From Our ReadersTo the Gentlemen of Portland, MaineFrom Our Readers

Okay, my manly men of the North, here’s the deal. First, I love you all in your grizzled, bearded machismo. I dig the Carhartts, the Keens and I can even get on board with L.L. Bean flannel; this is Maine and I respect that you are a hardy breed of dude.

I hope I’ve buttered you all up at least a bit at this point, because this next part might sting. Guys, your girlfriends/wives/lovers are way prettier than you. There, I threw it out there. Okay, that’s not really what I mean, allow me to elaborate.

(Disclaimer: I appreciate the outdoors with as much vigor as many of my fellow Portlanders and I’m down with getting my hands dirty in the garden. I have two dogs. I wash with Dr. Bronner’s. So, though I wasn’t born here and I happen to hate snow, please don’t mistake me for one of those manicured flat-lander girls who won’t go camping “because there could be animals out there.”)

Have you seen the beautiful women in this town? With amazing salons like O2, Acapello and Andiamo, upscale make up boutiques abounding and a large dose of natural beauty to boot, the ladies here are looking mighty fine. I might even go so far as to give them a, “Daaaaaaamn, girl!”

And you men, you clip your own hair over the sink, wash your faces with the same bar of soap that does your butt cheeks and think SPF stands for Safe Perspiration Freshener. Or at least my husband does/thinks these things. He is a “regular guy” and for the sake of this rant let’s assume his habits are indicative of you Maine Men.

I don’t expect you to spend a half hour poring over your reflection and I’m not suggesting you buy a Caboodle and pack it with serums and concealer. A little moisturizer though, to combat those forthcoming crow’s feet, windburned cheeks and tired eyes, would make a huge difference in preserving your handsome mug. We ladies put forth a hell of a lot more effort than that trying to stay gorgeous and youthful–the least you could do is moisturize.

And what about a little sunblock? Since when did melanoma become sexy? Newsflash, Walter Kronkite: It didn’t. It’s so fun peeling giant “keepers” from my husband’s sunburned back every summer, yet I wish instead he would take better care with his tender Irish skin and take a minute to sunblock. I even offer to apply, mini massage and everything! Nothing turns a strapping young man’s skin into a leathery shame like the sun.

Gentlemen, we know we are all going to get old at some point. Think for a moment though, how you’d feel if you had to stand by and watch as your lovely woman turned into Magda from There’s Something About Mary. Now picture those claymation specials from the late 80s. Do you think your lady wants to spend her golden years with one of the California Raisins? It’s not her first choice, even if she loves you. She does her best to keep herself glowing for you–make her feel like you care too and slap on some manly lotion. You’ll be surprised that it actually feels really nice, and in no time you’ll be in the mirror yourself and she’ll be thinking, “Daaaaaaamn, boy!”

You can read more from Noella Delaney on her blog.

Feature image via.

  • Danielle Walsh

    I’m from Maine and I know 100% what you mean! Once the “country men” hit a certain age they turn from ruggedly handsome to old man.

    • Noella Delaney

      I just wish that “certain age” wasn’t hovering right around 37 ;)

  • Chelsea Francis

    BRB, moving to Maine.

  • Hayley Bergan

    I spent the first 19 years of my life in Maine (and three weeks a year since).. look at the fathers of those burly men in flannel that you speak of and you will immediately change your mind..

  • Erica Pare Pichette

    That’s me and my husband featured in that photo taken by the talented David zwickerhill

  • David Zwickerhill

    Two words: Beard Lube.

  • Shanna Hamilton

    I have had a romance with the idea of Maine since I was ten and read “Following Fake Man.” I just imagine my life there would be spent walking down Wharf Street in the rain, walking my dog (which I don’t have but I would) through a park admiring the beautiful statues, sitting on a cliff by a lighthouse painting, and most importantly chatting up older burley men with very respectable beards who want to go picnic in a garden and then take me to go see some marvelous folk band.. Unfortunately I am married now (except not unfortunately because Im very happily married) my actual experience is going to be slightly different. We’re making the 8 hour drive from Maryland soon to spend a lovely week in a cute B&B and conveniently enough I happen to have lots of homes for sale bookmarked.

  • Lucy Forsdike

    Couldn’t agree more with kesley. When can I move to Maine?! Great article by the way. Nothing wrong with a little bit of metrosexuality from your buff Maine fella.

  • Kelsey Taylor

    Um, based on your description of men, I’m moving to Portland, Maine, like, TOMORROW.

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