Along with our nomadic dreams, I would like to talk about the things I have accumulated in my mind that put this path directly in front of us. It is not likely that someone wakes up one morning and just makes this decision without a motivator. There has to be some sort of driving force that pushes us toward a goal. So, what exactly is our goal and what got us to this point of departure?
For us, a big part of what we are trying to accomplish is, finding a town where our values align with the values of those around us. I am a big picture thinker, my life is not the only one happening right now. However, I am the only one who can impact my life on any great level. I would prefer to be around people who would foster what my idea for my life encompasses. I would prefer to be in a community who can see their surroundings in the same light.
Living in Naples is like something out of a movie. The town strives for perfectly manicured everything. Giant shiny vehicles and boats that match their giant shiny houses and expensive jewelry. Yuck! There is much more of a dog eat dog mentality here. I’m starting to feel like I’m in a Tyson fight, where ripping apart another man’s ear is the only way out.
Now that’s not to say it’s necessarily a bad thing. Naples brings a lot of money to the state of Florida. With a population of about 20,600, a majority of which are retirees, there’s a good amount of money being tossed around. Like Kanye before he married Kim. For a bartender like me, it can be rather lucrative, as long as I’m willing to sell my soul and accept that I am a servant to their wills. I am not Michele, I am bar wench with big hair and big boobs. Not in this life, not anymore anyways.
When I was a bartender in Upper Michigan, the only time I was treated that way was when the guest came out of Illinois or maybe Wisconsin. Even that was few and far between. They’d show up for a week in the winter, bundled up like Christmas Story extras, drinking like Charlie Sheen and hoping to score an off-color story for back home. It was my pleasure to assist in all but the last. No happy endings at my bar, Pal!
Now, here I am in Naples, holed up like Emily Dickinson for the better part of year 33. We made the choice to step away from the bar as patrons and, for me, as an employee. If you have ever held a service industry job, you may know about the subculture that is rarely discussed. You work a lot of hours, a lot! You miss holidays and birthdays, concerts and fairs, you can’t get out of bed before noon. When you aren’t working, there is a really good chance you are at a bar and everyone knows your name. It may be between errands, but you will still find yourself sitting between regulars and bitching about the errands that are about to pull you out of your barstool.
You will pride yourself on the amount of alcohol you can consume and if you are a lightweight, you are working on your tolerance. While I was submerged, this all made sense to me. Now, I’m as confused as you are. I’m not sure why this was ideal to me. Other than the reality that I didn’t want to confront my inner conflicts.
The other part of stepping away from the bar scene, the one you never see coming but maybe should have, is that your drinking friends lose interest in your life. Like how we all lost interest in Brittany Spears once she stopped losing her shit in public and left her hair alone. The subject matter becomes much less dramatic and therefore no longer interesting. Nobody cares that you rearranged your living room and now have a more Feng Shui feel, they just want to hear if your buddy showed up and puked on the plant that pulled it all together.
On the rare occasion we stop at a local watering hole, there is usually someone around who probes one of us for a dramatic news feed. Sitting on a question until one of us walks away, hoping the answer they receive will satiate the gossip hunger desperately clawing at their bellies. That it will spread like wildfire through the oil pipeline that is their throats. Again, no happy endings for you here folks! Move it along!
The reality is, this strange addiction to drama isn’t their fault. Look at the plethora of reality shows that are shoved down those throats. While there are a few I can stand behind, Naked and Afraid is pretty cool while still feeding into the dramatic, I’m really not a fan. How could one not be a bit dramatic while being naked with a stranger in the wilderness? Any cooking show that doesn’t involve small children, the ‘cut throat’ type of cooking or cakes you can’t really eat is usually good for cooking tips. And, well, I guess that is about it.
What does watching a stupidly wealthy person spending a stupid amount of money on a ridiculously over done pool contribute to one’s life? How does watching grown women with too much money judge each others clothing enrich our outlook? It doesn’t. They don’t. This is called dumbing down, my friends. These shows groom people into thinking expensive living is the status quo and that the types of problems we should be discussing are how hard it is to find a name brand hand bag to match the color of our $10,000 dogs eyes. People will find a way to make the money to spend on the name brand because it’s what Snooky wore that one time at the bar. This makes me ache in my soul. This is not why we are here.
We should be discussing the rate at which our planet is changing because of what we have done to it and the wildlife that dies daily because of it. We should be focusing on homelessness and the welfare of ourselves and our neighbors. We should want our friends and loved ones to come to us with their problems and offer our help and hearts graciously. We should stop being offended by mothers who breast feed in public and start looking at what the closed doors of the elitists are hiding.
To bring my rant to an end, I could keep this going for a long time, I would like to thank my fellow bloggers and friends who have liked and shared and showed support as I get my feet under me. This was a very random and unexpected decision, typical for me, and it was very unnerving to get started. I find I am truly enjoying the experience thus far!