Posts Tagged ‘elderly’

4774425958_0550f68742_b“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”~ Anton Chekhov

Welcome to 2018, everyone!

It is mid-January, which means just a few days until my next birthday. And also time for a new blog post. Since there were none in December.

If you have been keeping up with recent weather events, you’ll know that a majority of the United States of America is pretty darn cold right now. Including right here in Austin!!

As a matter of fact, the entire city has been shut down. Monday was a federal holiday and Tuesday’s weather got really cold. A TRUE winter time here in Austin. It was going to be a shorter week, but due to the fact that temperatures were way below zero, and there was the threat of freezing rain/sleet/ice/snow, Austin just basically said “Screw it! We’re closed.”

Now it is Wednesday. Here at the SGC, we’ve not had much in the way of events since Thursday because staff chickened out and left early last Friday. But today, Wednesday the 17th, staff returned. The doors were open.

And glory glory hallelujah…. for most of us, that meant free hot coffee and something to kill the monotony!! I took advantage of it because I have been suffering cabin fever really bad.

But the temperatures are below 20°F/-6°C this morning with the promise of getting up above freezing sometime this afternoon.

Here I was this morning though, triple layers up top and single layer below. And suddenly I realized I am not the brightest bulb. But I got to the coffee before what I thought would be a mad scramble.

The usual “suspects” were already in the building. A meeting of the slow minds, if you will. Which is nothing against them, it is what it is.

As I sat there enjoying the warm cup of life, another woman walked in screaming at the top of her lungs, inquiring if anyone in the room had the flu.

To me that didn’t make sense. These are mostly elderly people. What in the world would make her think that anyone would be out of their homes if they were stricken with the flu? How many of them would honestly have the strength to get out of their homes if they were sick to begin with??

But there she was, insisting on answers in the most obnoxious way. Hanging around the door way with her mask on her face.

When nobody proclaimed to be ill, she removed the mask and made her way to the nearest available chair to sit in.

Minutes later she got up and left, only to return to start shouting again. This time she inquired about who was doing their laundry. And one of the slower neighbors said that he had something going on.

She cried out, “It’s done!”

The gentleman thanked her for her notice and went back to his conversation and coffee.

This pissed off the woman.

She cried out again, “Go get it so I can put my things in the machine.”

To which he responded with “I’ll get it here in a minute.”

And that was not good enough for her. He had already acknowledged what she had said to him. But like I said, he’s a bit slow. So it wasn’t like he was going to leap up from where he was sitting and skip merrily into the laundry room to change his clothes from the washer to the dryer. He just was in no hurry at all. And she was!

His lacking response caused the fight bell to ring as she literally shouted and screamed at him. “I need that machine NOW!!”

She was met with the same response of acknowledgement and the promise to get the progression moving “…in a minute.”

There was an eerie silence. I looked up and found her face turning a deep red.

She then left once more to go back into the laundry room, and she mumbled under her breath (loud enough for me to hear) that she was just going to do it FOR him. And that meant removing his clothes and discarding them elsewhere to where they were out of her way. And this was also going to be mean that she was not going to be all that concerned with where she put them, as long as they were free and clear of the washing machine that she wanted to use.

But her own physical capabilities are extremely limited due to her morbid obesity. So she realized that she wouldn’t have the stamina to go through with it.

She did the next best thing: Tattled on the guy with the one staff member present.

Staff came into the room to make a general “announcement” that when laundry machines are finished working that residents need to take care of it, so that the machines are open and available for other residents to use. It was also said that the apartment manager would be informed of this altercation when he arrived.

I think that was the appropriate response from staff.

The woman walked out into the hallway with an evil smirk on her face, realizing that she got her way. And the man who was slow in all senses of the word, attempted his best to get up from his chair so that he could go switch his laundry from washer to dryer. It did in fact, take him quite some time to get up to his feet and move towards the door. And she just couldn’t stand it any more.

She verbally attacked as he limped by her. And from what I think, she lost the upper hand when she followed him outside, berating him every slow, limping step of the way.

I was on my way out the door myself after finishing my cup of coffee and what happened next hasn’t happened since the great  Strawberry Milk Fight of 2011.

Oh Yes Indeed!!!

To put it plainly, he had enough of her shit talking and he retaliated with a physical vengeance. And due to her own physical shortcomings, she didn’t have a chance.

The battle was swift. And it left her retreating back inside as he continued his way to the laundry room to switch his laundry. The last words I heard was him in frustration as he walked into the laundry room grumbling, “Damn Fucking Bitch!”

Yeah, don’t let the fact that the elderly are cute fool you at all. Especially not around here.


“Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.”~ Jack Hanna

Finally! At long last!! I was able to convince my neighbors and members of staff to actually go to the zoo.

Working this project for almost four years, and going through three different social services coordinators… the hard would work pay off.

OR would it?!?

Everyone knew that this was “my baby” and everyone knew that I had been trying this for a long, long, long time.

So it was put on the calendar and suddenly there was more talk about what to do while we were out. Some of the rest of my neighbors saw to it that we would stop somewhere on our way to the zoo to stop and have lunch.

And so we would stop to eat.

It wasn’t bad. This new Mexican food restaurant.

Probably the only thing that would be worthy mentioning about this place is the SNAFU that happened when some other waitress placed before me someone else’s plate. And throughout the rest of our time sitting in this restaurant, I just would not hear the end of it.

Until I finally embraced it and fired back. Yeah, don’t barb on Dambreaker. Dambreaker will get you back!!!

So on to the zoo which is wayyyyyyyyyyyyy the hell out there! It probably took more than an hour to drive. And that was ridiculous point #1.

Another twenty minutes, we could have been in another city and visited THEIR zoo.

Upon arrival, you could hear the wild animals screaming. It was just slightly disheartening as it sounded like someone was screaming “help!” for some reason. Turned out to be the peacocks that were roaming around on the property towards the front entrance of the zoo.

These loud mouth fowls were everywhere. Although they did not spread out their feathers on display.  peacock

Yet they were the ones that were screaming.

Inside the main office building was their basic central operations.

Admissions, business, administration, and of course gift shop.

And what do we know about me with gift shops?

Yes… you cannot leave me unattended. And the group of five other people did just that in the gift shop area of the building.

They have a sign up about their policy of if you spend $50 or more, then you get a FREE zoo admission for future use that will expire in about a year.

Yes, I have that FREE admission.  But I am about to tell you why I am not going to personally use it. I’ll either just let it go to waste or give it to someone who wants it.

Going out the back door to go see all the animals, there was already a problem. Gravel, dirt, and hills.

Geez!! I couldn’t really get up the first hill that passed into the main part of the zoo where the majority of the animals were. I had been found by a stranger who asked if I wanted help. It took three adult women to get me up that stupid hill.

And going down the hill was not fun either. Whomever designed the zoo and constructed its pathways is a complete and total idiot who had NO regards to the elderly or disabled.

None whatsoever!!

No, I do NOT care how old this zoo is… this was shady and ridiculous. rsz_41rsz_2165

I have no idea how many animals I missed getting to see because of this. But I saw some of the major animals that zoos normally have on display. Needless to say that before I left the office I asked about eagles and they admitted to not having any.

In an effort to be very mean I said outloud, “Then why am I here?”

Yeah… I absolutely did.

I probably should have been paying more attention as it would have been a giant red flag for me.

Simply put, the zoo is NOT a place for those who are disabled or have difficulty walking or other mobile issues and this would include the elderly.

Even one of the neighbors came back through and immediately complained about the place, especially for people like me and older people. The thing about her is that she is a REAL LIFE nun!! So people actually pay attention to her.

She was given someone’s card with information on it. And given an apology and the lack-luster excuse that they do not have the money to construct an accessible zoo.

I want to get my hands on that business card!!!!

And then it struck me. This zoo is not just your normal big city zoo. This is an animal sanctuary for rescued animals. Every last animal and species in this zoo has been rescued at one point or another. This is NOT just a zoo.

So I will not be returning again. And for several factors that would include the long distances.

I had more fun at the Houston Zoo a couple of years ago and I STILL didn’t see everything there either.


A prostitution ring has been busted in a New Jersey senior citizen housing complex and a 75-year-old resident is accused of running it.

According to reports posted today,  James Parham, 75 year old man, was accused employing some elderly residents as sex workers.

Parham, along with fellow resident Cheryl Chaney, 66 years old, was also accused of allowing residents and visitors to use crack in their apartments.

Both Parham and Chaney are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a nuisance, and Chaney is also charged with possession of crack cocaine.

Okay… deep breath here.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!??? For number one.

Number two, I can barely say paraphernalia much less write it correctly in the first try.

Three? UGH!!!!!! People are just nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot imagine what that had to be like for the residents living there. It was a place where those who are 62 years old or disabled could live.

Its like imagining your  grandma and then your great-grandma boning your best buddy. Not a thought you wanna have in your head. But apparently this really did happen in New Jersey!!

The shock value for me actually goes DOWN when I had read that there was drugs involved. Mainly crack and cocaine.

These poor people! Disabled, retired, ready to live out the rest of their lives…. FORCED (as it seems allegedly)  into working as hookers because some jackass who is less of a man wanted to start something new.

I’ve also read and therefore should mention that the places in which the sex was taking place had a severe lack of security. The other residents who live there avoided that area at all costs because they were afraid for their lives.

These people most likely have lived through enough. They really don’t need to be traumatized any more as they settle down with their retirement.

A 99 year old Italian man is seeking divorce from his 96 year old wife, after 77 years of marriage. I could not believe the story when I read it!

After finding letters from a lover that was written to his wife over 50 years ago, the husband suspected an affair. The wife ultimately admitted to the affair- which happened in the 1940’s!!!

Understandably angry, the husband is now filing for divorce.

Whiskey-tango-foxtrot, over??

I get that he is angry. I get that he was betrayed by the woman he married. I get that he is hurt and his aging heart might be broken and what not. But 77 years together?? What in the world was their marriage like one year ago, ten years ago???

I don’t get this move. I think that they are both freakin’ lucky that when he found out the truth that he did not suffer cardiac arrest. Or worse.

What in the world are the two of them going to do now? And how do the split up everything? Who’s insurance gets to pay for the nursing home? Who’s retirement gets to pay for medical bills? It’s all so confusing.

And from reading the above article, what kind of is fascinating to me is that they have one great-great-grandchild. That’s a lot of greats!! The family lineage is strong and the family tree has many branches.

I wonder what this Italian family is going to do for holidays, birthdays, and other special events in 2012?


So now this 99 year old man will be single again. The only thing that I can do is wish him well as he jumps back into the dating pool. But I really believe that for his age group, it’s pretty damned shallow!!

Good luck. But I don’t think e-Harmony, OKCupid, and other dating websites have a “70 and older” category for their members. It’s going to suck for him. And not in a good way either.

And the poor wife. Cheating on him so very long ago. People make very stupid decisions. And I guess that she is feeling somewhat relieved that she no longer has to carry this secret with her any longer, now that she admitted to her husband that she did have the affair.

I’m not sure as to why the husband cannot forgive her. MY GUESS is that the lover is probably no longer living. But, I don’t know that for sure.

77 years of matrimony, gone in one day.

Hello Guiness Book of World’s Stupidest Things That People Do? Yes, I’d like to submit an entry for your next publication.



“The right of petition, I have said, was not conferred on the People by the Constitution, but was a pre-existing right, reserved by the People out of the grants of power made to Congress.”~ Caleb Cushing

If you are reading this, I need some Calgon. I’ll provide you with an address in which to send it later.

This could be a sort of “part 2” to the previous blog post called “Brainless Warriors”. But it doesn’t deal with all of the content from that post. Rather it deals with part of it. The part of the post where I speak of residents here wanting the community room opened during the weekends.

Last night, it was brought to my attention as an attachment to my e-mail that a petition had been written to go towards the Board of Directors to have the community room opened on Saturdays.

When I read this so-called petition, my IQ dropped 100 points. It was poorly written, poorly worded, and barely took up an inch of space if it would have been printed out on paper.

And because the language of it was so vague, it was basically including everyone who lives here. Including myself. And I was not good with that.

So I played with this thing for about an hour or so last night and fleshed the entire thing out. By the time I got done with it, it was more than half of a page long, and it was more specific to addressing what these certain individuals were wanting to discuss with the Board of Directors.

By comparison, the original draft that I received actually looked like a seven year old child who was trying to stand up to their parents over them being grounded. It was THAT BAD. Nobody in their right mind would have looked at it, and taken it seriously. I sure as hell would not have.

Tonight, a call was made to me to tweak it just one more time to finish off some corrections that were needed. I am hoping that I am not bothered with this any more. Although at this point, since it has been told that “I have a copy of it”, that is only going to be wishful thinking on my behalf.

I do not intend to sign this stupid thing, at all. I honestly do not care if the community room is kept open or if things stay the way that they have been for the past five years. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I suspect it’s going to be bitter. VERY bitter.

Two copies of this petition were made for two residents to go door to door to get people to sign it. Enough lines were provided so that one person from each apartment unit could sign it. But they are not going to get that many signatures for different reasons.

The bottom line to this stupidity, is that the same couple that I mentioned that I was playing SCRABBLE with, want to watch college football on Saturdays. Commonly, their team will be playing on some sports network that they do not have because they no longer have cable. I was there when the cable company gave them their final chance to pay a bill, and they did not so the cable equipment was removed from their unit. Now they wanna go into the community room during college football season, and watch their games on cable. Since cable television is actually provided in the area.

They should just stay with going over to a neighbor’s place to watch television and just deal with it. OR pay their damned bill and get the cable turned back on.

But no, the ones who are responsible for instigating this whole ordeal, are the two previously mentioned. Others are following their path. But I choose not to be led to slaughter.

So who are these two people? The woman that cried about it in the meeting last week because she and her husband have never experienced it being open on the weekends, and the wife of the couple who just gets so intense about college football to the point where it is annoying and uncomfortable for others to even want to socialize and hang out with them to watch football.

This petition, in my own humble opinion, will be given to staff or someone else and then it will be thrown away. The Board of Directors closed the community room over the evening hours and weekends for a reason. Yes, at first I did not like it. But now I am used to it being closed and I personally just don’t care.

So it appears as if I am going to have to avoid answering the phone and the door for quite some time because I don’t want to be bothered by this dumb thing. Even if I did help with the language of it. Doesn’t mean I am for it. I just don’t want it representing me in a terrible light because the person who wrote it down in the first place doesn’t know how to write a petition properly, and sound intelligent at the same time.

Eventually I will have to face the music and explain why I am not foaming at the mouth to place my signature on it. I suspect that I will be the pariah at that point. They’re just going to have to get over it.

However, I will say this: The action as a whole, is respectable. This is the first time that they’ve handled the situation of Saturdays being open in years. Previously, all they have done is complain. One year, they tried to get people so irritated about the community room being closed that they thought an uprising would come. It sort of did, but it wasn’t enough once staff started shooting people down with common sense.

Either way, I really deep down suspect that whomever it is that these resident choose to hand this petition to, that person is just simply going to dump it into the trash. It would not surprise me in the least if that’s what happens.

But I am really done with it. I don’t want to have my name on it, or have my name spoken when it is in conversation. 


Some elderly can kick ass, others suck it

“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.”~ Golda Meir

What a day, what a day!!

Today was the first time that my complex had a resident council meeting under the “new leadership”, and I was so full of hope for a new day.

If you read the blog post about the Scrabble game I was involved with, the husband and wife were elected as President and Vice President, respectively.

But the meeting turned into a verbal brawl of sorts. And the leadership was totally less than admirable as our newly elected President never took order of those residents who were causing a stir.

I was rather disappointed personally as the new President was not able to hold a meeting as he was when he was in the same office back in 2005. Clearly, his health has been fading and he just didn’t seem to have it together.

For whatever reason, his wife decided to speak up just about as much as he did. And I became totally confused, who’s running this outfit?? She took over nearly half of the meeting, and I couldn’t understand it. Neither could I believe my own ears.

When the floor was open for comments under new business, a resident got up and started to talk about a “beautification committee”. In other words, she wanted to make a group of residents responsible for trash clean up. Because in her mind, the property was in bad shape.

Well of course it is, the drought has really done a lot of damage to our lawns. It doesn’t look as lush and green because we’ve had no rain. But she wanted to single out a number of people who live here to be responsible for picking up random trash, as well as be a helping hand with those who are unable to bend over and spruce up the front parts of their personal patios.

Ummm…. in other words, make other people work in other people’s gardens who may no longer be able to, or no longer care. Just because SHE wants the property to “look beautiful”.

There’s so many things wrong with this. Although I would agree with her that people should pick up their trash. But having people go intrude on their neighbors? Nah, I don’t agree with that at all. Pick up your trash and we’ll be just fine.

I’m not sure if that’s going to go anywhere. This is a resident who rarely shows up for any activities and/or meetings that we may have. But when she does arrive, you can be sure she’s about to bitch and moan about something. If she has nothing to complain about, she’s going to be sitting at home… inside, and not come out for anything but to check her mail.

And that was the first round.

The second round came about when another resident who also stays at home and doesn’t participate and always gives the excuse of poor health, had brought up the idea of celebrating “Octoberfest”.

Last year, there was a gathering in the evening where we were celebrating it. It was a nice social event with the rest of the residence. And it even had included alcohol. Well, beer.

The consumption of alcohol at specific activities and events here have been more or less “forbidden”. It is not quite “banned” necessarily, but the fact of the matter is that there are some people who live here that have had religious convictions against the consumption of alcohol. They have been the residents who have spoken louder than the ones who have no opinion about whether or not alcohol is being offered, so they’ve said “no alcohol”. But last year’s Octoberfest celebration was a rare test-drive of an exception. “Near beer” was also offered. A limit of real beer was given to those who actually were drinking.

Anywho…. this second round- the resident who rarely comes out offered the suggestion to have yet another Octoberfest celebration this year as well, because she so much enjoyed the year before. So when our social worker said that it was a possible event to place on the calendar, she was happy as a peach.

And then it turned ugly. The social worker left her in charge to plan this event. And she had also mentioned that the event would have to take place during the week some time and could not happen in the evening or over the weekend. (Last year was held in the evening.)

There are only two members of staff that works here. They have made their personal decision that they are not willing to stay longer into the evening or over the weekend. They have their own lives.

If this resident would’ve just accepted the deal then the snowball of bitterness would’ve never started to roll.

Round three- the issue of having our community room open over the weekends and/or week nights. First off, let me share with you the back story of this “dead horse”.

In 2006, and year prior, certain residents had the keys to the community room and these residents were more than willing to get up in the mornings and open the community room for usage by the residents. But in 2006, the people who run this complex decided to remodel it. It was closed for many months while work was being done to it.

The community room is an open room with chairs, nice furniture, a great collection of books, and even a television. Several computers are also connected to the Internet for the residents to use to check their e-mail if they do not have a personal computer or an Internet connection at their home. The remodel came with a lot of newer and fresher things. Including one big-assed television set. Yep, big screen.

But the Board who oversees things had made the decision to collect all of the keys that were handed out to residents and no longer allow the community room to be open during the nights or weekends. It was an issue of protection for both the residents and the items that were held within. It also was an issue of insurance that nothing would be broken or stolen.

So since then, all of the residents who lived here then, and those who have moved in afterwards have basically adapted to the new policy. But many of them do not like it. They honestly would prefer to have access to the community room, just like it was before. Several times residents have gone to the Board to ask them to change their minds, but so far they have not.

I personally wouldn’t mind if it was open, but I’ve gotten so used to it being closed. And also consider the fact that members of staff have changed since 2006 as well. The newer members of staff that work here today, mainly the social worker and the apartment manager are simply not that willing to give up their personal lives to come over here and make sure things run smoothly. The residents who are stubborn not to see it as a risk factor, call it “babysitting”.

That came up today by little Miss “I wanna Octoberfest”. The war then began.

She cried and cried and cried and complained about how it was not fair that the community room was not open any more to the residents. It was not fair that the two main members of staff were “being snooty” for not wanting to come in over the weekends, and it was not fair that the members of staff would have to agree to “babysit” the residents.

The two members of staff have personal lives. I can see why they wouldn’t want to come in. But at the same time, I could also wish that they would every once in a while come in and allow us some off-site activities. It doesn’t have to be every night though.

The social worker had decided to interject and stop the childish whining. She was trying to explain that #1- the two members of staff are NOT the ones that the residents should take their frustrations out on because the residents do not have an open community room any more like it used to be. #2- There are specific reasons why the Board decided to keep things closed.

But the woman would not listen to the social worker. She wouldn’t budge a single half an inch to hear the side of the social worker. She went on and on about how she and her husband HATE being “stuck in their caves” during the weekends.

Well honestly and personally, that’s an easy fix. If you don’t wanna stay at home- go visit a neighbor. Go out to eat, go to a movie, something!! But I am sure that I would be met up with “We don’t have the money for that.”

Then just go visit a neighbor.

She continued to say that she and her husband has renter’s insurance. So they’re set and not afraid. But not everyone here has that. And she knew that the Board wouldn’t dare let the community room be uninsured, so she just couldn’t see what the problem was.

And so then the social worker came out with the big heavy question to her: “So if the community room is open to the residents when staff is not here, and something happens, are you willing to be held responsible?”.

I was so glad when I heard that. I thought for sure that would be the nail in the coffin on this woman. It wasn’t.

The response to the question was, “Insurance is insurance“.

Umm… what??

First of all, she never actually answered the question. And secondly, that kind of a response was in a sense more or less a way to say, “I don’t care what happens to the community room as long as it is kept open for the residents to use. You’re covered, why bother worrying?”.

The social worker had then seen that this woman was not going to give it up and so the social worker in better judgement gave it up, saying to her that she needs to present it to the Board.

An issue that has been repeatedly denied over and over and over again for the past five years or better. The horse is DEAD!!

Now I am sure that maybe someone can come up with a solution for this. And maybe in the future things will change. It is the fact that she and her husband have only been living here a few years.

They moved here after the 2006 remodel and the decision to keep the community room locked on evenings and weekends. So they’ve never really known any different. And I can do nothing more but roll my eyes and laugh at this fact. Why are they soooooo much involving themselves to try and obtain something that they’ve never experienced before?

Not only was the community room unlocked on the weekends. But we also were involved in a variety of other off-site activities:

  • We went to the movies
  • We went out to dinner on a spur of the moment decision
  • We went out to breakfast once a month
  • We went to the horse races
  • We went shopping in the malls for an afternoon
  • We went to the baseball games or other local sporting events
  • We went to the theater

And many, many more fun things to do, that was away from home. Why did those things suddenly disappear? Because of a change in staff. Those who worked here before were willing to do these kinds of things. Those who work currently, are not.

This woman and her husband (mainly her) were battling the social worker because they were jealous of the fact of what USED to be. And since they’ve moved in, they keep hearing these wonderful stories of all the fun things we used to do around here, and now we don’t do that any more…. and these two are taking it PERSONAL?? Because of their jealousy.

Jealousy sucks. And I know that this woman is going to hold yet another nasty grudge against staff members and have nothing but gossip and back-talk about the members of staff for a long time to come. These grudges that she holds, will commonly go on for several weeks, a couple of months even.

But it makes NO sense because the two of them rarely come out of their apartment. The husband comes out, but the wife does not. And its probably a marital problem between the two of them as to why he comes out and she doesn’t. Which is not the fault of any body else who works or lives here. It is their own.

But why fight until you are almost out of breath for something that you aren’t even going to use?

I would bet that she decided to use this platform to whine because of who was elected. She was pleased with who is now in charge so to speak and decided that was the time to come rushing in and complain as much as she wants, because of the new shift of power and she believed that she could get away with it. And honestly, she did.

Hypothetically estimating, maybe a total of five or six residents would actually use the community room during either the evenings or weekends. Another five might use it for other personal reasons (personal gatherings, family parties, etc.), and when you add all of that up, you MIGHT get a total of fifteen random residents using the community room during these hours… out of almost 70 who live here.

I just don’t see it as a convincing case. If they do open it up, they’ll monitor the situation as to who and how many use it. Just like they monitored the beer from last year’s Octoberfest celebration. Nobody got stupid, nobody got drunk, nobody got into a fight so they may be a little less strict on further parties and social gatherings to include alcohol.

This however, is probably going to go down in flames with the low numbers of people actually using it during times in which we have been accustomed to it being closed after having the situation watched closely to see exactly who is using it.

All the while, our newly elected President allowed this snowball of ill-feelings to rattle on and on and on. Basically the President and Vice President also think that the community room should be open. But they’ve got their own problems too as to what their excuses are. (No cable, and they live in a mess and they are lucky not to yet be evicted for it.)

But he sat there and let it drag on, until he finally suggested to her to make another motion to do something about it and present it to the Board. In which I really don’t think is going to do them much good at all.

The elderly, and the absurd things that they fight over. Some are just that stubborn, others are just that dumb.




The following story is true. No details have been changed. Names are not changed to protect the innocent nor the guilty. What follows may shock you, disgust you, and quite possibly change your perception on what you thought before.

I will first start off by setting up the story by telling you that at the apartment complex in which I live, is a lovely place. I have been told by so many people who have visited here that its scenary is totally breathtaking and serene. As for myself, I enjoy living in this place.

Only the physically disabled, retired, and elderly can apply. And since I am one of the physically disabled, I qualify to live here. I have grown to know my neighbors in a delightful sense of companionship and have spent many days and weeks including myself with them in their activities which happens to be on the calendar of events.

With that said, there is one day in which I fear. Food Pantry Day. It happens once a month for three hours on one day, and a full hour on another day. The bulk of the residents come to the community room to receive their food items on the day in which time is of the majority. That’s when I receive my items as well.

But it has been something of a disaster in recent months. It was only about two years ago that I had decided to volunteer to help in any way that I could, in order to keep chaos from happening. Clearly, things have gotten better but its definitely not a case that we’re out of the woods yet. To take a quote from the movie, “The Antichrist”…. “chaos reigns.”

Our usual system had a break down, probably about four months ago it was changed. It had been getting better since I decided to try and help. It became my task to call names from a list in which each resident would sign their name and their apartment number in order to keep a more accurate count in how many people were participating in receiving items from the Food Pantry.

Food Pantry items are actually picked up from a central food bank. The community donates food items and it gets distributed to those in need. I’m not 100% sure on how our complex qualifies to receive these items, but my money is on the fact that we are a non-profit. These donated food items comes to us, and they are distributed to the residents here, for free!

Sounds pretty good, right?

I will say personally that the Food Pantry has come in very useful for me when funds are low during the month. Having that extra collection of food to get me through whatever I need to before I am able to have some money to go to the store again. I cannot complain about the Food Pantry at all. But this is just my rambling. So I digress.

It has been turmoil these last couple of years. When that sign-up sheet gets put out into the community room at 12:30 PM each day of distribution, all hell breaks loose. I am not kidding. These people have pushed, shoved, stepped on (or over) other individuals in order to secure their place on that list as close to #1 as possible, even if that means someone with less mobility and speed gets shoved aside. I have personally witnessed a man getting up from his chair across the room, stepping over chairs and tables to get to the list. Brushing aside people in his path.

Again, let me remind you that this is donated food items from the community. This is nothing like steak, shrimp, glorious food items of luxury. We’re talking bread, canned goods, meat products at times, soups, pasta, and various other food suppliments. There is a nice display of desserts commonly on the table for their selection though. Mainly old doughnuts and other pastries.

They have overcome their own senses and thrown away all shame in order to be able to put their names on that list at the very top so that they are able to receive first choice at what is being offered to them.

I had been the one responsible to put that sign-up sheet on the table for a short time. Whenever I would do that, I would find myself literally surrounded by at least eight people at a time, on all sides of me to the point where I couldn’t even move my wheelchair to get out of the way. I would have to basically cry for help in order for someone to get out of the way so that I could move.

Suggesting that everyone step into an orderly fashion and form a line falls upon deaf ears (whether they are actually hearing impaired or not.) This system also has failed because one person would write the names of several people down before anyone else has a chance to grab a pen. So the first person in line would obviously be #1, but they are also writing down the names of their close friends and neighbors on lines #2-6. Thus, making the person who is actually second in line to be #7.

For sure, this has others in an outcry and they are suddenly calling for a lynching of those guilty. But don’t feel sorry for those who are being left out. Some of them had a strategy of getting into the community room as soon as it opened its doors in the morning and actually sat down and waited for that list to be brought out. So then comes the cries of “I was here first. I was here before this person so I should be before them!”. 

Umm no. That’s not how it works. Whenever your name is  written down on that list, that is your placement and that’s when you will be called. And another thing… if your name is called by me, and you are not in the room or can be found immediately? Your name goes to the bottom of the list. This is has been the structure of the rules and will remain as such.

Not fair? Well, “you gotta be present to win” so to speak.

This system was replaced four months ago. The new system was that each person would write down their apartment number (not their name) on a slip of paper and put it into the basket. Their number is drawn and whenever they are drawn, that is who is first in line, and the next and the next and so on.

It was tricky the first month as people were walking into the community room expecting one procedure and ended up with another. We all had to get used to it. By the second month, it began to show signs of weakness. The same group of people who were just so desperate to be the top of the list, were harassing me to draw their names first as I was the one who had volunteered to help out in the first place. I’ve stood my ground and given no favoritism. Clearly those who are greedy have not been too pleased with it or me. I just ignore them whenever they try to sweet talk me into drawing their number first.

Today though, was a very bold act of avarice and self-importance as I was drawing people’s names as they came out. Those who commonly harass me to draw their numbers first were right on cue. I had called a number out and had handed the slip of paper in so that there would be an accurate  count of who was there and who was not. Suddenly, behind me was someone totally different. Someone who had been bugging me since we had started at 1:04 PM. The four extra minutes was in fact, intentional.

The selfish party had claimed that the person’s name who had been called had given them permission to switch places but clearly they had not.

It was cruel act of selfishness as I understood that while I was handing in the slip of paper, the trading request took place. Yet the person who I had just called didn’t stand a chance in public in front of that many other residents to deny that request. Later I would find out that absolutely NO permission was given at all.

I do not understand the whole entire process of this. As hungry as we might be at this point in the month and eager to receive food items, to go through this is NOT a life or death struggle. Nobody here, including the complex staff will ever allow one of its residents to go hungry. Especially since so much food is being donated and brought in. Even if its something as simple as a few cans of green beans. They will not starve.

All I can honestly say about it all is DON’T MESS WITH THE ELDERLY! You may think they are quiet and frail and kind and sweet and loving. Some of them are. But to underestimate them is definitely foolish.