This is Florida where there are new housing developments popping up all over. One day you are driving down a country road enjoying the view and thinking, “Hey, Florida is actually pretty out here in the country.” The next day you are shocked to see that all the trees have been felled and a new development is being built. The land is lost and will never be the country again. The natural world is replaced by suburban gated communities with restrictive Home Owners Associations telling everyone how many animals they can have, what color they can paint their houses, and what kind of plants they can plant on their property. All the houses look alike. I thought Floridians were mostly conservative Republicans? I thought conservative Republicans were against oppressive big government? Why do they choose to live like this, without personal freedoms? Where are the rugged individualists? Or have the rugged individualists all become Libertarians? These are the things I wonder now that I have been retired for six full months!
And now a few words about our current living situation: The Concrete Jungle, aka RV Vacation Resort. In truth, it is quiet and pleasant to be here. There is a total vacation vibe. Everyone is taking it easy. The RV’s and trailers are parked herringbone style, fairly close to each other. This is a large park with a lot of units, and across from us is a row of small, prefab houses that are referred to as cottages. The cottages were once rentals. The resort is slowly selling them off. A few of the owners may or may not live in their cottages year round. When we first moved in (early April) there were a lot more RV’s parked in unit spaces. By May 1st, about half have moved out – theoretically to go back north? Some have left, but continue to rent the unit space and leave their RV parked here. I am not sure what the draw is about this place. It is backed up against a Publix grocery store and strip mall on one side. The other sides are surrounded by the ubiquitous new housing developments.
There is a clubhouse, pool, and administrative complex in the middle of the park. The office manager is British. She is kick-ass efficient and keeps everything running smoothly. She is also da boss. I so wanted to like her. But, we pissed her off right away when we first arrived because we tried to get both cars in under only one gate opening. My husband loves the challenge. We managed, but it really made her angry. She wanted us to be punished. She scolded us soundly. I think she might have waved her finger at us, too. I felt rebuked and ashamed for our transgression. My husband, T, being a former lost boy and all, thought it was funny and wanted to do it again. He was not sufficiently obsequious or sorry. She knew. She can tell when you are bad to the bone. Other residents seem to have an electronic pass that opens the gate. We did not receive one. I can only imagine why. We have to punch the *&^%$! code in each and every time. I have seen her flirt with some of the old men who come in to hang out with her or to pick up their mail. “Here comes trouble!” she will say in her slightly higher and more feminine “nice voice.” I have never seen her pal around or joke with a woman. I tried to be funny with her once, but only ended up laughing at my own joke a little too shrill as she stared a hole through me. I might have even displayed some facial heaves as the air became thicker...very awkward. She reminds me of a couple of office professionals I have worked with over the years. She controls the atmosphere within her sphere and only dispenses good vibes on her favorites – the ones who suck up to her regularly. The rest of us are beneath her notice. Thank you, God, for not making me her supervisor.