Feb 11, 2012

When the Tail Wags the Dog...aging in an RV Resort

My daughter commented once that coming to this 55+ RV resort is a bit like going to live in a college dorm.  We are from diverse backgrounds and just meeting for the first time.  That really is true.  I like that a lot.

The resemblances to a school setting does not end there though.  There are rules, financial matter to be considered and the emotional issues related to aging. We try to make our lives fit into the setting because we realize that a wonderful resort like this has to maintain guidelines or we would be living in a big mess.    And a community of experiences seniors can be very hard to control.  Having said this I need to vent just a bit.  I know you won't mind.
Childhood Sweethearts still love dancing
after 51 years of marriage!
I know you have heard the phrase "the tail is wagging the dog".  The dictionary describes this idiom as "a situation where a small part is controlling the whole of something."  In education it was the financial manager and the school bus service wagging the classroom teachers.  I actually had a school financial officer tell me where I could place art on the walls.  As for the bus schedule, the schedule for those monster yellow buses really has nothing to do with the needs of children large and small.  Yet our day was built around their hours of operation.  Here in our 55+ RV Resort we are a bit like those children. The cookie cutter machine did not make us all the same.

In an RV resort or any 55+ community the residence are very dependent on social occasion like dances, coffee hours and concert.  It is part of what we love about being surrounds by age mates.  When we have a dinner/dance event for example,  the parks will take into account that seniors do have some special needs.  Diet, physical ability, marital status, money and simply getting old can limit community members participation.  Either the cost is reduced or people are allowed to buy separate tickets, one for dinner and one for dancing.  It turns out it is a bookkeepers nightmare.

In our particular case, we are not going to our Valentine Dance.  The option is for just one ticket that includes dinner and dancing.  The event is not over priced but I have a health issue and cannot eat what they have on the menu.  If you are living in a community like this, you will understand.  We need to always keep in mind that we are renters and our landlord runs a big business. Spread sheets don't have faces or special needs along side the numbers.  The tail is wagging the dog...the financial difficulties control our lives.

Is it the principal of the thing?  Well not really.  Valentines Day is and always has been special for my husband and I.  Cooking at home does not have "Valentines Day" written all over it.  All I want is a nice dinner out at restaurant that can cater to my dietary needs and a few dances with my husband amid our friends at a price we can afford.  In this particular case, "tails" win!

b


4 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I hopped over here from Growing Old with Grace.

    Like you, I too live in a 55+ park. Ours is resident owned where no big investor runs our lives.

    I'm sorry that the Management at your park cannot meet your needs. It's not fair to you or your neighbors.

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  2. Thank you for stopping by Marge. Yes it is too bad. I understand their problem but it is frustrating.

    b

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  3. The same situation of the tail wagging the dog occurs in communities controlled by Homeowners Associations. A handful of folks decide on what color your house can be, what can go in your driveaway, even whether people can visit you for an extended stay.

    We have moved from a very indiviualistic society to one that has become much more comfortable with rules. "They" know best so we follow along.

    The Valentine's dinner/dance situation sounds reasonable from "their" perspective. But, how many other rules are for convenience of management and not always for the convenience of those paying the freight.

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  4. You know, we understand. We have a wonderful social director and a beautiful park. But it is frustrating for us. However, the world does not revolve around us...darn!

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