Yes, I was relatively new to Maine – no, change that, brand-new by most standards; ergo, not to be considered dumb.

Nevertheless, some would say I should have known better; after all, I wasn’t a child and it wasn’t circumstances that brought me to this point of discomfort, but choices, clear-cut, unfiltered choices, and I might add my own. Oh, did I forget to mention my wife had something to do with it all as well? Not that I wish to pass the buck or to not take responsibilities for my actions, but merely to clarify the situation, as it were!

So, here I am standing on line, waiting to purchase tickets for an upcoming offering at the Merrill Auditorium, in a lobby with lots of other people presumably wanting tickets for the same show I was seeking.

As I looked around, however, it dawned on me that even though it was only my first time in this lobby, something seemed unusual. First off, I was chilly, perhaps even cold. Yes, it was January, and there was a lot of snow on the ground, which I had trudged through for about 20 or so blocks, and maybe my feet got a little wet.

But, I thought that wasn’t all that seemed strange to me – it was the way everyone seemed to be dressed. “Bundled up”! That was it, clothing I was not used to seeing until the past several weeks and not all together like this, in a crowded lobby. There was a sameness about the style, and the colors were not bright – more grays, browns and blacks, very film noirish I imagined.

Then, as if awakened from my reverie, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and I turned around to face a very lovely woman in what appeared to be an expensive fur coat (is there an inexpensive one?) who said to me, very politely, “Dear, you are very well dressed, but I’m afraid it will never do for winters in Maine.”

You see, I had only arrived in Maine several weeks before and still had my “winter” clothes for San Francisco, which meant lightweight cords, turtleneck sweater and a sports jacket and scarf, the latter a gift from a wise friend before leaving the West Coast.

My big lesson that day was to remember two things, which, 16 years later, are still emblazoned in my mind: When dressing for the Maine winters, think layers and L.L. Bean!

A lesson never to be taken lightly!

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