A couple of years ago, I applied to get the contract to administrate a large retirement condominium. Great, I said! I love Seniors! They're soooo cute! (You noticed, I said Seniors, and then I underlined it.) I have experience in a lot of fields, both paid and volunteer...nothing, but nothing prepared me for working with various, assorted Seniors. I essentially administrate the equivalent of a small town...full of Seniors...Senioritaville.
The contrasts are huge. One day, I'll be working on budgets for this multi-million dollar building; the next day I'll be photocopying pictures of swans for Mrs. Dale's sister's scrapbook. "You know, dear, we like to send the nice pictures back and forth. It keeps us busy...Oh would you look at that! It's identical to the swan on the calendar! What they don't have for fancy machines nowadays!"
They love me, however after two years, the majority have yet to learn my name. Apparently, it's not enough to have a large blue nameplate with "Tracy" emblazoned in boldface 72 point Times New Roman. I have been called Stacy, Cindy, Donna, Tammy, Darcy and Terry. All with great affection, nonetheless, all not my name. "Oh, Cindy, I don't want to bother you! I know you're busy on your Computer!!" "Yes, in fact I am using a Very Important Program, it's called Pinterest. All the best condo administrators use Pinterest. Please come back later."
My friends and I joke about the various groups in the building, and how some of them don't like each other. We think they should start senior gangs. Maybe one day, I'll go into work and Mrs. Markus will be walking around with a mauve bandanna tied to her arm... "Just so you know, the Mauves have the Craft Room today... if you let any of the Seafoams in to play their damn canasta again, it's gonna get nasty." I'll walk past the Woodworking Shop to chants of "Fight! Fight! Fight!" and have to break up a scuffle between the Navys and the Forest Greens. "You call that a birdhouse, Rogers? I coulda cut those pieces out better with my dentures!"
Don't get me wrong. Some of these seniors still have a lot of cool going
on. They wear jeans! Not polyester jeans, denim jeans! I can pick
them out of the crowd at Wednesday coffee. There they are in all their
glory, denim in a sea of lavender and peach. They roll their eyes at the
fussy ones in the building (everyone else) and say they never want to
get old. Is that cool or what?? I want to say, How did you get to be a cool senior?? I bet you refuse to sing, "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow." I will never sing that shit, I'll tell you that right now. That's the initiation song to being a Fussy Senior. You sing that once, and you might as well just stop by Tan Jay and start picking out your favourite pair of beige pull-on slacks, cuz you're done. DONE.
So, from time to time you will hear about my Adventures at the Condo. Most of these people are incredibly interesting and have such great stories to tell. It is only the odd fussy, stereotypical senior that I bring to sport with full knowledge that I, too, will be there one day. If you are a senior and find yourself reading this, know already that you are one of the cool Seniors. My mother, for example, very cool senior...great writer & kicks ass in a battle of wits. I'm taking notes....