Florida has tamed me.
I never thought it would, but whenever I go to NY I’m always a little taken aback by how blunt New Yorkers, or more specifically, Long Islanders are. It takes me about 2.5 seconds to revert back to my Long Island, NY self and then I’m as happy as the days are long. I can snap at other rude passersby, I can say “Whatta you blind?” when someone bumps into me on the street. I can say, “That’s what stairs are for” when someone asks me to hold the elevator for them. We have a saying down my way in Long Island: “we’re not mean, everyone else is just soft.”
Unfortunately, when I return to Florida, my Long Island attitude returns with me. I keep it in my carry-on. It usually takes much longer for me to revert back to being a somewhat pleasant Floridian who holds doors. This means that I have to spend a 2-3 weeks resisting the urge to be myself. If you haven’t noticed, my self is rather rude and ornery. The Christian me wants to blame my cantankerous personality on my sin nature, but really I could be a better person if I put in a genuine effort.
There have been instances in my life (though they are few and far between) when I’ve been nice to strangers, or least not said the first thing that popped into my head. I know I’m capable of pleasantries, but for some reason I always choose to be a jerk. However, this past weekend when I returned from NY, I made the right decision and kept my mouth shut.
My flight arrived about 20 minutes early so I had to wait for He-man and Chi-Chi to pick me up from the airport. It was cold as a frozen tundra inside PBI so I decided to wait outside and let the icicles that had formed on my nose melt. I was outside for about five minutes when a 60-year-old man drove by in a red miata. My first impulse was to call him a “butt munch.”
Had I met this man before?
For all I know he could have been a thoroughly pleasant man, but I really wanted to call him a “butt munch.” He drove by about 100 times (or 4) and everytime I had to literally bite my tongue to keep from yelling “butt munch” across the airport. At one point I thought about singing “Little Red Corvette” in a sarcastic voice, but I also surpressed that urge.
Thank goodness he finally picked up the person he’d been looking for because I’m not sure I could have held out much longer. My tongue was starting to swell and I’m pretty sure I tasted blood in my mouth. Also steam was starting to erupt from my ears due to the strenuous effort on my part.
They should make pleasant pills for people like me.
The world would be a much better place if we were drugged into niceness.