I've had a thing for flamingos and palm trees since well before the two beach icons teamed up as thememates for my Bar Mitzvah, back in the late '80s. But they became a far more important part of my truth after Mom went all out bringing this blossoming Jew man's Miami Vice inspired dreams to life on the "Mony Mony" fueled dance floor of Bobby McGee's — my favorite restaurant at the time, due in equal parts to the perfectly pink prime rib and the fact that the waiters dressed up in costume. (Trust me when I tell you there's absolutely nothing like having a side of beef brought to you by Rocky himself!)
The cardboard flamingos and palm trees that turned Bobby McGee's into a pastelled wonderland would go on to serve as my own room's decorations well past the sordid event of becoming a man — though the decor was demonstrably lessened when I accidentally knocked a basketball into the neon-pink "Adam" sign that my mom had made to really put a stamp on the party. Now, looking back, I not only realize that "Don't play ball in the house" is a viable rule, but also that seeing my name in light shattered into a million pieces may have had an enduring, self-sabotaging effect.
But I still love flamingos and palm trees.