Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Lesson Learned

I live in a big planned community. I believe the last census said there were 35,000 people living here. Ir feels like more.
This community is your typical Stepford community. I say Stepford in reference to the movie.  Everyone is the same. Blonde mommies in ponytails and leggings pushing strollers. "Karen's" abound. All drive the same car basically. A very entitled group of people.

This was an old farm. Toll Brothers bought the land and built the community.  
It is full of a few grocery stores, home depot, wine stores, restaurants, hallmark, ups, hair salons, bars...there is so much here you don't really need to leave. Sherwin Williams, gyms, 3 Starbucks, and the list goes on. We even have an enormous rec center. It is huge. 2 Olympic size pools, several floors of activities, a gym, classes, etc. 
Swimming pools, tennis courts, skateboard park etc.
When I moved here none of that existed. I moved because it was close to the airport (Dulles) and because we both flew all week long. Convenience. Besides we thought we'd only be here for 3 years. HA.

Now because I have a dog I meet a lot of folks I would otherwise never see or speak with. And if my husband wasn't with me on a walk I would never speak to any of them aside from a smile, a quick hello and a wave. 
But Mr. Congenality must talk to all dogs and people. It's a sickness he has. 
Because of him, I met a very nice family several years ago. 

Let's call this family the Coopers. 
They are a very typical American Family. Mom, Dad, daughter, son and lest not forget Shadow the dog. Since we can't go anywhere in the last 10 months or so I see various family members walking the dog. It used to just be Mom during the day and dad at night. Now it's teenagers. 

Their young boy had to have grown a foot in the last year. He is struggling with home school learning and he tells me why and how they could make it better, I, too know that I couldn't do home school learning. I am glad I didn't have to.  He told me he wrote to his teacher and made a suggestion. She thought it was good but the school wouldn't go for it. I told him to keep speaking up, quiet gets you nowhere.
No one ever changed things being quiet.  Continue to be polite but be strong and speak your mind. So sometimes he writes what he wants to say and comes by and asks my opinion. It's cute. He asked me what I meant by reading the room one day. So we have these types of discussions about my former life as a contract negotiator and sr. sales rep. He told me that info would be good in playing poker after I told him a story about how I read this man to get what I needed in the contract. So he is always asking questions. He hates to read I found out. But he will ask away man. Some days I tell him I have to go back to work, if he wants to stop by after work that is okay. He always puts his head down and says, No that's okay I'll see you later and leaves.  The kid is thirsty for knowledge of any kind and yet his school is failing him. 

I have not been around 16 and 17 yr old boys since I was 16 and 17. They are interesting little nuts. Because I did not have children I find it all fascinating. Parents are used to it I suppose. Sometimes I am surprised at his depth of maturity and then others well, the cutie is turning 17. 

He is a baseball player at school hoping for a scholarship to college. He wants to be a major league ballplayer. This pandemic he tells me is ruining his future. I told him I understand it is slowing it down or hindering you right now but if you're good they will still want you. Besides not much happening right now with minor leagues so probably best to hold tight and keep doing what you're doing. 

So after that baseball conversation, he comes by a few times a week at lunchtime. 
He knows I am outside of my home with Izzy from 12 - 1p.  He came over to me and Izzy late last week to discuss MLB Hall of Fame votes. 

Now I have to tell you I just love this kid. He sincerely asks me questions wanting to know what I think. I try to turn things around for him to give me his opinion. 
Sometimes I agree and just play devil's advocate which he has caught on to and teases me. I tease back and say, look how long it took you to figure it out.  

We have had such nice discussions. He and I disagree a great deal about the Hall of Fame Vote going on now in baseball.  I never knew that in football you can be charged with rape, be a wife-beater, rob a liquor store, but if your stats are great you can be in the hall of fame. In baseball, the rules state you must behave a certain way on and off the field. Period. Hence why so far Pete Rose is not in the HOFame.

He and I both watched the same show on MLB Network talking about these differences. All the young people on the program think it shouldn't matter what they do off the field, just stats on the field. 
Of course, we elders think it should damn well matter. 
He fell in line with his age group as did I. I understood to a point about what he said but it just doesn't sit right with me I told him. But it's all nice conversation, no arguing or anything like the GOP for heaven's sake. 

Then last night on Izzy's final walk this young man's father, saw us and waved. 
He was walking towards Izzy and me. When he got close enough to hear one another he stopped. He wanted to thank me for talking about life and baseball with his son. He said I was afraid to ask how this started but he tells me about your onversations and the last one of the Hall of Fame is eating at him to the point he is asking his sister, his mom and me what we think. I think he is seeing the holes in his argument. (apparently, the rest of his family agrees with me)

I laughed and told Dad that his son is a delight and we both enjoy our lunches when we have them together. I mentioned to Dad that it all started when he told Rick that his son was becoming a chef. You said because you and your wife don't cook and he's watching the food network to learn so he can eat.  I asked your son about what he was cooking. That started our lunchtime conversations. (after lockdown this started in late march)

"Yes, yes," His Dad said, " he told me that I forgot."
I also told him that he should have a food truck because I am certain there are many families like yours who used to eat out 4-5 days a week and now can't. We need food trucks in this development. Talk about a captive audience. I can't be the only person who has thought of this. Your restaurant is doing badly since you can't be open, but you can have a food truck. So I'd do all I could if that was my line of work, get a PPP loan and buy the truck and start coming to developments on certain days of the week. Loudoun County is nothing but captive planned communities.    
I still can't believe it's not been done and no one has thought of it. 

Dad said, "OMG was that you who told him that?"
"that was me why?"
He went on to explain that his son came home and told us about that idea but I didn't know who he was talking to. Then he wrote to the HOA and suggested they do that. Did you know they are finally starting this food truck business this week? 
"No, I did not. OMG that little shit, tell him I want a commission on the lead. "
"So when does it start? "
"It started on Monday."
 I looked at Rick and said I'm cooking tonight and I'll even go pick it up "

Glad to know my idea wasn't stupid. I am also glad to hear from his Dad that he enjoys his conversations with this old lady. He is a cute kid and a nice young man. He just turned 17 sometime this month and is a junior and he has to be 6'1 and oooh so skinny. According to his mom and dad, he eats them out of house and home. I lived with 4 sisters, not a lot of eating going on when we were teens. 

I am not the biggest fan of planned communities like this. In fact, I would never ever live in one again but I must admit I've met a few really nice people like this young man and his family. To think I'd have just waved if it weren't for Rick. Lesson learned.


Grace said...

Young people, especially when they are not your own can be the most delightful of companions. Plus - sometimes young people need to have adults in their lives who aren't parents, teachers or authority figures of any kind - but rather just another human, a little older and wiser, who really listens. You both benefit - so well done to both of you.

Mike said...

If I was living there with you we would never meet anyone, ever.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Grace, I think I agree with that. I know it's benefited me.

Mike - so you, me and Claudia would know no one eh? Rick can be our social dude who can pick up our slack. He enjoys people.

Julie H said...

As a mom of a 17 year old almost 18 year old boy I love this!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Julie, yes there is hope for us all :-)

Olga said...

I am like you. In Florida, I know and socialize some with immediate neighbors. Anybody else I might come across asks me if I am new in the neighborhood. In VT, I know my next dood neighbor. Anybody else I would not recognize if I saw them outside of the development. Don can pretty much tell you the life story of everyone around.
I am not a big sport fan but it sounds to me as though football has more a Hall of Infamy. On the other hand, I do know of artists and writers who are real shits in life but are good at what they produce. Sadly, I realize how I feel about their work would influence my judgement of character as part of worthiness for fame and fortune.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

The food truck idea was brilliant. Don' you just love it when a young person enjoys your company and conversation.

Cruisin Paul said...

I'm not sure what you mean, a planned community. Here in Canada I've never heard the term. I seen homes built around a golf course. I lived in one for 31 years but it wasn't really a planned community. Oh well, keep safe Peg and tell those jerks in congress who didn't believe that Biden won to resign.

Cruisin Paul

Arkansas Patti said...

Love what you are doing with this young man. I think Grace makes a good point about the initial attraction of the youngster to you. You listened--really listened plus had some great life experiences and knowledge to share. It is amazing what a good ear attached to a good mind can accomplish.
Best of all, now food will be coming to your neighborhood. Way to go.