Mom lovingly refers to her friends and neighbors at Harbor View Condominiums as The Characters.
“We’re going to dinner with some of The Characters tonight,” she says.
Or, “I’m on the phone with one of The Characters, I’ll call you back,” Mom tells me when I call.
Personally, while I think The Characters is a good start as a term to describe the people who live in Harbor View, I don’t think it goes far enough. I think each one deserves an individual title similar to a cartoon character or a peculiar person in movies. Here are some examples of their friends and neighbors, and even Mom and Dad themselves, and you’ll see what I mean.
Flo and Irv – These two people are Mom and Dad’s best friends. They live in the same town as Mom and Dad back home. Flo is an exercise-aholic. If there is a club at Harbor View that involves physical activity, she will join it. She belongs to aerobics, water ballet, line dancing, and jazzercise. In addition, every morning at 6:30 she goes walking for 45 minutes with ‘the girls.’ For your information, ‘the girls’ range in age from 58 to 73.
Irv joins activities too, but only if they involve card games. Unlike his wife, he does no physical activity whatsoever, and the size of his stomach proves it. (In addition to doing very little exercise, Irv also likes to eat.) The only exercise he gets is picking up cards from the table and adding them to his hand. Irv belongs to the poker club, the pinochle club, the bridge club, the canasta club, and the rummy club. When he is not at the clubhouse with one of his card groups, he can be found at the pool. But Irv is never in the pool swimming or even on a lounge chair napping; he is always sitting around a table under an umbrella with three or four of his buddies, playing cards and munching on some snack food.
I call Mom and Dad’s best friends Flo Fonda and Five-Card Irv.