Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spa Games

One of the better things about wintering in Sun City is the system of recreation centers. We are just beginning to explore the range of offerings, both together and individually. Steve will vote at one of the rec centers next week. We've both been to Spanish Club, and are finding classes and instructors who fit our needs in learning Spanish. Both of us have library cards. Steve actually uses his, while I have a huge backlog of titles to get through on my Kindle. Neither of us will ever hit the links, even though the closest golf course has just been redone and is getting good reviews. I plan to learn more about jewelry making, waiting for enough others to sign up for a wire wrapping class that the instructor will actually hold it.

By far, the facility we both use the most is the pool system, both on our own and with guests. The big pool, kept at 85 degrees, has three sections. The walking section is a serpentine course with levels varying from three feet to four and a half. I enjoy that for the exercise without the knee pain, even in the low water sections where I scootch down as I walk so the water still supports my weight. The swimming laps lanes I ignore, leaving that kind of swimming for those with good shoulders. Occasionally I hit the last section, going from 3 to 6 feet, just for relaxing and playing in the water. Treading water is still resistance exercise.

Eventually 85 degrees gets a bit chilly. Then it's time for the spa, 104 degrees and jets at multiple levels. It's about sitting. And conversation. This is where the games begin.

So far it seems to be a guy thing. I don't know why they don't just whip them out and measure, but there seems to be some drive when any two or more are in the spa to assert their superior status to all other males in the spa. Conversational topics vary all over the place, but I'll just summarize last night's offerings between two newly meeting men. The patterns seem similar to most other nights, just minor details differing.

It starts with comparing how long each has been retired. Depending on the individual, that's either a declaration of how rich they were that they could retire early, how necessary they were that they couldn't, how vitally healthy they were/are that they could work so long. Careers may or may not actually be mentioned, which I find ironic, considering how they're used among those still working to assert status. I also find myself wondering how many early retirements actually translate to layoffs, and late retirements translate to no savings in the bank.

Then conversation shifts to how busy each is keeping themselves post retirement. Organizations they are involved with, number to times per week they hit the links with a little name dropping of favorite courses, visitors stopping by, travel done both involving grandchildren and avoiding family.

Houses are listed, sometimes by states they are ( or more often, were) located in, sometimes by remodeling projects underway or the number of years taken to accomplish creating the dream homes. Included under this topic are declarations of where they go to avoid the summer heat, even if under the layers once peeled away it comes down to which relatives they are mooching off of. Even the monster remodeling projects can be boiled down to the fourteen years it took to get the house perfect meaning it had to be done on a budget, a little here, a little there. They just don't see that. But guys, here you are, living in an inexpensive community with modest fees allowing access to an abundance of activities. If you were as rich as you want us to believe, you'd be over in Fountain Hills or Scottsdale, some place with quintuple the square footage and staff to take care of it for you.

Last night had a little extra twist in the status games. One fellow was talking about his racing car. 16 years ago he enclosed his garage and parked the racing car in it. Apparently it's still sitting there because "they" wouldn't "let" him race it any more, something to do with having had a stroke. Somebody offered him a nice price for the engine not too long ago, which I guess means the rest of the car is crap, at least to the potential buyer. But the guy who was speaking is still hanging on to it, tucked away, unused, useless.

Probably how he's feeling too. Isn't that what all those games are really about?

No comments: