Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Audacity

Today started out hot and humid. Hot and humid as only someone living in the South can appreciate. Well, not terribly so, at 8:30 am it was about 80 degrees and about 80 percent humidity. No big deal really. Anyways, my dad came over from the mainland so we could play some tennis. We had a great time, as usual. Now that he's older (66), I have a great time beating him like he used do to me when I was 15 and he was 33. Paybacks, and all that.

I had been inside cooling off and was almost starting to nap at 2:00 when my neighbor stopped by and wanted to go to the pool. That sounded good, so I told him I'd meet him down there in a few minutes. I packed my Captain and Diet Pepsi, put on my new swim trunks, and headed over to the pool next door, remembering to take my hat and sunglasses this time.

My neighbor, Steve, wasn't there yet as I strolled through the gate. "Get out the life-vests, we have an old guy arriving" was shouted as I approached. As I opened the gate, I looked at who was announcing the arrival of this "old guy". It was a guy who looked to be about 60.

"You've got to be at least 50, aren't you?" Needless to say, I was immediately taken aback. Yes, I'm 48 (just turned), but the audaciousness coming from someone like him was astounding.

He was shorter than me, very tan, and missing all the teeth on the bottom of his smile. He kidded me about the whiteness of my skin, and all I could come up at the time was, "Well, I have a lot of indoor things keeping me busy." Lame, meet Ex-R, Ex-R meet lame. I simply find laying by the pool a waste of time, and unfortunately (or fortunately) my job is inside.

He made a show of putting his tan, leathery arm next to my pastey white legs and proclaiming how white I was. Uh, dude, Friend-Making 101 kinda frowns on shit like that. But he proceeded to pull up a chair to the lounge I staked out. Oh, Lord, he wants to be friends. Yeah, that's it, put someone down, and then suck up to them.

"How old do you think I am?"

Pause, pause. "You look like you're in you're mid-forties." Although, in truth, he looked ALL of his 52 years and more. No bottom teeth, many wrinkles, and saggy skin told a tale he was not willing to accept. And he was calling me old, what nerve! Okay, my hair has migrated South, I'm about 15 pounds above my ideal weight, my goatee is mostly white, but I think I look okay for my age.

The truth comes out later when I find out that he's been staking out a single mom at the pool. She's around 40-ish and apparently perked up when I arrived. When we were sitting around the pool, she basically ignored dufus and talked to me. I've experienced this many times. Yes, I'm gay, but not to the casual observer. I get hit on by single women all the time (not to seem conceited, but in Florida, there's a lot of them).

Dufus pulled up a chair and started a conversation while I was just trying to get some sun.

"I run 5 miles every morning, do I look like I'm 52?" Um, yes you do. And your crappy calves don't look like you run 5 miles every day. And when you're not sucking in your gut, you've got a beer belly.

Deal with it, dude. Don't put everyone else down to make yourself look better. I was a restaurant manager. That was a daily happening, and I've learned better. Only mentally-deficient Area Managers fall for that shit.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Yeah, I Know. It's Been a While. You Just Wait.

It's that time of year, here in the deep South. We had an unusually mild spring here in the panhandle, and it's been lovely. Crisp, cool nights with sunny days in the 70's. That's why people move here from the arctic North. But, the fun and games are over for another summer, I fear.

Last night, the humidity moved in on little dog feet. One night, a light blanket for cover. The next, ceiling fan on medium and no covers. Tonight will be more of the same. Humid, but not so terrible yet.

I refuse to fall to the tyranny of the air conditioner so soon. I will use the fan. I will disrobe to discretion's edge. I will savor a nice, cool cocktail.

Not many from the North can appreciate the beautiful and mild Springs here in the Deep South. From March onward, it's easy to luxuriate in mild weather while the Northern territories get their late Winter blusters. Then, around May, things take a turn for the warm.

Which is fine. You really do acclimate to the heat. You just don't spend much time in it. Southerners have elevated air conditioning to a fine art. Where Northerners cocoon in the winter, us down here migrate inside for the summer. Or go to the beach, like Northerners go to the slopes in winter. You cope, and you deal, and you make the best of it, and you make it your mission to make it good.

Summer in the South is great for beaches (duh), going to the movies (with Milk Duds, my favorite), bowling (fun with a few beers), going to Biloxi and the Casinos (90 minutes away), and hanging by the pool (hopefully the teen-agers will keep their bodily secretions at home this year).

It's Summer now in the South, and it's a good thing. As much as you Northerners point fingers and talk about 'Four Seasons' and all that crap, I'd bet my windows stay open for clean ocean breezes a lot more than yours.

And now, I feel the need to go make some fresh-brewed sweet tea for the week-end. More later.