People typically stereotype the South with sleepy little towns, Maw & Paw, sweet tea and drawls. Sure, there are stereotypes for a reason and those places do exist.
It’s just that Charlotte isn’t one of those places. And I’m not one of those people. (Well, okay, I have the drawl.)
I want things now, Now, NOW, dammit! When the light turns green, I drive like I mean it. North Carolina IS the home of Nascar, after all.
Back home, waiters and waitresses want to turn tables, so we’re greeted with water and back to the office in less than an hour.
And, on occasion, a trip to the grocery more closely resembles an old episode of Supermarket Sweep (or an MMA cage match, depending on the holiday).
Point is, I was surprised – strike that, gobsmacked – to move to Florida and go slow. Not just slow . . . slllllooooooooooooooooooooooowwwww.
The speed limit is slow.
The people crossing the street are slow.
Chick-Fil-A is slow. (And, by the way, they don’t even say, “Thank you,” much less, “Our pleasure to serve you at the window.” Side eyes.)
Regular restaurant service is slow.
Even the wind is slow.
Is it the heat? Does the sun melt everyone into a syrupy stupor this close to the equator . . . arms and legs dripping and heavy with humidity, making it impossible to move with the quickness?
Or . . .
Is it me?
Moving to a new town shines an interrogation light on your personal attributes in a much brighter way than travel ever does.
I look around and don’t see other people yelling, “Oh for fuck’s sake, go!!!” (Maybe I’m just missing them???)
I also don’t see other people obsessing about schedules. It seems there’s just an, “I’ll get to it when I get to it,” attitude. And that might not be so bad.
Is it a small town thing? A beach town thing? A retiree thing?
Their faces are relaxed and body language easy. No one seems to be in any particular hurry to get anywhere. Where they are is just fine. And, upon consideration, that really doesn’t seem so bad.
Is it contagious?
Will I catch some of it if I start licking people’s faces? (Is that bad manners???)
The collective THEY say that we must be present in the present to truly experience joy and embrace happiness. That said, I should (perhaps) take a page from the Tortoise and retire my inner Hare.
Maybe I need to stop worrying about where I’m going and at what pace I’m getting there. Maybe I should learn to slow down and enjoy my current station.
Maybe I should park my car, buy a bike and some flip flops . . . and let life unfold gently.
One thing’s for sure, this move is changing me. I believe it’s for anything other than better. Otherwise, that would be a waste of time. (wink)
Even so . . . I want my nuggets now, Now, NOW, dammit!