782. The geography of sweetness

I think that I only really understand people from New York. Not just Jews because an Irish guy from the Bronx is more familiar to me than a Rabbi from Oklahoma. Are there Rabbis in Oklahoma?

Anyway that could be one reason why I didn’t see my marriage breaking up. dave was from Kentucky and you know how wily people from Kentucky are.

I had an interesting evening yesterday.

David’s son Graham is moving to Atlanta. I had offered to drive him and his father and Graham’s clothes up to Connecticut since he would be renting a van from there to make the drive to his new home.

The plan was that we would all go up and have dinner with their longtime friends, Donna and Robert then David and I would drive home without Graham.

But as luck would have it, David called and said he would take the train because as usual he was in “deep shit” at work and he had to straighten it out before he could leave.

When I heard that I realized that he wouldn’t be coming up until late and I’d have to drive home in the dark so I decided to drop Graham off and get out before David got there because he’d never let me leave at a reasonable hour.

But first we, Graham, Donna And Robert and I sat down on their patio and enjoyed a glass of wine.

Let me describe Donna and Robert. They are both extremely good looking people and they appear to be very well suited even though they couldn’t be more different.

Donna is from Atlanta. She’s very pretty and she’s very tiny and never stops moving. She talks very fast and seems to skip from one subject to another without a pause. Here’s something I’ve never said about a grown woman. She’s so cute and not in a yucky way. I kept wanting to hug her.

Now because I know about her from David I don’t just dismiss her as a sweet southern belle. The woman has a mind like a steel trap. She’s a brilliant business woman who does something with money or futures or pork bellies.

Her husband, who is also a looker, just sat there smiling fondly while she talked. He’s a minister and couldn’t be calmer if he had just downed six valium. I don’t know where he’s from but I would guess another land other than NYC.

Donna was telling us that her mother, who lives in Atlanta, is moving from her huge home to transitional living and she had been down there helping her dispose of the things she wouldn’t be taking with her.

“She wants me to have some of her things. It’s very important to her. She particularly wants me to take her sideboard. I like my sideboard better but I don’t want to hurt her so I’m going to take it.”

“No problem” I say  “Just shove it in the garage”

“Oh I couldn’t do that. She’d be devastated if she came here and saw that I wasn’t using it. What I’m planning to do is put my sideboard in storage and use her sideboard until she dies and then take my sideboard back. Do you think that’s too mean?”

At first I thought she was only kidding. Too mean? Here’s where the geographical disconnect is and it starts with the term “too mean”.

“How is that mean?”

“Well I’d be deceiving her”

“So? Let me give you an example of too mean. If someone cuts in line in front of me at Whole Foods and I pull out  a shiv, though my reaction is warranted, some might say it’s an over reaction and if I actually cut the person others might consider it too mean.”

From the looks on their faces I could see that they weren’t getting me any more than I was getting them.

I left soon after and didn’t feel comfortable until I got on the FDR Drive and someone gave me the finger for not changing lanes fast enough.

10 thoughts on “782. The geography of sweetness

  1. Cute one! Robert is from Albuquerque and a childhood friend of David’s. Sounds like a lovely evening. We’ll have another one since I’ll be home before long. xo

  2. I was born and raised in Wyoming, but I moved to Syracuse, NY because that is where my husband was from. He has a biiiggg! Italian family and they ran right over me because I was taught to “Be Nice.” I did develop a NY attitude as a pure self defense mechanism. Fast forward to 61 and retirement, we move to an AZ retirement community where half of the people are “Minnesota Nice.” Guess who is president of the HOA because she can say “NO” with no qualms? Guess who gets pushed to the front when they want something done around here or to put in a complaint? You got it, ME! A NY attitude is an asset and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We New Yorkers speak our minds and can get things done and don’t deal with the BS everyone else is afraid to call the jerks on.

  3. Could you please offer a course in NYC attitude? I am “Ohio Nice” even though we left when I was 5. The damn thing persists and it is not useful when trying to turn down various proposals from inapproriate men and other life events. Then if you are given a strong Methodist Conscience, you spend your life feeling guilty for all those things you niced your way into. Not a useful trait.
    I am new to your blog, and already my computer is covered with with coffee spews from laughing with a mouthful. Thank you.

    • I sympathize. My mother in law was a Methodist who could do a half hour on the weather. In order to be a true New Yorker you can only discuss the weather if you’re bitching about it.
      I have a feeling that you’re more of a New Yorker than you think you are. Try talking to someone who spent their life in Ohio and you’ll see how you’ve changed.
      Anyway your comment made me very happy but don’t say I said that.

  4. Mattie,
    Great seeing you last night. You portray me as much sweeter than I am. I will come up with a few evil deeds to relate when we meet next time to prove I’ve made the transition from Southern Belle to Steel Magnolia. I think the geographical difference is more in the delivery. You don’t have to yell or scream to get your point across or to keep people from running over you. It’s am art form to do it with a few choice words in a calm voice with a withering smile. I may have learned that in Cotillion. 🙂

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