written by Tracy Beckerman from LOST IN SUBURBIA
Everyone knows that God made a covenant with Abraham which gave the Jews Israel in exchange for a little foreskin. What most people don’t know is that God also agreed to give us Florida. This is why Jews move down to Florida when they retire. We don’t have a choice. It was part of the original deal. The Christians got Martha’s Vinyard and we got Boca Raton.
This being the case, I wasn’t all that surprised when my parents told me they bought a place in the Sunshine State. My dad had been in semi-retirement for several years and my mother was not far behind. Besides, my dad was a golfer and my mother made a mean brisket, which meant they satisfied the official Jewish retirement prerequisites. They were one Lincoln Continental and two zuzim away from qualifying for a little place in the Palm Beach area on a golf course with their own orange tree and an alligator in the backyard.
Giddy with the prospect of all-you-can-eat 4:00pm dinner buffets for $2.99, they had one foot out the door when I warned them that they needed to do some prep work before they moved to the promised land of milk and honey and Metamucil. As two hip, artistic, culturally-sophisticated New Yorkers, they were under-prepared for life in the matzoh-ball soup capital of the world.
Of course, as a middle-aged Jew still in my formative guilt years, I didn’t have all the info they needed, either. So I picked up the book, “Florida for Dummies and Alter Kockers” and found some handy tips for helping my parents acclimate to life in the panhandle. According to the book, my folks needed to focus on the following:
1. Playing Games: To truly enjoy retired life in Florida, make sure to learn shuffleboard, Bridge, and how to work three Bingo boards at a time.
2. Driving: You must learn how to drive 20 miles under the speed limit and with your head six inches below the steering wheel.
3. Clothing: Men: pants that fit snugly under your armpits. Women: Bold prints in bright pastels. Polyester pantsuits with short sleeves and a tropical palm motif are always a good choice. Donate your black clothes. Black is for funerals which is not a good message to send in a place where everyone is over ninety.
4. Dining out: When you go out to eat, remember to empty the basket of dinner rolls on the table into your handbag before you leave, eat all the food and THEN complain that it wasn’t cooked properly, and steal packets of Splenda.
5. Voting: This is your right as a US citizen and you are entitled to do this for as long as you can drive (which in Florida is well into your late 90’s). Words to know:
Chads – The tiny bits of paper left over from punching a ballot when you vote.
Ballot – the thing left after you punch out the chads.
Do not worry about either the ballot or the chad. They very rarely count.
6. Sex: This is only for men who have outlived their wives. There are two of them.
Satisfied now that my parents were adequately informed to make a new life as social-security card-carrying Floridians, I bid them adieu and mazel tov on their new home and reminded them to stay out of the sun and watch out for alligators and honey bees, but not to worry about wasps:
They retire to Connecticut.
About the author: Tracy Beckerman is a nice Jewish girl from the suburbs of New York, who got married and moved to the suburbs of New Jersey where she learned the only difference between the Jewish girls in NY and the Jewish Girls in NJ is the size of their hair and which mall they go to. Tracy is the author of the book, “Rebel without a Minivan: Observations on Life in the Burbs.” She writes the syndicated humor column Lost in Suburbia,