and all feel a little closer to normal, even if we have
no intention of going there? Or in being “normal,” for that matter?
who is a trained butcher and runs a seafood market, is opening this
week, and the moment I heard the news I let out a big old
sigh and, objectively, was grateful that there was going to
be another Hatteras Island fishmonger employed.
subjectively, I am quite tired of having a bored guy around the house
who likes to move furniture and “reorganize” to the point that I need a
GPS for the home since I have no idea where anything is located anymore.
overall, I was just delighted that one more local could go back to
work, doing his butchering or fishmongering thing, and yet another
business was opening its doors.
And I’m a
reminds me, if anyone is lacking a great idea for a sitcom, I have a
phenomenal concept centered around a butcher and his incredibly picky
veggie lady friend who is grossed out by fish carcasses. But I digress.)
my enthusiasm for this turn of events was not in fact based on the fact
that for a few weeks he had the option to lounge on the couch and watch
“The Price Is Right” while I still had to work. (And to be fair, he
would rather be fishmongering, especially since Bob Barker retired.)
I was just
happy that his seafood market was going to be open, and I could cross
another “closed for potentially the whole season” business off my list.
honest. The local business community is the heartbeat of our entire
If all the
local stores, restaurants, bars, bakeries, and all our social lifelines
are closed, then we know something is up. If they are all closed at the
exact same time, like, let’s say, a day before a storm, then we all
know something catastrophic is afoot.
every new restaurant starts serving grub, every store starts peddling
souvenirs, and every fishmonger starts mongering fishes, then we can
relax with that faint feeling that the worst is behind us, perseverance
conquers all, and getting back to normal -- whatever that is -- is
within our reach.
it. It’s unnerving and quite depressing that so many of our favorite
local haunts have had to close their doors for the season. Some of them
made the best of a bad situation and had post-Irene clearances to
salvage a bit of their annual income, and at least sell the rest of
their intact merchandise. But the fact that these
“Closing-For-Indefinitely-Sales” had to occur at all is a pretty scary
much rather see my neighbors able to open their doors in a few weeks,
or even in a few months, and get back on their feet, than save a few
bucks at a going-out-of-business sale.
the interest of “truth in journalism” -- or however, that
I feel I should answer the question of whether or not I took advantage
of some of these closing sales. And, yeah, I did.
In fact, I
went to the sidewalk sale at Bella’s Boutique, one of my favorite local
places for terribly cool and professional looking duds, three times in
a single day. The third time, slightly embarrassed, I changed my shirt
to be more inconspicuous. It didn’t work. Looking back, I shouldn’t
have chosen a bright yellow polo as a disguise.
But, in my
defense, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything
fantastic. This could be my last chance to shop at one of my
favorite Avon stores, and I was taking a final opportunity to stock up
and enjoy it while I could.
This is a
great example why every business reopening is so darn important –
Bella’s will be hopefully doing online sales, but the local store site
itself, which got a good foot of water inside the building, is now
“Will they or won’t they make it?” question is hovering over every
single business on the island, especially in the tri-villages where
access was restored only last week. So, in essence, there is a
universal sigh of relief for all our neighbors and friends who do have
the ability to clean up and start over.
we all know each other, so with every new neon “OPEN” sign, there is a
chorus of “You’re open! So glad you did okay during the storm.”
welcome, newly reopened businesses of Hatteras Island! We welcome you
back with open arms, and are so very glad to see you, and are terribly
grateful you’re helping us get back to our weird little version of
personally, I might not pony up for a steak or fish dinner, I’ll be
more than happy to swing by your establishment for a drink and an order
of cheese sticks in your honor.
up your doors, and letting visitors and locals walk in and spend money,
you’re slowly but steadily making the memory of Hurricane Irene walk