Once when I was still living in Chicago a girlfriend of a friend of mine from my hometown in south Florida, she was visiting with her boyfriends family. We were out to lunch. It was January in Chicago. Anyone who knows anything about Chicago knows that after the new year the weather gets crazy. So a group of people that live in Florida, aren’t exactly going to take the severe cold very well. However why I’m writing is not because of the weather, although it should be noted that Chicago in the winter sucks.
This girlfriend of my friends had asked me where my old roommate and closet paisan who was also originally from south Florida, had recently picked up and moved to Austin a few months prior. This seemed to wrinkle her brain. She couldn’t understand what he was doing. She asked, “How do you guys do that?”
“What do you mean? Do what?” I replied.
“How do you guys move away from all your friends and family. I couldn’t imagine how you even do that,” She was still bewildered.
To give you a bit of background on this girl, when I asked her how long she would be in Chicago for, her response was until her boyfriend threw her out. She didn’t work because she said she had “Daddy Dollars”. So take from that what you will.
“Well I mean it’s a pretty common thing,” I attempt to not be a dick…this is hard.
“No it isn’t. None of my friends have moved away. They go away to collage sure, but then they usually come back, or if they move somewhere it’s Manhattan where there are a lot of people from home,” keep in mind her friends are exactly the type of people you would imagine them to be.
“Well that’s your friends. Most people that we grew up with have parents who come from somewhere else. Most peoples parents aren’t born in Florida,” I nod to my friends parents, her boyfriends, “They’re from New Jersey, mine are from Illinois and New Jersey, yours are from Boston and Rhode Island. So in reality, you are surrounded by people that are from other places. Everyone on the block you live on is from somewhere else originally,” A thought struck me, “It’s like the Frank Ocean song the Sweet Life. I think the line is, ‘who needs the world when you got the beach’. When you live in a place like south Florida in a big house that you couldn’t afford on your own, and no snow, tropical heat, and you come from money, why wouldn’t you stay there?”
“Exactly!” I think she missed my insult.
“Well, most people don’t grow up with that, and even a lot of those that do realize that they need to get away from that life so that they can make their own. Like I said, it’s a pretty common thing.”