Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daily Report: Home Alone, Out Smiling

Mom and Paul have left for various parts of the country: Paul is off to the opening of his daughter's opera at The Gallo Center in California. Mom is off to Chicago to help my sister babysit her newborn daughter while Brother-In-Law Dan is at his annual psychology conference.

I'm home alone with Puppy Gracie. It's actually kind of nice to have the dog in the house when nobody else is here because I do enjoy chatting and I can have pretend chats with Gracie and not feel that my mind has gone, as I would talking to thin air... or a volleyball or something.

I did a bit of shopping today and bought some scallops ($8 for half a kilo) which I saute├ęd for dinner tonight. (Gracie does not like shellfish, apparently. She wouldn't finish even the single small scallop I gave her.) I also bought some various cheap and quick meals to fill in the gaps between the shrimp and beef I bought (on sale, of course). Actually, everything was on sale.

I've decided that the one thing I like best about Florida is old people. After near on a decade in New York City, I can honestly say that I know what New Yorkers are like: If you go up and ask New Yorkers something, they are the most helpful and friendly people on the planet for about 30 or 40 seconds. But, at the same time they aren't at all open to casual, meaningless communication, such as a bit of eye contact and a friendly smile: Then, they look at you like you're a cannibal or something. Ask a question? Fine... but please hurry up. Just look and smile? I'm sorry: you're obviously demented.

Old people in Florida though: They all seem to have grown up in friendly places, and they obviously have shed many of their cares of yesteryear for the happy life of Floridian retirement and they do carry that outlook to the store with them... or when they are driving around. All kinds of superannuated folks smile and start up quick conversations with me. I walked into the bank the other day, fixed my collar against the wind as I walked in, and that windy adjustment launched a 30-second convo started by the lady I held the door for.

I'm quite sure that there are lots of parts of America that retain that bit of simple communal civility, and with people of younger ages... but as far as I'm concerned, Florida is the world capital for people who are wont to drop a friendly sentence or two to a friendly face.

And no, I've yet to go to Miami.

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