"Perfection is OK, But it Leaves the Old Man with Little to Do"

Mike Kirby writes a blog called On the Loose. A few days ago he mused about downsizing into a new condo. Granite counters, shiny this and that, but what would he be missing? He hits it squarely on the head.

“Perfection is okay, but it leaves the old man with little to do besides gather dust, take his meds and work on his crossword puzzles. There’s nothing to fix. I remember, as if it was yesterday, a private duty case I had looking after this old doctor and his wife living in one of these new planned retirement communities. Everything was perfect up there too, tons of skylights, -all everything kitchens, and an unearthly quiet that was only broken every Friday when the guys and their big machines mowed the lawns and trimmed the bushes. And that couple, once life-sized, sat there like shrunken mummies, lost in the vastness, he just home from the hospital. And they had little to say to each other that wasn’t solicitous and polite when the help was around, but I sensed a certain glacial tension in the air. Let me out of here, I said to myself.

All that granite is nice, but what good is a showpiece when you’ve left behind all the people you know to live in it? It’s just a reservation for old people instead of indians. The memories that I get from looking at our Formica counter that stepson David and I wedged into place nearly twenty years ago are nicer. And where is the place for the garden? Where do we hang up the laundry? Who are the people that live in this new shiny upscale street now? Will there be any gossip worth hearing?