Thou art thyself, though not a Vermonter.
What's Flatlander? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name?
I googled Flatlander and this definition came up first:
Flatlanders by Erin Moreua
“Flatlander is used as a negative slander on non-native Vermonters or visitors. In its basic concept, the term implies a person who visits the state or lives here that brings negative qualities from their home to our state. It is a person who is unfamiliar with traditional Vermont ways. Nathan Mansfield, a native Vermonter, defines the term as “Thinking they [a flatlander] can meld their beliefs of what Vermont is into our reality.” Unfortunately for the flatlander, even if they assimilate to Vermont culture and reside here for 50 years, they can never rid themselves of this label.”
So, I decided to search for something more postive:
“Though many view the term as negative slander, not everyone–nor every Vermonter sees it that way. This is especially the case when a “flatlander” moves to Vermont and embeds themselves into the culture over the years. When that’s the case, the word can actually become one of affection–a sort of pet name–often used teasingly by “native” Vermonters, who have accepted the non-native as their own.”
Now why does one living in Vermont as a non-native or coming as a visitor or tourist have to be called a Flatlander? I mean, I don’t call anyone coming to my state, visiting or otherwise, anything! They just blend in and we all move on.
Ok, so to even things out.....I don’t trespass on private property to take photos, I pull over when leaf-peeping to let others pass, I don’t ramble about my state but rather listen with great interest as locals tell their own story or offer advice on where to go and what to do, and I don’t compare my state to their’s, EVER.
“When in Vermont, do as the Vermonters do.”
Well yes, I am “from away”, no doubt about that! Gosh, if I am driving around the state, sometimes I feel like my license plate is glowing and even reflective at night reading “CTFlatlander”. Sometimes it is a relief to be a passenger in my Vermonter friends’ cars (Charles, Phil, bm from the forum - it makes me feel part of the “in crowd”).
Nonetheless, I have never, ever, had a negative interaction with anyone who lives in Vermont, whether native or transplant. I have been welcomed more in this state than any other place I have traveled to. Tourist or not, I’m proud to call Vermont my second home.
I just guess I will never be anything but a Flatlander. No sense fussing about it. It is what it is. And guess what Vermont, I’ll be there real soon!
P.S. Can I at least be an “Honorary Flatlander?”
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
I hope no CT cars screw up! So please be easy on those crazy CT drivers or you won't get some of the pumpkin bread my sister just made for our trip! Your favorite item in last year's junk food bag!
P.S. I am an easy going driver who obeys the speed limits in VT so I personally, will never become a victim of your car wrath/mutterings