This time last year I was moaning and griping about living in SeniorLand. Sure, 3 of our 5 neighbors had died in the first year and the average age on our street was 80 but was that a reason not to have friends???
We had been living in SeniorLand for 3 years and had yet to meet anyone who had ever slipped and said “groovy” or “cool!” They slipped all right–it just usually meant a broken hip and the EMTs showing up on our street yet again.
The realtors had all promised that the people moving into this gorgeous secluded corner of Wine Country were our age–the Boomers were coming! The Boomers were here! Could have fooled us.
So, in desperation, I put a small article in the local SeniorNews inquiring if there were any other Baby Boomers new to the community who were interested in getting together over a keg, playing loud rock and roll, staying up past 7:30 PM and getting to know each other.
I was not prepared for the response. What I thought would be maybe half a dozen people who could meet in our living room turned into 84 people crowding into a public room and making instant party. We greeted each other like shipwreck survivors on the same island.
Now, 8 gatherings later, we have met more people than we can keep track of the names! We network, we party, we talk, we try to figure out how we start friendships at the end of things rather than in the developing stages. We don’t know most of what has made us who we are. Will that matter? How different will it be to hear about the formative events, the soul-crushing times, the Cloud Nine times instead of experiencing it with them?
We will make our own experiences as we explore this phase. So much is the same–you like some, not others. But there’s more of a sense of urgency–it’s the Senior equivalent of speed-dating only it’s speed friend-finding. I call it (to myself) “If I go to your funeral, will you come to mine?”
We laugh a lot–but the actual situation isn’t humorous yet. We look an awful lot like our parents and not so much like our grainy, fading color photos of hairy, colorfully-clothed, sandaled kids. But it is recess time. It is time to come out and play.