Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It Will All Be Worth it When I Win The Turkey.....

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Dry my paint brush...answer door.

Wee, little lady wearing golfing visor and huge spectacles....holding clipboard. This will not be easy.

Her : Good Evening. (it is only 2:30pm) Do you live here alone?


Her: I know that...there's another woman lives here, does she?

Me: Ah....yes.....

Her: You own the house next door too?

Me: Ah.....nope.

Her: See a lot of people coming and going from here....

Me: Yes. Well, we have an art studio.

Her: People say you paint things....saw it in the paper. You make a living at that?

Me: Ah.......yes.....

Her: But you don't belong here.

Me: No. I just live here.

Her: Where's your woman to?

Me: Ah...working next door.

Her: Fella up the road says that's some new vehicle you've got there.

Me: Hmm......yes.

Her: My dolly, you've got a lot of colours on your shirt. That's the dirtiest shirt I ever saw! (She actually pokes me in the stomach with her pen...I turn red)

Me: Yes, I was painting. (I wave my brush around like an eejit)

Her: Do you want to buy tickets on a turkey?

Me: Hmmm....Sure.

And so I buy a ticket to win a turkey I will never win. Who knew it would be so difficult to buy a turkey ticket? Does everyone have to answer the same questions? If I had answered wrong, would I have been disqualified from the turkey draw?

In the past 5 years I have bought tickets for fish cakes, roast beef dinners, turkey dinners, cold plates, Christmas hampers, Easter hampers,ham plates, fish and brewis, church raffles and turkey hampers. I have been interrogated at every point of sale.....keep in mind, they are coming to MY door. At first, I thought they were from the census department. I truly think these women should work for the FBI. I do understand the curiosity...we are artists and live in a kooky-looking house and we ARE new here (only 5 years).

We don't mind buying the tickets. And we really do love our town. I just wish that sometimes I would win the turkey instead of feeling like one!

Image: "Just Ask Edna" A Tribute to Nosey Neighbours

by Cara and Pam

Hand-Carved Pine, Acrylics, Mixed Media


Janet Davis said...

When I returned to my little hometown after living in cities for a few years, I felt the nosiness of neighbours- i didn't like the way everyone in the lineup turned around to see who was coming in when I walked into the bank, or how people talked to me about my family without ever introducing themselves.
Other than shamelessly promoting my studio, I pretty much keep to myself. I'm not a churchgoer or a cabin visitor or a hockey buff, so i don't usually have a social outlet to be a part of the local public.
When I gave birth to Frederick 10 years ago, I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the people here. There were at least 50 gifts from people I either didn't know at all, or just barely knew. Clothing, diapers, handmade blankets... and that was a month or two after having a baby-shower thrown for me where i was given hundreds of dollars in cash + pile of other gifts.
And when I took Frederick out for his first walk in his new stroller, I was greeted by neighbours (I didn't know their names) who wanted to see the new baby, and they talked of how big he was and how healthy he looked with pride and love, as if they were his family.
I've come to realize that people are nosy because they care.
And when Frederick started kindergarten and decided not to get off the bus where he was supposed to, while I was in full-out panic mode, a neighbour picked him up and brought him home to me. Because they knew where he 'belonged'.
Perhaps your turkey lady is curious. Just think- if she knows more about you, then when the day comes that she finds a poor little black cat whose head is too warm in an orange wool helmet lost on the street, she'll know where to bring it!

Anonymous said...

My husband's nan used to talk about people "belonging" to places. ("I belong to Harbour Buffett, but my husband belonged to Argentia.") She was always a little confused about me, because I'd moved around too much in early childhood to really belong, so I was always just introduced as "from" St. John's.

Grumpy Goat Gallery said...

Pam, who is from Little Burnt Bay, Newfoundland,had to explain to me years ago when I first came here what "belong" meant and that people didn't mean it in a negative way. I think it is endearing, a lovely way to look at your life, community and island. I think our town is great and our neighbours are truly the best( when we are working outside, we always get hot pea soup from Jan up the hill). It wasn't a complaint about people being nosey....just an observation about a unique aspect of outport Newfoundland that you can't experience unless you live here. When I lived in Toronto, no one ever came to my door asking me personal questions. People here want to know who is living in their community and what they are up to. That IS a good thing because it makes it safe and familiar.
The nature of my blog is meant to be poke fun at myself and my surroundings that I blunder though each day. If ever in doubt, chances are, I am joking.

As for being nosey, I received my own pair of binoculars for my birthday and have the best time looking into the binoculars of a certain someone across the road!

Janet Davis said...

I love your light-heartedness, and it is very obvious in all your posts.
I think you've touched upon a beautiful facet of outport life that many people, even those that 'belong', don't recognize or appreciate. I would never have doubted your love of where you are or the people surrounding you. Edna shows no signs of being painted by someone who wasn't 'feeling the love'.

Lori White said...

I never win anything. EVER. You'd think that would stop me from buying tickets, but no. I want to be a believer. I *need* to believe!
Thing is, I have a couple of friends who win things all the time - TVs, microwaves, liquor, foodstuffs, trips, clothes, more tickets - so I know it can happen.

So why not me? I think it has to do with my Dad's rabbit snaring habits in the 70s. He snared a LOT of rabbits. We had a LOT of canned rabbit. Which meant Lori was given a LOT (X4) of "lucky" rabbit paws. I had a dresser drawer filled with them. I think the karma bunny is now biting me in the bum.

Gina Bruce said...

I am new to this Blog but have to say I love it and the art is so beautiful.

I just had to post a comment to this post because it made me laugh so hard. I also appreciate the way you tell a story and how obviously politically correct you are trying to be.
I am living in Ontario and have been for 10 years but I grew up in NF and lived there for 26 years before moving here. So I feel I have a right to say what maybe others would feel you would not: Newfoundlands, God love 'em, are the nosiest people on the planet. They just are. Newfie love to label it " caring" but it is just nosiness- plain and simple.

I hated that aspect of Newfoundland life the whole time I was growing up there and I didn't know anything else. I always thought people were nosy and wondered why we always had to be nice to people who asked questions that people anywhere else would get a punch in the face for asking.

They want to know who you "beling" to because they want to be able to catergorize who you are based on how they feel about those related to you. If they like your kin, they will likely like you. If they don't like your kin, don't expect to be "gotten to know" before your judged. sorry if that offends Newfie sensibilities but it is true.

However the comments of the first lady are true as well. Newfoundlanders are also the most generous people in the world and they take care of their own. They love to give and see people happy. That is who they are as well. But there is no denying they are super nosy!

My husband and I keep tossing around the idea of moving back home as I am pregnant and want my child to know his grandparents who still live there and the only thing I keep dreading is the conversations like you've described in this post. Not everyone is open. I am a private person and dislike to be probed and proded by others. It is hard to be private in any way in NF.