They Just Don’t Get It

I have a friend who is a self-proclaimed Shoe Whore, owning over ninety pairs of shoes. She loves the feel of trying on a new pair, the excitement of wearing them for the first time, and seeing them all lined up in her closet. Her husband just rolls his eyes when she talks about Marshall’s footwear selection.

He just doesn’t get it.

PIC_0049My daughter is a Harry Potter fanatic. She has read each book at least fifteen times, owns much of the merchandise, including the collectible trading cards, board games, and collectible pins. Of course, she has dressed as Harry, Hermione, and Ginny on multiple Halloweens. She played Quidditch in college, was a guest on a’s podcast this past fall, and is an avid HP fan fiction reader and writer. When her father threw out her collectible popcorn bucket from the first movie a few years ago, he couldn’t understand why she was so upset.

He just doesn’t get it.

DSCN3054I love Key West. I’ve vacationed there eight memorable times in the past decade, have read dozens of fiction and non-fiction books about the island, seek out #keywest tweeps and travel bloggers, and listen to “Dancing in My Flip Flops” music on Pandora while writing Margarita Moments posts and a romantic suspense set in Old Town. Many people agree with my obsession for the southernmost city, while others I talk to who haven’t yet traveled there express curiosity. No one had ever struck me as not “getting” Key West.

Until yesterday.

2012-07-19 14.22.05As part of my Sunday morning routine, I was surfing the net for interesting articles and photos about the Florida Keys when I came across an editorial in a travel and sports magazine. Excited to read another person’s perspective on my home-away-from-home, I dove right in. After the first paragraph, I was stunned. By the end of the page, I was horrified. In spite of the article’s title inferring the writer knew the key to Key West, I was left with the feeling…she just doesn’t get it.

First, the woman wrote that she stepped onto Duval Street and felt “morally superior” to practically everyone else there, including the locals. Only when she realized she could drink alcohol on the street did she say she grasped Old Town’s appeal:  Being able to do things she can’t do in her hometown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay, so the writer has a point about the feeling of freedom one may get in Key West. It is a laid-back, casual island. But to think the island I dream about, the island I can’t wait to return to again and again, and the place I someday hope to reside (even if only in winter) is merely special because it’s a place where people can carry an open container, is nonsense to me. (By the way, Key West has had an open container law since the 80’s. Law enforcement tends to look the other way, as long as people are behaving themselves and carrying a go-cup instead of a glass.)

I was speechless. Then I was angry. When I finally calmed down I thought, “Do I really want a person with that attitude in my tropical paradise?” I reflected some more. Perhaps the person was in Key West during Fantasy Fest or another crazy time (which I’ve yet to experience myself). Maybe she was on a cruise docked at Key West for a half-day and she didn’t have the opportunity to venture beyond the tourist traps on Duval. Whatever the case, I respectfully disagree with the article’s assessment the Conch Republic lacks in elegance, beauty, and charm aside from its architecture, or that the majority of its tourists and locals are loco for wanting to stay at the southernmost key.

But then, that’s just my opinion.

Tell us about your passion, and a time when you realized others just don’t “get it.” How did you react?

REALITY can be rewarding…

espcially if it’s the REALITY blogger award. One of my new cyberspace writer friends, Jill Weatherholt, recently nominated me, and I gratefully accept and thank her.

Seven Facts about Me:

1. I write every day, if at all possible. When I don’t, I become a crankapotamus.

2. I’m a leftie. That’s one reason I got to know my now-husband, a fellow southpaw. He was always lending me his baseball mitt during college for intramurals.

3. I’m a homebody. As much as I love traveling, when we’re at home, I much prefer to be in my cozy den by the fireplace in the winter or poolside in my backyard in the summer than anywhere else in the world.

4. I love skinny jeans, as long as they have spandex in them and I can be comfortable.

5. I am a worrier. But I’m working on that.

6. I’ve been gluten- and dairy-free for one year this month. At times it seems like the worst diet in the world (especially when faced with cheese dishes or homemade bread), but I am healthier than I’ve ever been.

7. I still don’t have a phone connected to email. I know. I’m a relic from the past, but I don’t see the need for one when I have a laptop at home, a desktop at work, and a Kindle Fire with internet. Besides, I’m frugal.

The five lovely bloggers I nominate with the REALITY award:

Until next Monday, may you be busy doing what you love!

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Basaraba
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 21:51:26

    Yeah you always wonder about the people who don’t get it. I would assume, like you said that they only got a surface-level experience by not venturing out of the tourist zones or were only there for a short time.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 07, 2013 @ 22:27:47

      I was really upset. It was as if a stranger walked up to me on the street and slapped me silly. Odd, I know, but that’s how strongly I reacted. I guess I’m just very loyal. 🙂

  2. jeffjesszach
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 06:17:15

    If all she did cruise down Duval then she missed so much! Some non-drinking friends of ours went late in 2012 and completely fell in love in a week(without booze).
    BTW we booked our 2013 trip and I have been convinced by my bride to stay through Goombay.

  3. Maggie Van Well
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 08:43:09

    My friend was visiting from New Orleans (I met her in a chat room, and some people don’t get those lol so i guess I’m still on topic) Anyway, a group of us took her to NYC, and we ended the day at a bar. It wasn’t until after I’d gotten my mudslide that I realized how late it was and we had to go. I was upset because I couldn’t drink it (I was driving) and she said “So, have it to go!”

    She couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get a to-go cup and walk around NYC with it. I have a feeling my dear friend would be right at home in Key West.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 10:19:39

      Thanks for sharing, Maggie. My friends who have been to New Orleans tell me I’d like its vibe, too. We have it on our travel list for someday. Sorry about your mudslide. 😦

  4. sandylrowland
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 08:45:21

    Don’t knock something until you’ve tried it. Travel is addictive and once you’re there you must do and see all you can especially the off the tourist path goodies. That’s where the gems lie. It’s the unusual that feeds a writer’s muse and my sense of fun. I do get it! It’s all what makes life worth living. Great post.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 10:26:17

      I’m thrilled that you do get it, Sandy! I do, too. Don’t get me wrong. I adore traveling, but when I’m home, I’d rather be home than out shopping or at a meeting or whatever. Movie night is always more fun snuggling on the couch with my husband than going to the local cinema. Also, now that I have the dietary concerns, I do worry more about where I’m getting my next meal when we’re far away from my kitchen. LOL Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. Jill Weatherholt
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 18:02:40

    Maybe she had “one too many” to appreciate the beauty of Key West. 🙂 I’m curious, did the editorial have an option to comment? I discovered how much we have in common after reading your list, I love my “flip phone” even though everyone at work makes fun of me. I’m so glad you’re healthier than ever! 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 19:55:28

      Hi, Jill. Thanks again for nominating me for this blogger award. I do try to keep it real, so the reality award is especially meaningful. There was an option for comments on the editorial, and one person had left a comment. He represented my sentiments quite well, in a respectful manner so I decided to let it be. I debated long and hard about whether I should post about the article, since I didn’t want to name the source. She is entitled to her opinion, as I am mine, but I don’t want to give her online newspaper free advertising when I disagreed with her opinion on so many levels.

      I like my phone. Would I like a newfangled gadget everyone else seems to have? Sure, but I don’t NEED it, and have more important things to spend my money on…like heating oil, food, gas, kids, future getaways to Key West…

      Have a prolific week!

  6. Rhonda Hopkins
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 19:09:54

    I’ve only been to Key West once, but I thought it was amazing. I can’t wait to go back. I can just imagine your horror at that other blog post!

    Thank you so much for nominating my blog for the Reality Award. I’m honored and will post soon. Congrats on your nomination. It’s definitely deserved! 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 20:00:07

      Yay, Rhonda! I look forward to learning more about you. You definitely keep it real, so it’s a well-deserved award for you, too. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. Julie Glover
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 20:45:09

    Thanks for the tag.

    I have two passions that some don’t really get: Grammar and Texas. I love the structure of language because it helps to free up the meaning of the words themselves. I’m a “stickler” for getting punctuation, spelling, and grammar right so that a story or message flows. Plenty of people think I’m just uptight (“What’s the big deal?”) Then I love my Lone Star State. I don’t expect everyone to feel as intensely as I do about my big, beautiful, best state ever. However, I get a little annoyed when people come here to the actual state and diss it like crazy. If you don’t like someplace, don’t live there, and don’t insult the people who do.

    I have never been to Key West. Perhaps that would be a passion too if I visited. Who knows? I like reading your experiences, though.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:02:05

      Hi Julie. Thanks for stopping by to share. I’m a word geek too, but I know some people can be put off by my love for etymology and grammatical rules. 🙂 I can’t imagine anyone not liking Texas. In fact, I mentioned recently to my husband that I want to visit your home state someday soon. I’ve made so many writer friends from your part of the world and am curious about the sites and people. If I went and didn’t like it, I certainly wouldn’t make fun of it. That would just be rude.

      I’m happy to share my experiences in KW. I realize it may not be everyone’s dream getaway or locale, but I don’t believe it can be summed up in a five hundred word editorial as “the raunchiest city.” Yeah, that editorial really rubbed me the wrong way, I guess. I’m usually quite laid-back and tolerant.

      Look forward to reading your seven facts back at your fun blog. 🙂

  8. Dawn Berkoski
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 13:53:28

    Hey! I’m sending your blog link to a friend going to Key West. She was interested in historic Keywest and hot spots to visit. I told her I knew just the girl to ask! :O


    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:08:25

      Aww, that’s very sweet of you, Dawn. 🙂 I hope she stops by and asks me lots of questions. I have so many ideas for her, depending on her particular interests. Key West is full of history. I haven’t written all that many historical posts, though. Hmm. maybe now I will.

      Have a wonderful end to your week.

  9. Elisa Cashiola
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 18:57:52

    Thank you for the award! I know I thanked you on Twitter, but I just had to thank you again for thinking of me 🙂


    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 19:09:40

      Hi Elisa. Great to have you here. I’m looking forward to learning more from you about design concepts for my home through your incredible blog. Take care!

  10. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 21:36:07

    Wow, thank you so much for the award. Appreciate it, mucho.

    Well, if that’s the only way that writer could relate to Key West, then she definitely goes by a different drummer than those who love it. And from what I gather by all your posts about the variety and spirit of Key West, she’s missing a lot. Her loss.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jan 09, 2013 @ 22:13:45

      You’re very welcome, Donna! I’m always intrigued by your posts–well-written and thought-provoking. I look forward to learning more about you through your seven facts.

  11. Missindeedy
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 23:00:54

    Jolyse, thank you for the Reality Award – that was so kind. I’ll post my 7 facts this weekend. (And as a South Florida native, I TOTALLY get anything about the Keys! True story.) Have a great weekend.

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