Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We now live in a condominium community.  I guess you'd call these patio homes:  four units share one building, one at each corner.  There are about 140 units in this community, built around 1990, and many of the residents are original owners.  Because of the limited yard space, most communities like ours tend to have more retired couples and empty-nesters. 

I'm not much of a group person - too bossy I guess - but when we moved in I decided to go to the monthly board meetings whenever possible, just to get to know people and find out what was going on.  What I found out was that there's a LOT going on, but you have to have been here quite a while to keep up with it all.  You have to remember when so-and-so didn't ask the board for permission to do such-and-such, and to remember when SHE said THIS to THEM, and you also have to know who's friends with whom, and also who's NOT.  Very Peyton Place.

I always envied the dog people because it seems to me that when you're out walking your dog twice a day you not only get to see what's going on (oh look, someone's planted an illegal flower!!!) but you get to talk to a variety of people, people with whom you might not normally be friends if you didn't share your doggy bond. 

A flyer was sent out in November announcing the annual holiday brunch.  While outside on a mild day we spoke with several neighbors, all of whom are around our age.  We'd all decided not to go, and wished there was some way to get to know the other people in the neighborhood who were more like us and less like 'them'.  And who are THEYTHEY are mostly the original owners, the 'really old people', as opposed to people like us, second generation owners, who we dubbed the 'nice, not-so-old people'. 

Trouble is, most of the board meetings are attended by the former, who tend to bitch, whine, argue and generally make life difficult for the rest of us who don't really care if someone wants to hang a basket of flowers on a tree.  (This act is forbidden because apparently trees are 'common' property, and as such can not be taken over by individuals, even if the tree happens to be right outside your front door.)  Knowing that most board meetings tend to run over-long due to all the complaining, many (most) residents don't attend, meaning that we'll never have the opportunity to meet people who live on the next street, the ones who might be our age, our political persuasion, and/or share our less combative attitude. 

And just a few days ago a new issue of TIME magazine arrived;  the one dated January 30, 2012.  In it is an article by Joel Stein which hit the nail right on the head.  Apparently Mr Stein is young,  early 40s I think.  His article is entitled "Hope I Die Before I Have to Live with Old People".  In the article Mr Stein quotes "Orange Coast" magazine:  ".....boomers, who just started to turn 65 last year, are moving into retirement communities and driving the Greatest Generation crazy with their rock music and post smoking.  Again!"   So apparently  I'm not the only one who's noticed!  It's a really funny read, especially if you're like me, old enough to remember the 60s fondly and young enough to still crank up the stereo from time to time!

Here's a link to the article (I hope it works!  If not, see if you can find the hard copy)  Hope I Die Before I Have To Live With Old People


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