The Friendliest Place?

the villages
We’ve just spent a week in The Villages, Florida visiting my dad and his wife, Marian.  They bill themselves as “Florida’s Friendliest Retirement Hometown” and with the disclaimer that they only refer to their fine state and not the other 49, I give you these items:

  • After patiently waiting for a handicapped space to open up, a woman cut off my dad and grabbed it.  My dad walks slowly with a cane and the woman who blithely cut him off moved pretty quickly with no assistance;
  • A very cranky old guy with a distinct New Jersey accent told my husband, “Hey pal, why don’t you walk your dog on your own street?”.  This was said a few mornings ago and might I add, there are plenty of dogs around The Villages;
  • When Marian used a handicapped space in a restroom she was chastised by a woman with a cane and told “you’re not handicapped – I’m going to report you.”  Marian has pretty severe arthritis and qualifies for a handicapped placard, but no, she doesn’t need a cane.

Friendly, huh?

Okay, before you jump on me that there are sour folks everywhere, I know.  And elderly folks are not more sour than younger folks.  But there is something that my dad alluded to and that is a fair number of folks in retirement communities have switched from a “we” orientation to a “me” orientation.

It makes sense – all of their lives they’ve been doing a lot for others – their own parents, their children and spouses and now they are living primarily for themselves.  We went to a financial seminar/luncheon and the presenter said that many more of his clients are deciding to not leave money to their kids, reasoning that they paid for college, grad school and the purchase of a first home and this is . . . enough.

Again, it makes logical sense.  Nobody should be expecting an inheritance to get to the next step in their own lives.  I know people who have done that, and one in particular used to fight with the trustee’s of her dad’s trust for money just to pay her rent.  What?  C’mon, girl, get and keep a job.

But the Me orientation often ends up as a “Me FIRST” orientation and is on display there at The Villages.

One of the cutesy symbols of The Villages is the golf cart – I think to be fair, they should also have a symbol showing a poor shnook being run over by a golf cart – just to put everybody on notice.

Yep – the Friendliest Hometown.

golfcart man

Categories: Life on the Road | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “The Friendliest Place?

  1. nilanjanalahiri

    I really liked ur post.. do stop by my blog
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    • Thank you so much! You have a very nice blog as well and I am now following it. Keep posting from your experience living as a young woman in India – it’s interesting. I went to India many years ago and spent some time there and actually had a difficult time returning to my so-called “normal” life in Southern California. For an American, India is a bit of a shock (the population, if nothing else), but it is so amazing that it was a completely worthwhile experience. We were lucky enough to see the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala while we were there. Quite astounding, indeed. Keep up the blogging!

      • nilanjanalahiri

        Yes the country is a bit over-populated but it’s beautiful 🙂

  2. funny post! working at a long term care facility, i have learned it is not the age but the individual. some people are natural borne a-holes, young and old. but i will be sure to steer clear of the friendliest village on earth:)

    • Yep, you are correct. Rudeness knows no age. I, too, worked in hospice and one of the things I learned is – you die as you lived. And if you were a jerk as you lived, you tended to be pushy, rude, and demanding as you were dying.

      • omg that is so true. there are people on their death bed but are the sweetest souls. then there are the able bodied (can feed themselves and get around with minimal assistance) and they can be the nastiest sob’s. oh well. live and let live…

  3. My grandparents lived in Florida for many years and I visited them at least once a year from teen years into adulthood. I found many situations similar to those you describe. I guess you can’t rely on cute advertising slogans. Sadly, people are rude everywhere. Except in cyberspace, of course! hahaha

    • Yes, hahaha! Indeed. But in cyberspace, I hate to say, you have the anonymity of hiding behind an avatar (hmmmmm). It’s just astounding to see rudeness practiced so blatantly and, dare I say it, with that smug sense of entitlement that we witnessed. But it’s true, entitlement knows no age!

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