Debbie and I were in Florida tending to my aunt’s estate. The weather was hot and humid…OK, not much different from back home. My aunt’s condo is a large three-bedroom home, with a parking space right outside the door. This is a big enough living space to be very comfortable (no room for the band though). My aunt chose a great community, everyone was friendly and they have many great social activities planned every month. For someone that could not sit still, she chose well.
Coming from the New York area, life is quick paced. Walking to and from the subway, it is easy to identify the tourists (sorry, but this is true). We recently saw on an episode of Chopped, the final two competitors, one from New York and one from California. The judges commented on the focus of the chefs, the one from California moved slower and laid back, while the one from New York moved quicker and was accomplishing more things in the same time. This encapsulated the differences between the coasts. However, I realize, by watching my own father that the older you become, the slower you move – that is a fact (for most people) of aging. Coupled with a more relaxed southern environment, as one ages, the pace works. However, at this point in my life, this pace is a hard adjustment.
Let me share one example (yes, there are more) and that was going to the movies. We went to a 23-screen theater. As we walked up, there were two short ticket lines, one with about four people in line and one with only a couple. Naturally, we took the shorter line. First, there were hellos from the couple, not to us, but to the lady behind the glass. Next, there was a discussion about the ticket prices (clearly posted). Next, the man took out all of his money and began to rearrange and sort them…still no movie selected or payment occurred. They pick a movie and then have a discussion on the different times showing. Finally, he hands the money to the lady behind the glass. I cannot believe this. The ticket person double counts the change slowly, then hands the change back. “Wait,” says the man, “One more thing.” I cannot image what the one more thing is…and, as it happens, would never guess it. He proceeds to take out his comb and takes three minutes to comb his hair in the reflection of the glass. I am seething inside and Debbie is standing behind me laughing away. My ticket transaction took less time than the hair combing. Onto the concession line, where there are four buyers ahead of us. There are three people behind the counter to service the line. After a five-second discussion on what we wanted, Debbie heads off to the bathroom. I notice that there is a couple towards the right side of the counter having a discussion with the seller…no concession items in front of them. Debbie comes back; only one new customer moved up…I might be missing the beginning of the movie. The couple, on the right, finally ordered one frosty looking drink and now is deciding on item number two. They are calling for the next person in line, but they are not paying attention. I am trying to stay calm…”They sell beer here, do you need one to relax,” Debbie asks. Finally, after 15 minutes waiting in line, it is our turn, we step up and I give my order. The popcorn is being hand loaded by a small scoop. I ask for extra salt and Debbie asks for butter on the side. The response is a confused look.
I am not ready for Florida! I like to visit Florida. I like to vacation in Florida. But for now, I am not moving to Florida. When the day comes that I move at a slower pace, when I am in no rush, and when my one or two activities are my ENTIRE day, I will think about the move to Florida. I do not think that I suffer from a Peter Pan complex, but it is still good to think, feel and act young. There might become a time in my life where the move will fit our life style, including the people and the family around us. But for now, we are staying in New Jersey.