The Grass is NOT Always Greener

It seems that lately I come across many people who make assumptions about me and my life without any real knowledge of the things they are assuming.  When you work with people from all over the world, this happens quite frequently.  For me, this helps put things in greater perspective.  Other people, however, seem to forget that there are two sides to every coin.  For everything there is a tradeoff.  The world has to maintain balance somehow.

Let’s take the simple example of climate where people live.  People seem to hold living in Florida against me.  This isn’t meant to be some political global warming propaganda, just simple, time-tested truth.

 

“O you’re from Florida, you can’t handle the cold.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement, or any like it.  First off, because I’m FROM Florida, doesn’t mean I have always lived there.  If you took the time to know me, instead of judging me, you would know that I lived in New England for three years where I slid down a snowy hill on a trash can lid in a pink snow suit.  But thank you for making an assumption.  Secondly, we are having this conversation in Alaska, which is reasonably cold.  Think I did alright there.  I handled Norway and the northernmost city in the world just fine too.  Thank you for asking.

Now, you joke about me not being able to handle the cold, but can you handle the heat?  Have you ever been to Florida in August?  Just because it’s nice when you’re there in December/January thinking it’s a great escape from you snowy land, try coming back in August and then we’ll talk.  We might not have to shovel our cars out of the snow to get to work, but we generally have to put a towel over our seats to not take off the skin when we sit on them.  Or how about having to take four showers a day because the minute you walk outside, you’re covered in sweat again.  Or how about being told not to even go outside because the UV index is so high.  I wonder how your snow-white skin would fare in our August sun.

And rain; don’t even get me started on rain.  “O it rains every day here, you’ll absolutely hate it.”

Again, have you ever been to Florida?  It rains every day here too.  In fact, you can almost time the rain.  The nickname “Sunshine State” is such a misnomer.  Did you know that Florida is actually the lightening capital of the world?  Then there’s the whole other issue of an entire season called HURRICANE SEASON.  So yes, we don’t lose power and miss school for blizzards, but we do lose power and miss school for hurricanes.  Have you ever been put under “24-hour” curfew for 72 hours and stuck with your entire family in a house with no TV, no internet, no phone, no lights, and, worst of all, no A/C – in 96F/34C temperatures?  Have you had to bathe in a swimming pool and boil water to brush your teeth to go to work because you had no running water when there was no power to run your electric well pump?  Long story short, it rains in Florida too.

 

 

This is just an easy example that everyone should be able to understand.  I don’t know at what point it became trendy to “one down” each other.  “O, I have it so much more difficult than you.  You don’t have to deal with A, B, & C!”  Ok, yes, maybe.  But I do have to deal with X, Y, & Z.  Everyone has something they have to deal with.  Just because it might not be the same as what you deal with, doesn’t mean it is any less difficult.

Bottom line, don’t judge people based on where they’re from – especially if it’s not even a place that you have been (tourist trap towns do NOT count!)  You know what happens when you ASS-U-ME.

Don’t Judge Me!

For those of you who don’t know, this weekend was Gasparilla Pirate’s Fest, Tampa’s own little version of Mardi Gras (only better because it’s pirate themed!) I had the fortune to be in the parade this year (which was always on my list even though I don’t think I ever wrote it).  I’m not sure who drinks more, the people in the crowds or on the floats? Either way, ya start early and go all day!  I was smart enough to crap out early though because I had to work early the next day (a sunday when most people had off).

At my job, we are required to suggest margaritas to every table, even if they clearly don’t want them.  And when they say “No”, we’re pretty much supposed to force them down their throats anyways (at least that’s what the company would like).  So around noon on sunday, I am waiting tables.  I get one that clearly looks like they just came from church (a generalization about our church people- they think they are high and mighty because they went to church and you clearly were not allowed to and then they sit at your table for hours and leave you no tip (except maybe a ‘Jesus Saves’ card)  because they think you are so much beneath them you should be their slave, but I digress).  I do my usual schpiel, ask them if they want a margarita, and the lady gives me the stank eye and goes “what, this early?!” in a voice like I had just asked her to commit murder.  Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere!  I wanted to say “honey, this time yesterday I was already 6 shots in!”  But, I held my tongue and waited 20 minutes for them to be ready to order.  All the while she stared at me like I had the plague and she was afraid she might catch it.  If you think servers are so much beneath you, cook your own damn food!

I guess it is somewhat hypocritical of me to judge them with all the other church people- but I was right- they sat there for another 2 hours, their kids made a mess everywhere, and they left like $3.  I, on the other hand, drank all the day before, remembered everything I did, and was not even hung over the next day and managed to do my job just fine.  So who fit their stereotype better?  At the end of the day, people are constantly judging you no matter what.  It’s my goal to constantly prove them wrong (yes I really am 26, yes I really do have a genius IQ, yes I do speak 3ish languages), but damn it’s hard work!!!

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