What it’s like to live in Miami

live in miami

You start your day at the local bakery. Where every other city has a Starbucks on every corner, Miami has a take-out window where you can get a Cuban tostada, pastelitos, and the strongest shot of espresso you’ll ever have. You have three of them, ‘cause you have a lot of errands to run. The lady behind the counter doesn’t speak English so she writes down your total on a handwritten receipt book and slides it across the counter.

You try to enjoy your breakfast despite the fact that a guy who hasn’t even ordered anything has been standing at the window trying to hit on the bakery employee for the past 15 minutes and you can’t stop cringing. At least his advances aren’t directed at you. These croquetas are fire today, so nothing can kill your vibe.

live in miami

Then a man in a wife beater who is old enough to be your grandfather approaches you. “Oye muñeca, eres demasiado hermosa para estar desayunando sola,” he says. And you realize you spoke too soon. You pay and get the fuck out of there.

You head to the bank to cash your paycheck, because your company has a cash flow problem and they don’t do direct deposit. There’s a line at the ATM, so you wait only to find when you get to the front that it’s not accepting deposits today. You make your way inside the bank where there’s an even longer line. You don’t even work today and all you can think about is how you need a new job, because fuck busting this mission twice a month.

You need to get gas so you use the Gas Buddy app to tell you where the cheapest gas is. You drive 20 minutes out of your way to save 15 cents, and then feel shocked when you still spend half of the cash you just took out. Your tire pressure light is on but you don’t have quarters, so you make a mental note to try again next weekend.

After the gas station, you stop by Publix to pick up a few things. Winn Dixie is closer, but Winn Dixie is also disgusting and you would never. You drive around the parking lot for 10 minutes looking for parking close to the front, even though you could have parked far away and been inside the store in 3 minutes. You didn’t make a list, so you end up walking up and down every aisle and somewhere by the deli “a few things” turns into $87 worth of groceries. You wait in line to pay behind some lady who is telling the cashier her life story. You become exasperated, glancing at your watch because you have a birthday party to go to and you still need to stop by Target for a gift.

“Have you tried these? They’re incredible. I bought them for my son’s little league pot luck two weeks ago, and now I can’t stop buying them!” the lady is raving, holding up a package of two-bite brownies. Everyone in Miami is always doing errands because it takes at least 30 minutes to get from one place to another, 10 to find parking, and another 20 to navigate these kinds of situations.

When you’re finally out of the store, having packed the groceries in your trunk, you get into the driver’s seat and remember you forgot the one thing you came here for. But you’re running out of time, so you head home to drop off the groceries you didn’t need and get ready for your afternoon plans. It’s a coworker’s baby’s birthday and you’re not even remotely interested, but you would look like a bitch if you didn’t go. Besides, you need to get in good with her because she’s close friends with your department manager.

You decide to go to the Shops at Midtown because there’s also a Ross there if Target doesn’t have anything. You’re shocked to find that parking is now $3.50 an hour. Is this even legal? This Target is a goddamn zoo, so you go to Ross, which is much worse, but at least it’s cheaper. The line to pay takes longer than it did for you to drive here, which was 35 minutes. You are definitely going to be late for this party. You throw the gift in the bag you just bought and leave the store, proud of yourself for only spending $27. You walk back to your car, only to find that your parking had expired and you got a ticket.

You get on I-95 North, and you’re instantly infuriated because all you can see is a sea of red tail lights. It’s Saturday. Is there a hurricane evacuation you didn’t know about? You turn up the music in your car because what else can you do. You rapidly alternate between the four songs that play continuously on every radio station and the four songs you play continuously on Spotify. It takes you 45 minutes to drive 8 miles to the beach on 81st Street. At least they had the good sense to pick a place that won’t be full of tourists and spring breakers. When you live in Miami, the older you get, the further north you go when you want to enjoy a day at the beach… which is exactly one day a year.

You already have pit stains by the time you arrive, and the wind isn’t doing your hair any favors. The party was supposed to start at 2 pm, but it’s 3 pm and they’re still setting up. There are only three other guests, none of whom you know, so you help put up the Happy Birthday sign and then help yourself to whatever pastry tray is already open. It’s around 4:30 pm when the party actually starts. By then, you’re drinking Coronas and chatting with the same three people you socialize with at work. One of your coworkers arrives with his wife to the party, even though the girl he’s fucking at the office is also there. Que pena dot com. Everyone exchanges a knowing look and gives them an exaggerated fake ass greeting.

When you’re tired of making small talk with people you only acknowledge in passing at the office, you start to make your rounds to say good bye. Everyone gives you a hard time for leaving before they cut the cake but you don’t need the calories, and also, you were there for 2 hours before everybody else. Besides, it looks like rain…

live in miami

You finally get home, and someone in your group chat starts texting to try to get everyone together tonight. Even though you talk to these people every minute of every day, you haven’t seen them in five weeks, because your entire life is work, errands, and social obligations. You reluctantly agree even though you’re already settled into a Netflix binge. You spend a good hour discussing where to go. “I’ve been wanting to try this place.” “This one has good reviews on Yelp.” “I just came from the beach, there’s no way I’m going back there tonight.”

You end up going where you always go: Flanigan’s. It’s just more convenient for everyone, but mostly, you can’t pass up cheap drinks and rib rolls, because you and all your friends are basic as fuck. Over whatever the drink special is, you take turns catching each other up on the most exciting drama of the week: your landlord scamming you out of a $2500 deposit, your boss scamming you out of a promotion, and your ex you ran into at Happy Hour who scammed you out of 3 years of your life. You all cackle loudly when your friend tells you he knocked some girl up.

Time with your girls is always the best time, and you agree to do it more frequently but you probably won’t. So you say good night and swerve home only a little bit drunk, but still good to drive.

live in miami

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