Getting Ready for the Rudeness

Someone's having a bad attitude day.
In the midst of our move, when we were still in Lexington, I was chatting with our movers and I politely asked them how they liked living in Florida.

“Well, it’s hot,”  Rod said.

“And it’s humid,” he added.

“And get ready for the rudeness,” Paul chimed in.

The rudeness? I hadn’t heard that before. Florida? Rude? Really?

And then I figured out what he meant. The east coast of Florida is full of New Yorkers and you know what New Yorkers are known for:  That’s right. The rudeness.

Having lived in New Jersey for seven years, I found Paul’s comment strangely comforting. New places and new people are a mystery. New Yorkers, on the other hand, are a known entity. I know what to expect and I think I can handle it.

When we first moved to New Jersey and started going into New York with some regularity, I really wasn’t ready for the rudeness. I almost cried when a waitress asked me if I was going to finish my Reuben. She said it so mean. And we Laneys are sensitive.

But I toughened up, got a few callouses on my feelings and now I’m ready for Florida.

Except that nobody here is rude. I was all ready for the rudeness and for nothing.

People in Florida are exceptionally friendly. I’ve had umpteen sales people say, “Welcome to Florida!” when they see my Kentucky driver’s license, my pasty white skin and the pit stains on my shirt. Our new exterminator said, “You’re going to love it here!” right after he told me about the white-footed ants, the coral snakes, the cockroaches, and some sightings of iguanas in our county. I’ve had five people come over bearing wine, brownies and other housewarming gifts.  I’ve had two people offer to teach my kids how to surf. 

Rudeness? I’m not seeing it, Paul. In fact, my husband has suggested that I may be the rudeness that everybody is talking about. The telephone solicitors start out their sales pitches with a big, “How are you?” and it’s really sincere, like they really want to know how I’m doing. I, mad at myself for not registering for the Do Not Call List sooner, bark and snap at them and slam down the phone (as hard as you can slam down a digital off button on a cordless phone). 

Don’t they know I used to live in New Jersey?