It used to be that you’d run into Rockaway people on vacation at Windham or Marco Island or locally at Waldbaum’s. Now you’ll run into Rockaway people at Lowe’s. Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and any home furnishing place within an hour’s drive. You might avoid one Home Depot like the plague because the customer service stinks. You might wind up going to one that you didn’t even know existed – and you still bump into somebody from Rockaway.
If you bump into somebody you haven’t seen since The Storm or only a couple of times since the conversation goes like this. How’d you make out? That’s short for did you get just the basement or first floor flooded?
And more recently, the other question is, You back? That’s short for are you back in your house or still living miserably in Brooklyn or somewhere else.
You all done? That’s the kind of question you ask when you see someone on the street or out to dinner. If they’re out to dinner, you figure they must be finished with the fix-up. If you see them in Lowe’s or Home Depot or a tile store in Rockville Centre you don’t ask if they’ll all done – they want to be all done but nope, they’re looking for tiles instead of having a barbeque.
And they’ve got the look.
The people you meet are in varying stages of I’ve had it or please save me.
I’ve seen men in Raymour and Flanagan’s and Bob’s Discount Furniture looking like zombies, chalky as any hipster who’d just completed months of Brooklyn hibernation. They were broken. Dragged from one store to the next they were shells of their former selves. They had the look that said, the orange velour couch or the zebra striped sofa looks good. I just want this to end.
In the good old days of BS (Before Storm) you always hated to be invited somewhere off the beach during the summer. The nerve of family or friends who invited you to a kid’s graduation or birthday party in Long Island or Jersey. You’d sit in their backyard thinking, I had to leave Rockaway for this? Now it’s not a graduation. You gotta leave the beach to return paint and get some new light fixture. No wonder you need a $6 Bud when it’s all over.
The bright side? Rockaway is gonna end up looking better than ever. We just have to go through a lot of Home Depots to get there.
Boyleing Points: Kathleen Stathis, mother of Steve, was seen sporting the latest in senior hipster eyewear. You’ve seen the wraparound glasses favored by the Greatest Generation but these babies had built in binoculars. You turn little dials on the frame and suddenly you zoom in on action across the street. So take that as a warning. Kathleen and others, you might think they’re sweet little old ladies – I think they’re spies. **Happy birthday to Julia at Strands. Happy birthday to Suntan Dan the Fedex Man. Happy opening to Curran’s. Happy opening to the Playland Motel. And good luck to Katie Honan who leaves NBC for DNAInfo, an online breaking and local news outlet.