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7/14/2005

Culture > Feature

POINT: ORLANDO IS BORING

 

Orlando is one of the most magical cities on earth – if you're visiting. But if you live here, you probably feel like you're stuck in purgatory. Once in a while you'll have a blast. Once in a while you'll be miserable. Most of the time, you're doomed to a life of boredom. Trust me on this – after 24 years of faithful residency, I consider myself an expert on Borelando's culture (or lack thereof.)

Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones – I was able to break out of the boredom cycle with a little creativity and a four-year hiatus in Miami. But there are still thousands of young Orlando natives who haven't mustered the courage to leave. This is the prototypical Borelandoan. If you're a young, white, middle-class, sheltered Orlando native who loves the sound of your own complaints, you're a Borelandoan.

Born and raised here, Borelandoans are still hanging out with the same group of friends they've had since grade school. They hate their job and they aren't making any money. They live for the weekends, but can't decide what to do with themselves once it finally arrives. So 90 percent of the time they end up going downtown, which only exacerbates the problem.

Downtown Orlando is kryptonite for Borelandoans. Since high school they've been partying downtown, but they're constantly whining about how they're tired of seeing the same people at the same bars every weekend. If you see a Borelandoan downtown, you'll likely notice he (or she) was drunk even before he (or she) arrived. That's because, for the Borelandoan, downtown is only bearable when wasted.

Alcohol plays a major role in the vicious cycle of Orlando. It fools us into thinking we are having fun. With the "get-drunk-go-downtown" routine comes habitual intoxication. And with that comes desperation.

Any Borelandoan will tell you that once you've passed through the valley of desperation you'll do pretty much anything to spark up your stale routine. This is about the time you start hooking up with your friends. Dating within your friendship circle is an especially risky move, because once things go sour in the bedroom you're all alone – no friendship, no relationship, not a damn thing to do at all.

So how do you break out of Orlando's boredom cycle? The first step is to understand how you get there. For the Borelandoan who has hit rock bottom, knowledge is key. Wipe your tears and pull up a chair. I'm about to reveal the four major reasons Orlando is so damn boring.

NO. 1: WE'RE SPOILED

Mama wasn't lying when she told you too much of a good thing is bad. One problem with this city is that there's simply too much to do. The Borelandoan has had years of overstimulation, which makes him/her difficult to impress. We're inundated with mega shopping outlets, roller coasters, putt-putt golf, gargantuan movie theaters, dance clubs and more chain restaurants than you can shake a stick at. And at 15, such attractions can be great fun. At 25, the same attractions feel overpriced, overstimulating and overrated.

And nothing is exclusive here. In Miami, only the hottest people are allowed to join the party. Here, you don't even need to get dressed up – all you need is a driver's license and five bucks to pass through the "velvet ropes." Where's the challenge in that?

NO. 2: THE JOBS HERE SUCK

Orlando is even more boring during the day. That's because it's a concrete jungle of banks, law offices, hospitals and corporations. If you want to get a high-paying job in this city, you'd better be a doctor, lawyer or CEO. If you want a medium-paying job in this city, prepare to be a doctor, lawyer or CEO's bitch (otherwise known as the administrative assistant, restaurant server or politician.)

But if you have a creative mind, and you want to work as … say … a writer for the Orlando Weekly, you will be paid nothing. [Editor's note: That's not exactly true; paying people nothing is illegal.] So it's either make money and have your soul sucked out from 9 to 5, or have a blast during your workday but be too broke to afford a good time after work. In Orlando, you're pretty much guaranteed eight hours of boredom daily, no matter what your occupation.

NO. 3: EVERYONE IS THE SAME

Borelandoans are out of touch with diversity because they surround themselves with people who look, talk and act just like them. This phenomenon, known as "social cloning," causes homogeny to spread like a heat rash.

In case you haven't noticed, Orlando is officially Bush country. And everyone knows that Bushies are cookie-cutter. The Bushie lifestyle is devoid of spice because they replace the three S's (scandal, skeletons, stimulation) with the three M's (morals, Mel Martinez.) Just look at a map of Central Florida – we're surrounded by boring little mini-cities like Bithlo, Titusville and Mount Dora. We have to stop pretending we're city slickers and realize that we're just rednecks dressed in the latest Mall at Millenia fashions.

NO. 4: WE THINK WE SUCK

Orlando is like a vacuum, and if you were born and raised here I bet you feel like a hairball clogging the filter. Every weekend, the dialogue is the same: "I gotta get out of here, I gotta get out of here." But Borelandoans are never serious about leaving. They can't. Roughing it in a big city is too scary.

So we stay, and we bitch. We spend hours on Monster.com, searching for a job that will fulfill us – a job that we know doesn't really exist. And life goes on, as it has for years. We're still doing shots at Wall Street Cantina every weekend. We're still saying hello to old high school buddies that we secretly hate for reminding us that we haven't changed a bit. Boredom in Orlando is a vicious cycle. In order to escape it, you have to realize that being bored makes you a boring person. If you can't snap out of it, grow some balls, pack your bags and never look back.

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