Archive for September, 2009

Lost In the Land of Old People

Monday, September 7th, 2009

The community I live in is a retirement community. When it first opened, it was designed for “active mature adults” and the minimum age to live here was fifty-five. That was a little over thirty years ago, and so now many of the original home buyers are in their eighties and nineties. This is still a very pleasant place to live and my wife and I love it. However, it does have its peculiarities.

I’ve been selling some Airstream related items left over from when we moved here. I just don’t have much room to store extraneous items. One of these is a dinette cushion set designed for late model Bambi trailers. I don’t own a Bambi, but the cushions were on sale at a dealership at a relatively low price and I thought, erroneously, that I might be able to adapt them for use in my Globe Trotter.

They didn’t fit my Globe Trotter; not even close. The only usable part I could have salvaged was the foam. Even then, it would have been a mess. The curvature and dimensions are radically different. So, instead, I decided to sell them. I put them on Craig’s List and a month went by with no serious inquiries. Just as I was about to give up, a buyer from out of state wanted them and would pick them up in person because he and his partner were passing through Denver on a road trip with their Bambi.

We no sooner worked out a deal via email than I had three more buyers interested in them. It’s somewhat odd how that works. When it rains, it pours I guess. My buyers stopped by this morning and it was a pleasant transaction. It’s a beautiful day, Labor Day, and there must be an old people’s walking marathon going on. Just about everyone is out and about. The buyer and I are on the street talking about their Airstream and mid-sentence two old women interrupt us. They excitedly ask, “Are you going fishing? If you have a fish fry, could we come?”

I know, I know, they were just being friendly, and you probably think they were sweet. They were, but I run into this every day here. Old people can be just plain nosey. Besides, I was in the middle of making a sale. It was business, but I’m not a good salesman, and that causes me anxiety. When I’m anxious, I get a little short tempered, but I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything. If I had, I might have said something like this, “You old biddies, do you see a boat? Do you see any fishing gear, poles, tackle boxes, waders? No? Then what makes you think we’re going fishing? And even if we were, what’s it to you?”

Instead, I just stood there silently, a furrow in my brow no doubt, while the buyers, both easy going Californians, joked with these two old women about how they would be welcome to frozen fish instead. A few minutes later, I completed the sale, wished my buyers a good road trip, and shuffled back to my condo talking to myself. Yikes, it suddenly dawned on me; sooner rather than later, I’ll be one of those “old” people. In a couple years, I’ll be sixty. It just doesn’t seem possible. Am I going to be one of the grumpy old men of Heather Gardens? Am I there already?

About the Author

Hi, my name is Forrest McClure. I've been writing for the magazine since its inception. My wife and I travel with our 1966 20' Globe Trotter or our 1986 32' Excella. So, my primary interest is vintage travel trailers.