Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why Move To The Villages

Most of my old friends don't "get it". They couldn't understand what would motivate me to sell my home, dispose of most of my things and move 1200 miles away. I tried to explain the concept, the newness, the good weather....

Once they visit they "get it". As one of my guests said when they visited last Spring "It's like you live in Disneyland". Last week she changed her opinion and decided it was more like Universal's theme park.

The closest I can explain is that it's like "A Happening". You know, one of those 60's-70's things that I didn't have the courage to indulge in. I was a Young Republican, we didn't protest the war. We weren't hippies, we went to class, we got jobs, opened IRA's.

I love the ads on TV "Remember the generation that said they would never get old..." I am part of that generation and I don't feel old. I still register shock when I look in the mirror.

Call this place what you will, geriatric Disney (or Universal), America's Friendliest Hometown" or call it A Happening. At times it feels like college with your own house and no "dorm mother". Put whatever label you want, it's just a really cool place.

Will my generation ever grow up?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Andrew Blechman Speaks Again....and Again....and Again

I recently tripped across another blog where Mr. Blechman, author of the book Leisureville is again commenting on the concept of age segration in housing and specifically The Villages. Here are the comments he made regarding the recent visit of Sarah Palin.....

"Massive Turnout for Make-Believe Candidate in Make-Believe Village
No real surprise here. The Villages is a must-visit Republican bastion of veteran-voters on the Republican Whistle-stop Tour each year. The developer, Gary Morse, also happens to be one of the biggest donors to the Republican Party in the nation (lower case t and n, no s.) I don't find it particularly surprising that in The Villages' land of make-believe candidate Sarah Palin would be a popular draw. Here's an account of the event, as presented by The Villages' developer-owned daily newspaper, a.k.a. Pravda : "

I can't believe the audacity of this man, is he crazy or what? Make believe candidate? HUH?Make believe village? HUH?

This character spent a few weeks here several years ago, didn't like the place and has been taking jabs ever since. I was shocked to see he is still at it.

I'm thinking that this guy could use a good shrink. I checked out his bio and it is very vague...he has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia. He apparently resides in New England with his wife and children and also lives in Germany. No mention of his family background.

What does his anger stem from? As an amateur shrink I have my my uneducated opinion he might be suffering from some sort of seperation anxiety from his parents. What did they do leave him in New England and take off for The Villages to squander his potential inheritance on an endless game of Bunco and long nights till 10pm at Katie Belle's. Maybe he was weaned at too early an age, maybe raised in a single or no-parent home. I don't know. What I do know is that this guy is now appearing to be a one trick pony who needs to move on.

What is with this guy?

HEY Mr. Midnight, I'm looking for you.

It's been months since I read Leisureville and still I am obsessed with checking this guy out. I loaned the book to some of my neightbors, got them fired up with indignation and last week went out looking. (Just to insure that I not come away disappointed I drank a bit and had some fun till he REVEALED himself.)

A friend and I went to Urban Flats in Sumter Landing, I had never been there before and was pleasantly surprised that you can eat and drink till midnight. This would be a great place for Mr. Midnight in that he could go straight from bar to lair. I was sadly disappointed that there were no men wearing capes to identify themselves, not even a t-shirt saying "Hey Babe I'm up at Midnight".

I did see a potential MM, a schlump dressed like a librarian driving an imported sports car. Twenty+ years ago when that thing rolled off the assembly line it was pricey, but cape, no custom tags. He left alone, does Midnight ever leave alone?

Another thought plagues me, we know this guy is a retired teacher. All the teachers I have ever met were (don't flame me over this) CHEAP. Does Midnight buy drinks for girls? Is he one of those slick guys who slide up next to you and say "Hey Baby can I buy you a Cadillac?" or is he the type who would say "You're already drunk, GREAT, lets' go."

HEY MM, buy a cape. I don't want to become an alcoholic trying to track you down.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CHILDREN IN THE VILLAGES...I see plenty of them

One of the biggest complaints in Leisureville has been the restrictions on children, evidently 30 days per year isn't enough for some people...I'm thinking 30 days is more than enough. I'm also thinking if they are here more than 30 days who would know. If they were well-behaved, who would care. I'm not a big fan of children, but I have to admit that the ones I have seen around here are great.

I, myself, are not having any children visiting. Out of the 14 children in my family there are only two that I actually like. It's not the kid's fault, it's their parents. Somewhere along the way when they were micro-managing their offspring's time they forgot to pencil me in.

I find it amusing that prior to moving here I was a virtual orphan. The children of prime raking/shoveling/mowing age never paid any attention to me. I spent holidays alone, I was excluded from some family activities. I had one 7 year-old look me straight in the eye and say "I do not like you."

I have done more than my share, I have attended all the recitals, concerts and ball games. I have been supportive, I have bought ponies, horses, cars. I have helped pay tuition, braces and trips. In exchange for my generosity I was treated as a host of a entitlement program and at the same time resented and excluded.

In short, I am done. The two that I care for are more than welcome to visit for 30 days, 60 days or forever. The "IDONOTLIKEYOU" kid can take a hike.

Attention My Family....I am done with the kid thing. I am done with cards, letters, gifts and other gestures that go unacknowledged. If you want to sugar coat this for the ungrateful little brats tell them that I ran out of cards, money and time.

You know what, I don't need a kid because I am one again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Every Thursday the local paper has a supplement with all the club offerings for the following week. You could literally spend every day of the week going to club things and I guess after 9pm you could go hunting for Mr. Midnight.

I always read them, but so far haven't joined any. I guess I'm just not a club type of person, not really a joiner. I'm not at all artistic, not all that chipper. One of my favorite clubs to observe is the Villages Cheerleaders. You want to see perky and chipper. Watching them you just know that these were the same girls that were cheering in high school and they have never stopped.

If you can't find an established club to join you can start your own. I had thought about a club for pessimists, but that would never work. I'd really like a club for people that still smoke, don't want to anything that will work up a sweat and have no artistic ability. I don't know what we would call it. Drinking will be allowed in this club, it will actually be encouraged. I guess we would have to have our meetings outdoors or everybody will be outside smoking anyway.

Getting back to my HERO, Mr. Midnight....maybe we could start a club called The Maidens of Midnight. Thankfully, I'm not elegible for that one.

I guess one can always dream.


People in The Villages are friendly, very friendly. As a native New Yorker this is sometimes hard to process.

Drive just a few blocks in your golfcart and everyone is waving. New Yorkers don't wave, the only time they wave is when they don't use all their fingers. Here they are always waving, of course I wave back, I don't want to appear to be some sort of subversive. I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all the waving. I think I have to start doing the Queen Elizabeth II kind of wave.

The other thing about this friendly thing is that everyone feels the need to tell you their life story. What is with this? Are they telling the truth? It seems that everyone just left 10 acre lots in East Hampton, Grosse Point or Palm Beach. What is with that? Everyone had 6000 square foot houses. Did any of these people leave bungalows? How about the projects in the Bronx? I don't think so. What is it, are they liars? Special? Maybe a little crazy?

Part of all this friendliness has to do with the fact that we all need new friends, it's an ongoing audition. It's not easy to meet real new friends, forming real friendships takes time, we don't really have a lot of time. When you measure the remainder of your life in months rather than decades do you really have the time to make real friends?

What happens when you have been here a while, you have your friends, are you still friendly? Do you still wave to strangers? Do you still audition everyone that you meet?

Men here are a different breed, if you are a woman they aren't holding auditions. Speak to any man who is alone and he makes a point of telling you that his wife is nearby. I guess he is deferring all auditions to the wife.

Can you really make friends FAST just because you bought a house on the same street?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Villages....It's All About Golf Carts

When I first got to this place I was so calm that I felt as if I were on drugs. Picture a resort where anything you want you can have, you can't have a decent bagel, but anything else is a go. (I figured that either there was drugs in the water or maybe I had died and this was heaven.) I wasted no time in getting a golf cart, you must have a golf cart in here, the more pimped out the better. As Mr. Blechman pointed out in his book "Leisureville", a truly pimped out one can run up to about $25,000. The good news is that an adequately appointed one can be had for about $6000 and you can get a decent used one for half of that.

The first decent used cart I looked at was about 8 years old, looked good, the problem with it was that the owner was trying to sell it for $7000 because that's what he paid for it. It didn't matter that it was 8 years ago. You get a lot of this sort of thing in here, people that don't make a lot of sense. They're pleasant, happy, just a tad loopy.

The next one was a keeper, right price, decent condition and the guy selling it was pretty cute. He showed me all the features. It even had a ball washer. I don't play golf or date much, but a ball washer might be a good thing to have. During the course of our negotiations I once again was wondering if indeed I was dead and this was heaven. Just then his wife (make that young, blonde wife) came out to join us. Whoa, was I glad to know that I was still alive because if I were dead and this was heaven this cute guy would have been single.

Some things to know about golf carts. The electric ones are silent, when you pull them in the garage remember that they are still on, DO NOT absently place your foot on the gas pedal because it will fly into the wall. I did this twice so far.

Another thing to remember is that your vehicle is small, when you are going to make a turn DO NOT do the little single finger wave to signal. While driving my car I would get crazy over all the single finger waves.

It's a Villages tradition to never use turn signals, not in a car, certainly not in a golf cart. When driving a car and you get to the rotaries that they have all over the place DO NOT move over towards the inner lane, nobody does that. You just have to kind of float around the outside lane till you get where you are exiting, if you go to the inner lane during a busy time you may never get out again.

Another thing to remember is that while in Golf Carts people try to go as fast as possible, yet while driving a car they seem to forget the thing has a gas pedal. I once was behind a Corvette going 20 mph (maybe it was my hero, Mr. Midnight). I'm sorry, this should not be allowed, I didn't even know that Vette's could go 20 mph.

The best thing about golf carts is you don't spend money on gas. In the past four months I have only used $20 gas in my car. I just love torturing my non-Village friends with that one. Maybe that will be in Leisureville II, that we have insulated ourselves from the reality of depending on oil. D'ya think?