Category Archives: Singles

the nantucket blACK book

the blACK book: the life and times of successful singletons on Nantucket

Making “IT” Work
Holly Finigan

“I think we’d be a lot better together if we didn’t live in Nantucket,” she said with her hands on her cheeks, nursing a rough Saturday night with a Sunday morning mimosa. She and X had been broken up for months, but still met up for coffee to catch up, and ran into each other at the Bamboo for Purple Hazes and even hazier conversations about “what went wrong.”

They were both fun and successful, good looking and social. But together they were jealous and catty, angry and vindictive. It’s this island, they all say. If it were Hyannis or Hawaii, it’d work. But on Nantucket? No way. There’s too much gossip and drama, a plethora of bars to meet “new” people, and not enough free time to really “get to know each other.” (i.e. be sober for three consecutive dates.)

Ask anyone with a past relationship on the rock, what went wrong? The answer is usually short and simple: “It just didn’t work.”

But what they meant to say is that the relationship required more work than they were willing to put in. So instead of trying to “work” on the things, the men jump headfirst back into their “man”ual labor and pretend to be made of stone, and the women go back to
their flirting waitressing jobs and secretly sulk when they think no one is checking them out anymore…

And we all just work on ourselves for a little while.

Or at least until the next “best” person comes around and makes us remember that anything that’s worthwhile takes a little work.


Previous blACK book Columns:
THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket
Little Miss Nantucket
Welcome to Never Never Land
Rookie on the Rock
The Catch
ACK-ting Naughty
The blACK Out Gossip Circle
THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket
The Real Whalers


Holly Finigan writes a weekly column on life as a single woman on Nantucket. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 with a bachelors in journalism, which has so far turned out to be a career in bartending. She has spent the past four summers working at various Nantucket restaurants, travelling during the off-season to the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand. She can be found galivanting around town with her girlfriends, or you can email her at hollyfinigan@yahoo.com.

The Nantucket blACK Book

the blACK book: the life and times of successful singletons on Nantucket

The Real Whalers
Holly Finigan

“It’s just different here,” she sighed, drinking a glass of white wine at two in the morning. “Everyone here is just so clique-y.”

Welcome to the University of Nantucket. While we’re not 18, or many even 28 for that matter, we’re somehow divided into the cool and the cold. The pretty and the petty. The bold and the beautiful, and the young and the careless.

The restaurants run like frats and sororities. Complete with “rush” in May and hell week, or month as we call August. You’ve always got “those girls” who think they’re too-cool-for-school, and those guys who still think that drinking can beers and making out late night is life. (And the rest is just details.)

Classes include Beach Etiquette 101, Liquor Consumption 402, and AP Summer Finances. Days are spent lazily, with the occasional bank and post office run. Class starts at 4 p.m. sharp, when everyone heads into work. Which includes the daily dosage of perfecting your life story, and trying to make up some job in your head that you proudly state you are starting in October. (Who cares if it’s a lie? You’ll probably never see half these people again!)

After work is over, we all meet for a study hall session at some random after party in Polpis to discuss today’s lecture on how to drink on the job without getting caught, and how to deal with the AAC. (Awful August Crowd.)

At the end of the day, you might black out, you might hook up, or you might fall down. But either way, everyday at ACK University is interesting. And whether you’ve mastered the technique of getting a 20% tip from your Jersey diners, got an “A” on your fine dining skills, or just finished a bottle of 2000 Mersault that some ignorant patrons left at your table, every day is an experience.

And as for us Swhalers? We’re just happy to live it.


Holly Finigan writes a weekly column on life as a single woman on Nantucket. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 with a bachelors in journalism, which has so far turned out to be a career in bartending. She has spent the past four summers working at various Nantucket restaurants, travelling
during the off-season to the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand. She can be found galivanting around town with her girlfriends, or you can email her at hollyfinigan@yahoo.com.

Previous blACk book Columns:
THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket
Little Miss Nantucket
Welcome to Never Never Land
Rookie on the Rock
The Catch
ACK-ting Naughty
The blACK Out Gossip Circle
THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket


The Nantucket blACK book

Holly Finigan has joined the staff of Mahon About Town to write a weekly column on life as a single woman on Nantucket. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 with a bachelors in journalism, which has so far turned out to be a career in bartending. She has spent the past four summers working at various Nantucket restaurants, travelling
during the off-season to the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand. She can be found galivanting around town with her girlfriends, or you can email her at hollyfinigan@yahoo.com.


the blACK book: the life and times of successful singletons on Nantucket

THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket

“I put her number in my phone as ‘do not answer,'” he
said with a smirk. “I’ll probably still pick up after
a couple of drinks, but at least it’s a heads up to
myself.”

Nantucket is chock full of popped collars, Lacoste
polos, Jack Rogers, whale pants, madras blazers, and
enough good looking people to fill the Christmas issue
of a J. Crew catalog. Unfortunately, when you put that
many genetically blessed people on one small 7 by 14
mile island, you get more drama than the first season
of Gossip Girl.

Torrid love affairs, questionable pregnancies, one
night stands that turn into three year secret
relationships, bizarre broken engagements, estranged
husbands and a plethora of desperate housewives abound
on this island. And while others judge that Nantucket
is by no means “the real world,” this rock holds more
late night stories and secrets than it probably should.

Even though many of us still answer all those calls
that we tell ourselves we won’t, it’s what makes this
island go round. It’s exactly those calls that keep us
here, thirty miles out to sea.

On Nantucket, you make your own bed. But more often
than not, you choose to lay in someone else’s.

The Nantucket blACK book

Holly Finigan has joined the staff of Mahon About Town to write a weekly column on life as a single woman on Nantucket. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 with a bachelors in journalism, which has so far turned out to be a career in bartending. She has spent the past four summers working at various Nantucket restaurants, traveling
during the off-season to the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand. She can be found galavanting around town with her girlfriends, or you can email her at hollyfinigan@yahoo.com.


the blACK book: the life and times of successful singletons on Nantucket


THE REAL WORLD: Nantucket


“I put her number in my phone as ‘do not answer,'” he said with a smirk. “I’ll probably still pick up after a couple of drinks, but at least it’s a heads up to myself.”

Nantucket is chock full of popped collars, Lacoste polos, Jack Rogers, whale pants, madras blazers, and enough good looking people to fill the Christmas issue of a J. Crew catalog. Unfortunately, when you put that many genetically blessed people on one small 7 by 14 mile island, you get more drama than the first season of Gossip Girl.

Torrid love affairs, questionable pregnancies, one night stands that turn into three year secret relationships, bizarre broken engagements, estranged husbands and a plethora of desperate housewives abound on this island. And while others judge that Nantucket is by no means “the real world,” this rock holds more late night stories and secrets than it probably should.

Even though many of us still answer all those calls that we tell ourselves we won’t, it’s what makes this island go round. It’s exactly those calls that keep us here, thirty miles out to sea.

On Nantucket, you make your own bed. But more often than not, you choose to lay in someone elses.

The Nantucket blACK book

Holly Finigan has joined the staff of Mahon About Town to write a weekly column on life as a single woman on Nantucket. Holly graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 with a bachelors in journalism, which has so far turned out to be a career in bartending. She has spent the past four summers working at various Nantucket restaurants, traveling
during the off-season to the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand. She can be found galavanting around town with her girlfriends, or you can email her at hollyfinigan@yahoo.com.


the blACK book: the life and times of successful singletons on Nantucket

Little Miss Nantucket

“I’ve lived here my whole life, and you know way more
people than I do,” she said while we were getting
ready for dinner. “And what? You’ve been here for,
like, four summers?”

I nodded and replied, “Yes, this is my fourth and my
final.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” she muttered under her
breath as she grabbed her Nantucket Basket and slid a
few hundred dollar bills into it. “No offense, but you
know that you can’t get away from here that easy.”

Oh, the inevitable leaving of the island. It’s like
there’s a right of passage in life to come to the
Rock. But leaving? No way. This place is like the
Bermuda Triangle. Or the Bar-Muda Triangle as we call
it in the restaurant biz. Everyone says they’re
leaving. That this is definitely their last summer.
That they 110% are NOT coming back for another season
here. (Those people are usually the first guys off the
boat in April.) We all tell ourselves that this is it.
That the real world is a-comin’. That these glory days
have to end sometime.

I turned 25 today. When I was 21, I arrived to
Nantucket for three months of sun and fun before
settling down, finding a job, a house, and a husband
by the time I was 22. I was in such a rush to get to
the “real world” that I didn’t realize how much I was
falling in love with ACK. Before I knew it, I was
living outside of Boston, digging my car out of the
endless snowstorms and dreaming about digging holes in
the sand on the beaches of Surfside.

Fast forward three more summers on the Rock, a season
in St. John in the US Virgin Islands and a four month
tour of New Zealand, and I’m still here. I’m still
telling myself that this has to be the last summer.
And I keep feeling like a college kid on break for a
few months.

But us Nantucketer’s love the idea of being a big fish
in a small pond. We love going into the Bro Ho, the Bo
Ho, and the Box by ourselves and knowing at least half
of the barflies there. We tap our car horns only
to say hello to our neighbors and friends, and we
stroll the beaches for catching some rays, and
catching up with old friends along the way. It often
feels like high school, complete with the cliques, the
drama and the occasional test. (Usually one that
involves the social study of how you deal with your ex
boyfriends new girlfriend, after a bottle of Veuve.)

But this isn’t Nantucket High. And if it were, I’d be
a senior this year. And it’s time to move on, because
all those kids who do that one extra year in school
never want to leave anyways.

And I got to get out of this place.

I think.

Although one more season on a towel does sound way
better than a lifetime behind a (gasp!) desk.

Previous columns:
July 8, 2008