02 July 2008

Age-Segregated communities often attract people who don't like children: Imagine that...

This is not always the case. In fact, it is often not the case. However, it is frequently the case...

It goes to reason that the folks attracted to a world without children -- or at least a world where children may visit but must then leave -- are people who have issues with children. More often than not, I found that the people living in Sun City or The Villages either didn't have children, or had bad blood between themselves and their children. Once again, this is not always the case: there are plenty of Sun Citians and Villagers who love their children. But let's address those who not particularly fond of children.

For example, my neighbors who moved into The Villages. Dave Anderson was divorced and estranged from his two (now) grown-up children. He hasn't spoken to his son and daughter in something like 15 years. Their mother (who is still lives in town) tells me that this is a very painful experience for her essentially fatherless children. As a father myself, I can't imagine what would drive a man to abandon his children... except perhaps their step-mother.... Dave's second wife Betsy never had children and was unable to establish a relationship with Dave's son and daughter. Now they live happily without them in a community that does not permit children to be residents.

There are many more examples. Here are a few from folks who plastered my amazon.com book page with repetitive postings (literally, the same posting over and over and over again in different places) about how absolutely horrible, terrible, crappy, biased, miserable and detestable my book is. They fault me for only visiting The Villages for one month -- sorry I still have a family to feed -- and for not being older (hence I'm biased) -- I seem to remember speaking about that plainly up front and even quoting Villagers who suggest that I'm not old enough to understand their lifestyle choices. I don't know a lot of authors that permit their characters to criticize them/question their judgement.

Here goes:

From Joe B: "We have many swimming pools. If you enjoy the company of small children you are free to go to many of the pools that allow children. If you don't enjoy children you can use the adults only pools. Sounds fair to me.....

I suspect that most of these approving critics are of the younger generation, and have decided that their parent's and grandparent's generations consist largely of immoral, selfish, non-caring, self-centered, child-hating, hedonists. I pity their parents. I suggest you spend more time examining your own lifestyles, and get a life!
From Buckeye Debbie: "There is one trend that does concern me...it is the next generations that we have or are passing the baton to.....some of us Baby Boomer parents never taught them responsiblity and independence....they are still coming back home....calling for money well into their 20's-40's....taking for granted "free babysitting".....somehow can't take the stress of balancing family/career/financial....the author also blew the fact that only under 19 kids cannot live with their parents in The Villages...the rest of these very unresponsible 19 and older crowd can and do....

Do not give this book to your parents that are thinking about retiring or grandparents.....you will be be giving them a book of fiction and instead of nonfiction....then they can keep living above their means on a fixed income in some big city....totally isolated..... waiting for one of their kids, grandkids, or greatkids to "need" them for babysitting, dog sitting or some other just me stuff.... my only words are GROW UP and BECOME AN ADULT!!!"

From Pat: "My adult children love it here, also, and want to live in this community. As much as I love them, I enjoy living among my peers....

"WHY do we have to leave $$ to our children? Many people our age are still helping their children financially, as well as helping their parents. Why can't we use our money, money we earned, it wasn't "left to us," as we wish? Our generation wasn't given things, though we did give to our children when they were growing up. Maybe that wasn't such a good thing..;) ... [nobody is saying that you have to leave money to your children. that's your own personal choice.]

"Is there ethnic diversity? Who cares? Why is that important? If someone opts to "leave the community that nurtured them" during their youth, why shouldn't they?"

"It's nice to be able to come home to a community that's about the same size as the town I left and not worry about someone spray painting graffiti...."

Sadly, [the author] sometimes sounds like a spoiled child, protesting that older adults are no longer there to help out...someone else is going to have to work, heaven forbid, younger people. [so all young people are lazy, but boomers weren't?]

From Linedancer Bobbi: "If I have any correction to the book, it is the fact that there are no children. Children are everywhere here. No, they are not allowed to live in this community but they are allowed to visit and visit they do. [at least thatwas honest] One of the attractions of the Villages for us was the fact that they are so welcoming to children.... We just had our granddaughter attend her first camp and she was crying as she was going home." [Did her guest pass run out?]

From Bedboop: Swimming pools have been built throughout the community that are designated as family pools, does this sound like a community that does not welcome children. [the majority of pools don't allow children]

"Unfortunately, there are people that move to The villages, and for whatever the reason, just don't like it and they do the community a great injustice by bad mouthing the place... If you don't like The Villages, leave. For everyone one that leaves disgruntled, there will be hundreds of happy people to move in and love it."


What's that line in Shakespeare...? "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

-- adb

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