Florida Myths 'n Stuff

The leather skin is a ruse to take your attention away from the fact that her bikini top is around her waist.

I haven’t written much of anything over the past month. Moving out of our Lexington house and into our Jupiter, Florida, house took pretty much every ounce of energy I had. All of my sense of humor was used up trying to find something funny about people telling me I should be getting my Hurricane Emergency Supplies ready, when I hadn’t yet located the Tylenol, my underwear and all of our forks.

I was LOLing like nobody’s business.

But now I’ve been here two weeks. Two weeks! Feels like I’ve lived here forever. Not really. I don’t know why I just said that.

But I have been here long enough to learn a little bit about Florida. There are myths and suppositions about every place, but Florida seems to have more than its fair share.

Based on my vast 14-day knowledge, here’s what I’ve learned about the Sunshine State so far:

MYTH: There are way cool bugs in Florida.

True. They’re big, they fly when you least expect it, and they’re fast. I think that might mean they’re cockroaches, but I don’t really want to think too much about it. I’m trying to stay positive and concentrate on the awesomeness of them. And there’s more! Just yesterday, while putting potted plants in my cart at Home Depot, a frog jumped out at me and I screamed. Then, while planting those flowers in our front yard, I found a snail, a long black shiny snake, lots of frogs and literally hundreds of the little lizards that we call salamanders, but are really something else.  It’s Wild Kingdom South Florida Edition here.

MYTH: Florida women are prettier.

False. They are blonder and tanner, their stomachs are flatter and their teeth are whiter, but there are lots of women like me - brunettes who could use a little blush. At least 10 or 12 of us.

MYTH: Florida is in the American South.

False! Despite the tropical climate and where the state is located on maps, globes and the actual earth, it’s not in the south. There is no “Florida accent,” the fundamentalist churches are not crazy, and all three people who have come over to welcome us were bearing bottles of wine. Which brings me to . . . 

MYTH: Florida people like to party.

True. When there’s a pool right outside your back door and you can jump into it on Lincoln’s Birthday, what do you expect? If you move to Florida, I encourage you to throw away the Lenox china you registered for when you got married, and go to Pier One and stock up on pink, yellow and lime green plastic margarita glasses, fish-shaped sandwich plates and a good blender. 

MYTH: It’s stinkin’ hot in Florida.

True, but let me point out, it’s stinkin’ hot in Ohio in the summer, too. 

MYTH: Florida is full of old people.

True-ish. The part of Florida where we live is the same region that most old people also choose (because it’s the best?) when they retire to Florida. But overall, the state of Florida is only 16.8 percent old people. The US as a whole is 12.4 percent old people, so we’re not that far off. The difference is, our old people wear bikinis.