02-16-2009 07:38 AM
It's a big deal to be "out" in Sag Harbor. If you aren't out, something is wrong. Either your family's dynamics have changed (divorce), or circumstances have (can no longer afford it). Or you're college aged and too cool to come out anymore.
This was the first question everyone asked because it was a close-knit community, and who was out would dictate who you would be visiting with and hanging out with.
02-16-2009 07:41 AM
02-16-2009 07:47 AM
"Being out" means that you are in Sag Harbor ready to enjoy the summer, or at least part of it. The implications of not being out are enormous to the kids. Sag Harbor is their place, their area to catch up and hang out; and, if you can't get "out" there are probably problems in your family. (money problems, divorce, etc.) The kids look at houses that are empty and feel sadness. While they know the stories of some, they don't know others.
The next most important thing to discover is how long someone is out for. Are they out for the entire summer, or just a weekend here and there? Everyone wants to be out for the entire summer, and the kids feel for those who only appear for short periods of time.
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02-16-2009 09:54 AM
02-16-2009 10:06 AM
If you are "out", tt means that you have come out to Sag for the summer/couple of weeks. If you do not come out people wonder if you are broke, divorced, etc.. I believe that this is the first question in the community because it is a good conversation starter and they all know one another well. I think discussing who's not out and why sometimes makes for good gossip.
02-16-2009 10:14 AM
02-16-2009 11:42 AM
Being out means you're back. You're a member of the community again. You've retrieved your status. You belong. It's critically important to size up the situation, find out who will be part of the community for another summer.
Being out means you're part of the group again. For teen-agers this is THE critical distinction -- in the group or out.
02-16-2009 12:26 PM
Being out means many things and it can mean something different for the family than for the kids. When the family is out, they are at Sag Harbor and yes, the longer you are out tends to imply the family is doing better financially or as a family. Who is out also gives you the opportunity of discussing the other side of the coin, who is not. And in small towns, communities or even vacation groups, sharing gossip about who you know is not out, is almost a ritual. It's like the safe topic. Gossipping about others is sometimes much more easy than talking about what has happened in your family since the last time you met, so its important to know who is out.
Being out for the younger ones, even tho they may think in terms of what it means about the families who are not there, maybe that comes more from hearing the parents because they are not so obsessed with who is not out but with who is out to go hang out with and they, at least in the very first part of the book, are not spending any time wasted talking about why someone is not out. However, when the kids are out of high school, it seems to be a right of passage to NOT come out, to move on. When one, like the one boy (sorry don't have my book on me at the moment) hangs on past that time, the younger ones do tend to think about them and wonder or feel sorry for them. It is like when I was in high school, there was this one guy who kept coming to every party the seniors had that were not the school ones but were out somewhere, away from the school proms or activities. By the time I was a senior, he seemed like an "older adult" who was really out of place with us and we wondered why he was unable to move on and wasn't it more lonely for him to be with us than fun, like it was for us.
There are lots of social implications to who is "out" or who is "here" so far.
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02-16-2009 12:28 PM
I laughed while reading the various degrees of "out". Very clever association to so many things in all of our everyday lives because...
It quickly changes from just a head-count of sorts to an awareness of social status, when it gets to the point of noticing who's not out yet and contemplating the reasons why they may not be.
02-16-2009 01:22 PM
02-16-2009 02:41 PM
Being 'out' means that you have arrived in Sag Harbor and left the rat race behind - be it work or school. If you are not 'out' or cannot stay 'out' for an extended period of time then something is wrong. This leads the adults to speculate/gossip as to the reasons. Have financial circumstances changed? Have marital circumstances changed? etc.... In any community where everyone knows everyone, gossip occurs.
02-16-2009 03:02 PM
It seems to me this a reflection of the 'tight knit' community and the bond that they all share. Furthermore, it is a springboard to the gossip amongst the members: what they are doing, why they are no longer vacationing at Sag Harbor, what misfortunes are befalling whom, who has arrived in the "big wild world" and has no place for Sag.
02-16-2009 03:22 PM
02-16-2009 04:43 PM
02-16-2009 04:53 PM
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02-16-2009 04:55 PM
"Out" is a whole new concept for me - where I grew up, there was no summer off.
"Out" here means out of school for the summer, out of town for summer vacation... If you're not out, then something must've happened, because who would not want to be out? I guess if you only see certain people while you're out, you tend to wonder where they are if you're already there and they're not...
02-16-2009 06:00 PM
To be "out" would be making an appearance in Sag Harbor, being there for the summer and away from their real lives and their other personas. If someone wasn't out, it could mean that times were tough, that family chose not to come/did not care or moved on to better things. Being out is something to look forward to and if you're not out then something must be wrong.