I saw this car driving through Kennebunk the other day and it triggered a thought: when you live in Maine, “anything lobster” goes. Sometimes it goes beyond the norm.
Lobster-Maine-ia starts early when we outfit babies with lobster booties and bibs. We’re tickled to discover that LLBean sells toddler-size navy blue bathing suits splashed with red lobsters. And what’s better than the bedtime story hour when the little ones snuggle on the couch wearing Dr. Denton-style PJs emblazoned with lobsters.
Let’s be honest. If I lived in Oklahoma, would I buy my grandchildren sweaters featuring oil rigs? Or that toothy Oregon beaver? Or the big bad grizzly from Montana? I don’t think so.
The Maine lobster isn’t even cute. But somehow it has inspired and created a crustacean cartel that goes way beyond the purchase of paper cocktail napkins.
The lobster is on my license plate, it’s on throw pillows decorating my window seat and it’s on bed sheets in my guest room, not to mention being on my bar glasses. I treasure a kitchen spoon rest that looks like a cooked lobster. I prize my lobster butter dish. I have sconces etched with lobsters!
My personal inventory multiplies yearly. I have lobster salt and pepper shaker sets, plus countless lobster-shaped appetizer spreaders, some of which even sport antennae. I own several sets of dishes showboating red and blue lobsters, along with numerous white linen napkins embroidered with red lobsters.
I’ve purchased lobster platters and bowls for shower and wedding gifts. Our late-lamented pussycat Molly loved nothing better than batting around her catnip-stuffed toy lobster.
Seriously, would I have bought a cat toy for Molly that looked like the Mississippi magnolia? Or sent a nuptial gift to my niece that was a tray shaped like the Grand Canyon?
And it gets worse. I own several pairs of red dangly lobster earrings with matching bracelets. My favorite shoes are black Galo flats accented with red lobsters. I have two cashmere pullovers grandstanding lobsters. I have three purses that parade lobsters across the front. And when I play golf, I protect my driver with a lobster head cover.
Do you really think I’d head out for the evening with a clutch showcasing the Alabama yellowhammer? Or swathe my Ping driver in something that looks like Mount Rushmore?
Let me say this. My “last meal” will be steamed lobster with melted butter. I’m proud that the time-honored profession of lobstering here in Maine set a record in 2015 for statewide landings with a value of nearly a half billion dollars. Few things put a smile on my face like driving through Dock Square behind a local lobsterman’s truck stacked to the gunnels with iconic traps. To me, lobsters ARE Maine.
But do you think we’ve taken the motif a little far? Not on your lobster, er, life!