On my first visit to Harbor View, Dad brought me by the clubhouse to show me the beautiful indoor pool. We were fully clothed and not carrying any gym bags. We were obviously not there to go swimming.
“Please, sir,” Dad pleaded with the guard, “I just want to show her the pool; we are not going to be swimming” (as if I would want to swim in a pool with wrinkled, hairy, old men with names like Marvin and Harry).
“Sorry,” the guard said, “she needs a pass even just to look at the pool.”
“What about the bathroom?” Dad continued, “Can she just use the bathroom?”
“Nope, sorry, sir; she needs a pass to pee, too.”
We ended up caving in and buying a pass later that day just so I could look around the clubhouse. I saw old men playing pool, couples playing bridge, and women knitting sweaters. I even saw old women with sagging skin jumping around in brightly colored leotards and body suits doing aerobics to the sounds of Yanni – the musician most people listen to for relaxing and unwinding.
In addition to the aerobics room and card room there was the aforementioned indoor pool, a 1,000-seat theatre, a dance floor, a bocce court, a ceramics studio, a woodworking room, a library, and a wall with a list of activities a mile long. I wish they had offered me this many activities in my single days. Aerobics, bridge, calligraphy, drawing, egg decorating, French, guitar, handicraft, Indian cooking, Japanese bunka, karate, lapidary, mambo, nature lovers, origami, pinochle, quadrille, Russian, salsa, tea making, underwater dancing, violin, water aerobics, yoga, and zoology were some of the more than 100 clubs listed. I was very impressed by all of the activities I saw going on, but I still didn’t know if it was worth the $3 it cost to get in. Then I remembered the sight of the old ladies with the skin on their arms flapping as they jumped around to Yanni and concluded that it was money well spent.