At the risk of alienating the majority of people in my state, somebody needs to tell those from “up north” that manners have always been important in the south and they have not been abandoned in the Florida of today. While you guys are in Rome (Florida), it is polite to act like Romans (Floridians). Adopting a few of our habits might just make you get along better in the miserable place that you came from as well.

I am a 4th generation native on my dad’s side of the family and mama’s people have been here longer than that. If that’s braggadocios, so be it. By virtue of birth, then, I have the right to speak authoritatively to the current flock of pinheads using our backyards for vacations and retirement villas.

My direct ancestors fought the Seminoles and the elements to tame this state for habitation by those of European descent. It didn’t spontaneously appear from a computer program or a petrie dish in a lab as most of you seem to think. Look up the 1856 Indian Wars history and read about Willoughby Tillis, if you doubt any of that.

Please, allow us locals one concession-common courtesy as a minimum requirement for admission.

We’re broad minded and accept foreigners, and foreign concepts, but don’t need your ideas of culture or sophistication. We have our own. I once had a New Yorker tell me that Florida would not have any culture without people from his state coming here. He couldn’t hear my response.

So, to the lady who loudly announced that she was sending pictures to her husband ‘up north’ while invading the tiny space we had staked out for a romantic lunch on the Indian River yesterday, I’d like to say, “Please, a little common courtesy”. We are much too polite to say, in the moment, what we think. So I hope that somebody from ‘up north’ reads this and lets her know how rude she was.

There was no need for her to do that while waiting on her food. She could have waited until we left since we were already eating when she sashayed behind me first, then my date, to get photos. She could have taken two steps left and missed our space completely. Do people up north really put their asses in other peoples faces while they are eating and think it’s polite, or even okay? We don’t down here.

With any consideration for her fellow epicureans, she would have noticed our obvious seclusion and desire for exclusion. Goodness sakes, the waiter noticed the international body language. Why couldn’t the stumpy lady? I’m building a hypothesis that there is a tribe of people from ‘up north’ that has no manners at all. I should have gotten her contact information for research purposes.

While I’m talking about her, I’d like to thank her lunch companion for wearing the clown outfit and for not being self-conscious about his morbid obesity. Picture a 300 pound soccer ball covered in a bright yellow low drag offshore Columbia fishing shirt, tucked inside khaki shorts, held up by white clip-on braces, then tennis shoes and calf-length socks. Now he was hilarious.

Ian, the server at Conchy Joe’s in Jensen Beach provided stellar service. Thanks, Ian.