A Peaceable Kingdom?

Hamptons Editorial

Every year, when the Memorial Day weekend rolls around, long-time residents of the East End share knowing glances and warnings about the coming storm. And they aren’t talking about the weather, but some of our pushier summer visitors.

As the weekend unfolds, they quietly share their horror stories about white-knuckle encounters on the roads, standoffs in store aisles, or examples of boorish behavior in restaurants.

It’s not that we locals are a bunch of grumps. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the money visitors and part-time residents pump into the local economy, money that makes it possible for many of our tradespeople and small business owners to live pretty good lives of their own.

It’s just that we know how special it is to live in place like this, with its rare combination of natural beauty and genuine small-town community vibe. It’s what draws us in and keeps us here.

Yet, year after year, we hear the same stories about the Mercedes Benz driver (Why is it always a Mercedes or a Land Rover?) oblivious to the lights and sirens of the oncoming ambulance, refusing to pull over so he can gain a couple of car lengths on the suckers who do. Or the hurried shopper at the local drugstore who barges to the front of a line of people waiting patiently to get their prescriptions filled to demand where the tissues or shaving cream are shelved. Or the restaurant patron peppering an obviously inexperienced and flustered waitress with questions about why their preferred meal is exempt from the early-bird-special price.

It seems strange that people would spend so much time and money to get here, only to bring their stress with them. Here’s a little free advice: R-E-L-A-X. If you do, you might better understand what makes this place and its people so special.

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