Living in Florida can be a very relaxed life style. That is…… until season arrives. Season is the time of year when my small, quiet, never sit in traffic town becomes filled with senior citizens. A sea of grey rolls into town via a caravan of Buick Lesabres and conversion vans. It becomes awful to try to book a dentist apt, doctors apt, go out to dinner, drive, park, shop, or do any of the other things that we do so peacefully throughout the rest of the year. I walked into the grocery store yesterday at 2:00 PM and there were literally no shopping carts left. I only had two items to pay for and I was behind an 85 yr old woman who stood talking with the cashier for over 10 minutes about her nagging Bursitis. It lead me to think about the major topics that we should steer clear of when interactive with these creatures that we call “Snow Birds”. Below are 5 avoid at all cost conversation topics.
- Can I go ahead of you in line? I asked a man last week if I could jump him in the grocery line because I really had only one item and I had the kids with me. He looked at me with such a look of disgust and said, “What do you think, that I have nothing better to do all day then wait in line?” Ummmm, yeah that is exactly what I thought. This man wasn’t going to work, preventing a forest fire, or currently building a bridge. So I just smiled and went to another line with my three min-terrorists and daydreamed about taking a crap in his shopping cart.
- Whats the weather like back home? Yikes, do not ask someone from up north what the weather is like. For some reason snow birds have figured out how to use their smart phone to check the weather app and spend 15 minutes talking about the -5 degree weather that their family and friends are suffering in. After a woman last week told me that “It’s colder than a witches tit” I stopped asking that question. I personally don’t care about the weather up north and was attempting to be polite. I’m a permanent FL resident for a reason. Shame on me.
- How are you feeling? While at the dentist last month I was sitting in the waiting room and a woman next to me commented on how good my son was being. I asked how so was doing, and got a 10 minutes dissertation on her arthritis, gout, diabetes, and several other ailments that I had to Web MD search when I got home. She was very graphic with her medical descriptions and I later had to explain what a boil was to my 4 yr old. Once again, shame on me.
- Will your children visit this year? If you ever wonder what your parents or grand parents say about you to total strangers if they ask about their family, you would most likely not believe it. I have a neighbor who lives here for about 4 months out of the year. She stopped me the other day while I was getting the mail. I asked this question never expecting this response. It went something like this; “So will your kids be visiting soon?” “My kids, HA! My son avoids my calls like the plaque, and my daughter in law is a whore. She never takes time to bring the grand kids down to see us, although the kids are real jerks.” There was a seriously awkward pause as I backed away with my mail and ran into my house.
- When will you go back up north? Season usually runs from October to just after Easter in April. As soon as it gets warm the birds flock back up north for cooler temperatures. I was at a salon a few weeks ago and I asked a fellow customer this question. Her reply was honest with a touch of rude. She stated “We will head back in April. I will miss the weather, but I need more culture to survive.” I sat there thinking about what kind of culture she was so desperately seeking, but I really don’t care. Then I thought, “I live here year round, so I must be culture-deprive baboon.” April can’t come soon enough.
So although we do need the snow birds to boost our economy this time of year, I could go without some of these unpleasant interactions. I have figured out that if I tell one of my kids to pretend to be sick when the birds approach, they fly away as quickly as possible. So I will only eat out after 9 PM, shop after 7 PM, try not to drive anywhere between the hours of 9AM-8PM, and I will pray I don’t require any medical attention.