sometimes i’m not as much of a reluctant orlando native as i lead on. sure, i have grown out of my cravings to go to places like gatorland, disney, and universal. and yes, i miss having four seasons, instead of one really terribly long season and two mini seasons (spring doesn’t really exist here. summer just happens.) and it always confused me as a child when i couldn’t figure out why winter only lasted 2 weeks, and summer was quick to follow those short weeks of winter.
whenever i visited other cities when i was little, other little kids would act so jealous that i got to live in florida, home of magic, disney, and people parading around in costumes and bathing suits year round. i never understood what made these little kids so envious. i was so jealous of kids who got to grow up in puddle-filled portland oregon. or deer and snow-covered mountains of the poconos of pennsylvania. or any city of the south that had the soda cheerwine.
but after a day of thrifting , and a farmers market in my favorite little neighborhood of orlando, and eating homemade pretzels i’ve come to sort of feel a bit sentimental about my hometown. and i’m not going to lie. during lunch i was bold enough to ask my mom if i could move back in with her after i graduate, so we can finally become lorelai and rory gilmore, like we have always dreamed (i just cringed as i typed this. out of my evident cool-factor.)
but today was so nice. so i thank you, orlando. for being so kind to my reluctant self. you didn’t blast your reggaeton at me or make the humidity turn my hair into a white girl afro. today i felt proud that i scraped my knees on your playgrounds. and quickly ate melting popsicles on hot february days (seriously). and have climbed so many of your trees whose leaves never fell (autumn doesn’t exist here either). and always being that person who wears flip-flops year round. and for all of that, i say thank you.
what is your hometown? what did you love and hate about it?