They always come back — Florida musings, part deux

They always come back — Florida musings, part deux

Welcome to Part Deux (or part two, for those of you who didn’t take two years of high school French) of my extremely insightful and informative musings from Florida. Unfortunately, I am not still in Florida, and I am musing from my kitchen table in non-greenhouse-affected Teaneck, New Jersey. The sun is out, but the landscape is frosty.

Back to Florida…We were trying to figure out why the traffic lights take such a long time to change. And then, we realized, it is because it takes folks a bit longer to cross the street in the Sunshine State. In New York City, you have about 10 flashing “don’t cross” warnings before you take your life into your own hands. In sunny Florida, you can order a pizza and have it delivered before you make it to the other side of Boynton Beach Boulevard. There are also defibrillators at every traffic light, and a nurse practitioner to take your pulse, just in case. Nice that I can make fun of this now…won’t be so funny when it’s me crossing the street!

I am often amused by the woman who tells me it’s okay to cross on Cedar Lane (she is a cousin of Alexa’s) and as I start to cross I see I need to speed up before the cars come. Fifteen seconds to cross a street? Maybe we should all move to Florida.

And though I mused about the whole restaurant situation last week, since food is love, I need to go back there for a moment. I began to realize that although I showed up to eat dinner for the early-bird special, the line grew while we were eating. And people would stand in the restaurant and stare at us. Because staring at a person who is eating makes them eat faster. Or, in my case, it makes me think, “Are they staring at me because they are wondering, ‘Does that woman know she should be eating a salad and not a burger??’” Yes, that is what I think, and for all I know, it could actually be true. But at some point, you want to yell, “Hey, back it up, when we are done, we are done, and if you wanted a table so badly, you should have showed up two hours ago like we did!”

Okay, now I am done with the restaurant musing.

When I was staying at my in-laws in Boynton Beach, many a topic came up. Some of them we won’t go into, but the one I am about to discuss was particularly interesting and oh-so-true.

Do you remember your first friend? The first person you played with or shared secrets with? The first friend who slept over and you stayed up all night talking to about whatever? Or the friend that you watched 16 Candles with until the VCR tape practically wore itself out? If you are a positive person, you remember all of the good times you had with these people.

But what about the “friends” you have met along the way who you weren’t so thrilled with? The one who cheated on the SATs and got away with it (yes, it was possible to do that in the ‘80s). The friend who flirted with your boyfriend/girlfriend. The friend who made you feel that you weren’t important enough or pretty enough or rich enough…but you had to pretend to be their friend? (Don’t worry, I never knew how to pretend to like someone that I didn’t like — hence why I am watching the Super Bowl alone, but we aren’t talking about me right now, even though it is all about me.)

So there you are, playing the game, being everyone’s friend, but, on the inside, you want to scream — and then you graduate high school and hope never to see those people again. Or you graduate college and hope never to see those people again — and then 30 years or so pass in an instant and you are at the Publix in Century Village and there they are. Like no time has passed.

On the one hand, you think, “Ya know, I am old now, I didn’t like her 40 years ago and I don’t want to waste what precious time is left dealing with her psychosis.” But on the other hand you think, “Ya know, I didn’t like her 40 years ago, and she lives down the block and how much time do we really have left? Maybe I should be nice to her.” Yup, apparently that’s what it is like way down in Del Boca Vista. But when I am there, God willing, one day, very, very soon, I am going with option one. And I will continue to watch the Super Bowl alone — or at least with Husband #1….

And now my musings are done. Until the next trip. Which will hopefully be very, very soon.

Banji Ganchrow is fully aware that she is going to be one extremely cranky old lady. Oh wait — that is what her boys tell her she is now!

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