Why We’re Not Naples, Fl. Folks (But We’re Ashevillians)


suzan in cowgirl hat and boots

***Here’s Suzan from Out-of-Town.  She comes periodically to Asheville from her straight-laced Other Place. She tells me she wears what she wants here, because she can….Here she is, looking all “Texan,” with boots and cowgirl hat.

Years ago (6 of them), we made the BIG JOURNEY, basically interviewing places we’d like to end up (I’m not talking ‘funereal,’ here.) Naples, Florida, was one of the destinations we checked out for retirement. With that, we went on a week-long vacation there.

I must say the beachfront villas were gorgeous; the shopping wonderful (albeit high-end, and touristy.)  But it wasn’t for us. Here are the two prime reasons Hubby and I are not Naples residents:  (1.) Restaurants there are jam-packed.  Now, considering eating-out is practically our main priority (sorry—just being honest), THAT wasn’t going to work for us. We don’t give our name to maitre d’s and we don’t Tip Big to move our names up in a long queue. 

Furthermore, we never wait (oh, maybe 10 minutes at Marco’s Pizza, on Merrimon Ave., in Asheville,) but that’s only cuz we chat with him, while we do (wait, that is.) 

So, Waiting There is Social Engagement–never punishment.

There’s just NO FOOD that hubby and I figure is worth our spending precious time on a bench or chair. And stand in line?  Get serious!

Then, too, there’s another BIG REASON:

(2.) Hubby doesn’t dress in acceptable fashion…or in any fashion.  Least of all, not by Naples’ standards.  Frankly, I’d not pass muster in that quarter either. Naples men wear Tommy Hilfigger (hubby calls him Hilfinger, like he’s a James Bond character) or Tommy Bahama coordinated outfits.

Sometimes if he jumps in the car, to join me on a jaunt, and we stop for lunch, only then do I realize he’s wearing his 20-year-old bathing suit trunks, missing the pull for the waist.

You see, he thinks they’re shorts….perfectly-fine ones, at that.

Last week, he was doing some pruning in his real, reasonably-new, white oxford Tommy Hilfigger (finger) shirt (I keep trying to upscale him), he cut himself on a thorny rosebush (he ALWAYS does this) and because he didn’t think he could get the bloodied mess off his sleeves, he did what any reasonable person would do—He cut the sleeves off the shirt. 

Since I’d bought the shirt for him for the rare occasions he’d need something ‘nice’ to wear, I went ballistic.   You see, he NEVER does that to his Awful Clothes he’s had for decades!!  That screaming eagle t-shirt with the crushed beer can in his beak has been with us forever, as has the white shirt with an Arkansas HAWG rutting across the front of it.

They’re all hanging neatly in his closet…But the ragged remains of TH stare at me, daily (we share that closet.)

But I can’t make this column All About Him, for I’d have trouble in Naples, too.

Naples women dress smartly and elegantly.  They wear Jimmy Choo shoes and carry Louis Vuitton bags (the real ones—not the knock-off’s.)  Their jewelry is real gold and their watches are Rolex. In short, they scream “Wealth…”  They’ve arrived…and they not only arrive…they pull up in the Rolls Royce, give the keys to the valet, and sail in to meet their many friends, post-tennis.

They don’t really “do the beach” (too aware of age spots and skin cancer,) for that sandy strip is more an accompaniment or an accessory…It’s there, to look good, as Perfect Backdrop.

Like the residents.

In contrast, most Ashevillians never really care how they look….The older ones figure they Suited-Up all through life and now, they’re blessedly free from dress constraints…The younger ones most likely never cared.  Their outfits are a seeming melange of discordant pieces…

And then, there’s the wonder of dress, regarding “Asheville Children,”so interesting I’ll do a future Biddy Bytes piece on them, alone.

Come to think of it, Asheville’s one of the few places, where category lines of “older,” “younger” tend to blur…In short, people dress any ol’ way they please–

Just another reason we live HERE….

***I found this little nugget on the web and couldn’t resist…It gives Options-to-Jeans for males…Its advice… and prices… would never fly in Asheville, but it probably would in Naples… just another reason we’re Ashevillians and not Naples-ites (?).

Now, those little boxes below?  A random trio of past posts.  I don’t know how or when WordPress started this but I like–If you click on them, you’ll get to see some of my earlier work….But remember, my earlier blog was just a smattering of ALL topics, with no specific emphasis, as it has now. I guess I’ve evolved.

As an aside to you folks considering writing a blog…The underlined words you see in post above are called “hyperlinks.” When you click on them, they bring you to that website…Just don’t forget to come back.I won’t tell you how long it took me to learn how to do hyperlinks (it’s embarrassing!)  I didn’t even know what they were called. If you’re stumped, give me a shout….

Next Monday’s post–“Colleen:  Move the Vahse”…My mother’s attempt at gentility.  It’s funny and kind of sweet. See you then.


About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
This entry was posted in Inspirational, Just-Plain-Fun, Specifically North Carolinan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.