When we are old let's join a committee

I had the pleasure today of attending a residents association meeting at Carolina Meadows, a retirement community. It's a very nice place, with high ceilings, a variety of puzzles and books, and all sorts of elderly types riding around in golf carts, sometimes smiling, sometimes yelling at you, whatever. I joined the throngs in the auditorium and was actually very impressed with their setup. The officers sat onstage and passed each motion using a "yea" or "nay" system and a few committees gave reports, including an arts guild and recycling and environment committee. There was an update on square-dancing. There will be a hoedown next week if anyone is interested. I've got the details.

I was sitting there smiling, just soaking it all in, because as some of you may know, I love older people and I'm not just saying that. I love their stories and the way they say what they mean, like the time I was volunteering with this couple in Boston, and Jessika, a feisty woman in her late eighties, absolutely screeched with delight when she met her friend in the hallway and then when we'd traveled, oh, about half a foot away said, "She's such a bitch," to me. Loudly.

Well, when the presentation I needed to cover came up on the agenda, I scribbled some notes then moved forward to snap a picture of the individuals on stage. I got a nice one and went to take another when I felt a mighty strong arm on my shoulder, pulling me back towards the wall. I looked over my shoulder and saw an elderly man, frowning and gesturing towards the video camera he had set up. I was standing in front of it and there would be NONE of that. I retreated. Old people. They're awesome. But sometimes, also, really really mean.