Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s adopted Yankee ways cause time management problems in the Caribbean.
Just like clockwork, after 48 hours in the Caribbean, my New York agitation rears its ugly head. It’s funny, because upon arrival, I rush head first into relaxation, charmed by the slow pace—the perfect antidote to a hectic like in the Big Apple.
But by sunset of day two, the potion of peacefulness starts to wear off. I don’t want to flag down the waiter one more time to remind her I’m here to order, or that I’m still waiting for the wine list. Why I even consider ordering wine in the land of rum and reggae is still a mystery. You’d think a drink would relax me, but instead I get nervous that the next drink won’t arrive quickly enough. Often I end up ordering two cocktails at the same time just for safety.
My morning coffee panic is even worse. I gulp a cup ‘o joe before the waitress is able to retreat with the pot so she can load it up again—no telling how soon she’ll be back around to ease my addiction. Poor Chef has learned to order coffee and push across the table for my enjoyment.
Hailing from Texas, you’d think I’d be able to tamp down my adopted Yankee ways. But I’ve been this way almost since I moved to Manhattan. A few years after my arrival, I visited my Mom back in Tyler and we headed to the mall to do some shopping at Dillard’s. I whizzed through the doors and was at the escalator when I realized mother was back near the entrance, talking to some lady brandishing a bottle of Calvin Klein’s latest fragrance. They seemed deep in conversation. I sighed impatiently, and mother just rolled her eyes at me as she joined me.
“You just ran right by that nice young lady. That was so rude,” mother chastised.
“Please mother, I wasn’t interested in her stink juice.”
“Young man, be nice. She’s just doing her job. Besides she tipped me off to a sale on the Liz Claiborne pantsuits I love. You gotta slow down to discover gems like that.”
Maybe she was right. Slowing down might be beneficial. And by Day 4 in the islands, I’m usually in full on relaxation mode.
But today on Day 3, when the waitress finally comes to take my lunch order, I’m still asking for two Red Stripes at the same time. It’s just my way of overcoming island time jetlag.