@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
In Defense of Florida
Personality type INTP tend to be true neutrals. True neutrals, like myself, are neither good nor evil. Our empathy matches our lack of sympathy. Our judgement isn’t quick to side, until we’ve heard and considered every angle. While this is a quality to be admired, it sometimes drives people crazy. I have friends who hate and love this about me. Because I don’t always agree with them. Because when they vent to me, I’ll play devil’s advocate. I’ll champion underdogs just for the hell of it. Almost nothing is sacred to me. And pretty much everything is ripe for mockery. I used to think I was chaotic good. Chaotic Good characters in pop culture would include Captain Jack Sparrow or Robin Hood. But a true neutral character would be more like The Dude from “The Big Lebowski.”
Florida is a wild state. And if your job is reading news constantly, there does seem to be a disproportionate amount of nearly unbelievable stories that happen there. What the fuck is going on in Florida? I’ve been told (by Floridians) that the heat makes people crazy. That it literally cooks their brain cells and makes them mad. It would be hard for me to argue this.
The people of the North East (though most Floridians seem to hail from the North East) love to shit on Florida. They love to talk about how insane and often incompetent the folks of Florida are. To be fair, I’ve been one of these people too. But I’ve also spent more time in the state since my parents moved south. And I think it’s time to defend the sunshine state. There are some things I quite love about Florida.
So here it is— in defense of Florida.
First, when I was going to depart to Florida, joining Colin Quinn on his tour, followed by a family visit, and then my own gigs, my New York friends didn’t hesitate to bash Florida crowds. But the joke is on them. I LOVE Florida crowds. Why? Because they are not offended by anything. You can say pretty much whatever you want. Younger New York crowds, especially “hip” Brooklynites, tend to be easily offended by trigger words and disregard the content in which they are used. They have a better sense of humor in Florida. I’ve done a lot of gigs there throughout the state, and am happy to return to people who go to comedy clubs to laugh and not complain.
Florida, though, is a gigantic state. Colin and I drove 4 hours to each gig, basically. It’s spread out. When I have other comedians in the car, I try to mind my speed. Though I have been known to be a fast driver (to some comedians terror, though I’ve been told I’m a good driver which just the right amount of aggression). When I was leaving one gig, I was on the highway late at night. A state trooper went by. I had that, “oh shit” moment and looked at my dash. I was going 85mph. The cop didn’t pull me over, just kept going (granted pretty much everyone was going that fast). I literally said out loud to no one, “I fuckin’ love Florida” when I got away with speeding besides a police officer.
Growing up on Long Island, I had access to Long Island beaches, which, are some of the most underrated beaches in the country. Though, our summers are too short. Florida has no lack of beaches, and a wide variety, depending if you’re west or east, north or south. Florida has beautiful beaches and warm, clear blue water. I’ve had great snorkeling and surfing sessions in various Florida beaches. And being in the ocean is my happy place. I’m always going to be drawn to the ocean, especially when it’s not cold and crystal clear like Austin Butler’s eyes.
As a nature lover, Florida is a zoo. Sometimes dangerously so. There are a lot of things that will kill you. While the bugs are a thing I’d put on the “cons” list of the state, the animals from the birds to the lizards amaze me. I love bird watching in Florida. And in the less than ten years of my parents living there, I find the evolution of the lizard population fascinating to witness. The lizards, or types of lizards that thrive, changes constantly. Of course, Floridians are not impressed with lizards but since we don’t have them in New York, I point out lizards like a child all the time when I’m there. Alligators terrify me but I still think it’s cool to see them. Sea animals are my favorite and I get especially excited when I have sea turtle or sting ray encounters or a manatee, even though manatees are the retards of the sea (Floridians would not be offended by my use of the word “retard” here). Though three out of the four times I’ve seen sharks in the water while surfing were in Florida and that’s a particularly frightening experience.
My inner child is heavily intact, so I still love Disney World or amusement parts in general. When I was a kid, I wanted to move to Florida— mostly because I wanted to secretly live in Disney World. It still excites me to visit these parks and some of my best memories of my life are being in Orlando as a kid with my family. I realize it’s not for everyone. But it’s not my fault your inner child is dead and you can’t suspend belief to have fun.
New York has always been my home, and pretty much part of my personality. I love New York. I am more proud to be a New Yorker than an American. I live and breath New York culture, consume it and contribute to it. No matter where my life brings me, New York is a part of me, and I’ll love it. However, New York is a dump. People fucking people keep dumping their litter everywhere. It drives me crazy. It’s so nice to drive around Florida, not just along palm trees, but clean highways. Every Florida city or town I’ve visited— even the trashy ones— have far less literal trash than New York. I admire this about the state. Additionally, a lot of their random electric boxes or whatever, you know ugly infrastructure metal boxes, are often painted with some sort of animal or ocean scene. Florida’s beautification is some of the best I’ve seen in the country.
Finally. The places that we want to go to are often not places at all, but people. And since my parents live down there, I look forward to my visits not just for a warm respite in winter months, but to spend time with my mom and dad. The sun will always shine brightest and be warmest where your mom is making you home cooked meals. And therefore, I love going to Florida.