There are major differences between Northerners and Southerners. Some are good, others are bad, and still others are just plain weird. For instance, I will never understand the Southern obsession with sweet tea. They push sweet tea on you like it’s crack. The first time I said, “No, thank you” when offered sweet tea in a restaurant, the waitress looked at me as though I’d told her I ran over puppies with a tractor on the weekends.
However, that’s a story for another day.
The difference between the North and the South that I would like to discuss, is the difference between Northern ghost stories and Southern ghost stories. Actually, Floridian ghost stories.
On Monday night, my friend, Kimi (of lqtm fame) had a birthday dinner at Cheesecake Factory. She does this every year and I love her for it because eating cake makes me happy. (Unfortunately, I’m still on Weight Watchers so I could only have a bite of cake. I savored that bite for all it was worth.) There were many different people at this birthday, some I knew from work or school, some I knew from past Kimi related shindigs, and others whom I was meeting for the first time. One of the party guests was someone I knew, but had never really talked to. He eventually became the subject of the Floridian ghost story. During the conversation, he brought up the fact that he would be moving to Boston for grad school in August. He said that he was nervous and excited about it (who isn’t?) mostly because he’d grown up in Florida and had never seen snow.
This is where the Floridian ghost story begins.
Upon moving to Florida four years ago, I began to notice that the Ghost of Winter’s Past follow Floridian transplants everywhere…and we love to scare the crap out of the natives. We might as well rattle chains and cover ourselves in bed sheets when we talk to native Floridians.
Immediately, everyone at the table who either lived, worked, or played in the North began to scare the poor man with tales of 5ft snow and having to warm your car up before you drive it. I may have made some kind of snarky comment about having to hitch up the sled dogs in order to go to class, but my memory is a tad fuzzy on that end.
“WooOOOOOoooOOOOoooOOOoooOO….up North…you can only wear flip flops THREE MONTHS out of the year! WOOOOOooOOOooOOoOooOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”
“Beware!!!!! Your tan will disappear come October! BEWARE!!!!!”
“And when he opened the door…all he saw…were treees….WITH NO LEAVES!!!!! Booogah boogah!!!”
In NY we used to scare each other with stories of the Amityville Horror.
In West Palm, it’s snow flurries that strike fear in the hearts of children.