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I Spent My New Year’s in a Retirement Community. Jealous?

January 13, 2013

Yeah, I didn’t think so. But we promised the BF’s parents that we would visit them in Florida so that’s what we did. Our original plan was to visit them for a couple of days and then hop a plane to Miami or take a cruise over New Years and then spend a few more days with them. When we arrived to their trailer park community (apparently you don’t have to pay property taxes in Florida if your home is on wheels so savvy retirees are taking advantage of this) they were so excited to have us there, we didn’t have the heart to go anywhere else. Besides, they’d already purchased the tickets for New Years Eve at the rec centre.

I spent New Years eve shopping for my outfit. My MIL joined me.

MIL: So what are you looking for?

Me: A dress, shoes, a purse and possibly jewellery.

MIL: You know that everyone there will be wearing sweat pants or jeans, right?

Me: Yes, your son warned me. That’s why I’m not wearing a tiara. I don’t want to go overboard.

Fast forward three hours and I had picked out a black and gold lace flapper style dress, a shiny gold clutch, black leather sandals with fine gold chains draped across the straps.

MIL: I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price of that purse but gosh you look pretty.

Me: *lying through my teeth* Oh yeah, I almost never spend this much on a purse.

MIL: Where do you want to shop for jewellery?

Me: I think I’ll skip the jewellery. We still have to hit the liquor store and get ready for the party.

MIL: Don’t worry about the liquor store, dear. I already bought us wine.

Me: Um, you know how much I drink, right?

MIL: Of course dear, that’s why I bought three boxes.

Me: Wow, that’s a lot of wine.

MIL: Yes dear, and two cases of Bush lite for the guys.

Me: That’s awesome but…I have the tradition of drinking something bubbly on New Years. Why don’t I pick us up a couple bottles of prosecco and then we’ll for sure have enough? Oh, and we’ll pick up some Heineken for the guys just so they have some variety.

Fast forward three hours.

Me: Wow, you look gorgeous!

MIL: Thank you, dear. I decided that if you were going to dress up, we could dress up, too.

The four of us walked through the park to the rec hall. Old folks cat called and hooted at us and warned the guys to keep their eyes on their women because we were obviously out to cause trouble. One group of women who were on their way to the rec centre decided to go home and change into something “more fancy”.

When we arrived, things were definitely off to a slow start. The BF and I played a couple rounds of pool, we met a bunch of his parents’ friends. There was a gambling table and I bet a bunch of chips even though I had no clue what the game was or how to play. The BF and I even went outside for a walk around the pond.

BF: You’re not having fun.

Me: What? No, I totally am.

BF: Nope, you’re not. I’m sorry you have to spend your 35th birthday in a rec centre in a retirement community. I feel really shitty about it.

Me: My birthday is on January first, not December 31st so technically I’m just celebrating New Year’s Eve in a rec centre in a retirement community, not my birthday. Besides, there’s nothing to feel shitty about. I love your parents to death and I AM having fun. Let’s go back to the party and I’ll prove it.

We went back to the rec hall, where, believe it or not, a lot of old folks had dressed up. I guess word had spread around the trailer park because I didn’t see a single person wearing sweatpants. I crossed the empty dance floor to our table and asked my MIL to dance.

MIL: Oh, I love dancing! Let’s do it.

The DJ put on Tina Turner’s version of Proud Mary. I dragged the MIL to the middle of the  floor and proceeded to go crazy. I hopped, spun around, I may have even thrown in a couple of steps of the Charleston. And the MIL kept up with me! When the song came to an end, we laughed and hugged each other while the entire rec centre clapped. An older gentleman asked me to dance while the FIL took my place with his wife.

Suffice it to say, we spent the rest of the evening dancing. laughing and drinking entirely too much. My favourite part was when the old folks formed a circle and took turns stepping into the middle of it to show off their killer dance moves.

After the countdown at midnight, the DJ played Another One Bites the Dust by Queen and then wished me a “Happy 35th Birthday to the girl born at EXACTLY 12:01.” Of course, I was not born at exactly 12:01 but the MIL thought it would be fun to tell a little white lie. I went with it, making up tons of answers to people’s questions, like, “Did your mom win a car?”  with “Oh yeah, she actually one two cars but she felt bad for the lady who gave birth to a 14 and a half pound boy at 12:03 so she gave the second one to her.” and “Did news of your birth make the paper?” with “Oh sure but they spelled my name wrong so they had to make a retraction the next day.”

The deception was fun but I paid the price the next morning. My dog woke me up because she urgently needed to relieve herself. In hindsight I should have ran a brush through my hair or at least glanced in a mirror before stepping outside but I figured, what the hell? It’s New Years morning. What kind of person would be up this early on January first? Turns out, the answer to that question is EVERY OLD PERSON ON THE PLANET. Old folks will wake up at the crack of dawn on New Years Day for NO APPARENT REASON other than to wish me a happy birthday, leave their trailers to hug me and, believe it or not, to get their pictures taken with the 12:01 New Years baby. Holy shit, I hope those photos never make it to the internet.

Despite the difficulties of the morning after, it turns out a retirement community is not a bad place to spend New Year’s Eve or to celebrate a birthday. Where else can a girl be youngest person in the room while she turns 35?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2013 9:22 pm

    I hear the Senior set is increasingly tech savvy, so I would keep an eye on social media. Only one question. No shuffleboard? What kind of retiremnt community is this. Oh, Happy Birthday.

  2. juliabarrett permalink
    January 13, 2013 11:29 pm

    You know what – that sounds like so much fun! We did nothing on New Year’s Eve. Hubby worked so it was just the dog and me. Your dress does sound beautiful!

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