Since I moved to Florida over a year ago, I have happened upon many NEW experiences.
1. My first trip to Walmart – which enlightened me to the fact that Honey Boo Boo’s ENTIRE extended family works, eats, bathes, and sleeps there.
2. Or the first time I went to Publix and discovered that employees don’t just TELL you which aisle the food you need can be found in, they actually INSIST on PERSONALLY WALKING you there to HAND it to you (which takes an extra 20 minutes because the average age of Publix employees is 87. I said “AVERAGE” which means the YOUNGEST is 72 and the OLDEST- the MANAGERS- are 102 ) so by the time you actually find the item you needed you have run out of time to stand in line to buy it.
(Yes, he is confused about the fact that this woman brought her OWN bags).
3. Or the fact that if you’re over the age of 70, it’s perfectly acceptable to turn LEFT on a RED light – as long as you can still remember how to swerve into pedestrians.
4. Or the way people just pull out of parking lots and driveways without looking who’s in back or front of them as long as they HONK their horns-well, that’s perfectly OK as well. (What? At least They honked??)
But – by far – my most EXCITING “NEW” experience occurred the other day when I bought my FIRST PowerBall ticket.
It wasn’t the excitement of playing the lottery that got my jives flowing but rather the combination of all my new experiences getting to know the culture of South Florida combined into ONE single moment.
You see, I had never played the lottery myself…I have shared in a few group tickets, but I did not actually know how to PURCHASE and fill in a ticket on my own.
SO there I stood in line in Publix – and let me tell you – this line was longer than the 10 items or less with those of us trying to fit in an 11th – just to avoid standing behind the old lady paying from her change jar. (See experience number 2. above to know why I have no time for that.)
I tried to observe the people buying tickets in front of me.
However, I found it quite difficult to get a good view with all the hustle and bustle and commotion of the walkers, canes and wheelchairs, so I gently tapped on the old ladies’ shoulder in front of me and asked her if she could show me what to do.
As soon as the other ladies in front of her heard that there was a YOUNGSTER in the midst asking the ELDERS for HELP – they all eagerly JUMPED to my attention.
I suppose it made sense – considering THEY are probably always the ones asking THEIR own kids and grandchildren to help teach THEM how to do things in this very technological world.
It’s like EVERY TIME my mother comes over and – without fail – asks me to teach her how to use HER phone.
And EVERY TIME I show her how to text or take a picture. EVERY. TIME.
Luckily she is only in town for the Winter Season and as soon as Summer comes along she goes back to Chicago ….and forgets all over again. (Which is probably why I don’t hear from her until she returns in the Winter and asks me again how to use her phone).
But back to the old ladies in front of me……
So there they stood gathering around ME to assist in filling in the blank dots and the quick picks.
Such attention! Such devotion!
It was probably the closest thing to feeling like Justin Beiber at a red carpet event with all the eager young tweens screaming for his attention amidst the paparazzi.
You could just tell these were no ordinary BINGO ladies……Let me tell you, these ladies knew their Lotto skills!
Sometimes in life, we forget that there are those around us that know better. It’s important to remember that we can learn a lot from our elderly sages.
Alas, I am not the unidentified AZ winner. However, I certainly learned a valuable lesson. Like never to allow Ethel to butt ahead of you in line as she pays for the tickets with her pennies from her change purse.