The first skirmish I noticed here at the commune was the
monthly ladies’ luncheon. These are at a different restaurant each time and
should draw a big crowd, considering there are 130 units here in our complex
but that day there were only about 10 people. In a world full of retired people
you’d have we would have filled the place.
And there are
the bi-weekly cocktail Thursdays by the pool. Again, perhaps 15 or 20 at most
But I hadn’t
yet learned about the power plays going on behind the scenes.
My next door neighbor, M, who organized
the Thursdays, never goes to the luncheons, and B, who organized the luncheons, won’t attend the cocktail Thursdays. Hmmm.
And then there’s C, the head of the
social committee, reportedly as difficult to unseat as the Pope and who keeps an
iron control over the pot lucks.
Who knew Shangri-La would be so
riddled with power struggles?
Our condo board takes this to a
whole other level. At least here the politics are about things that matter,
like water bills and maintenance.
We’re still the newbies here, but
even we have figured out that our complex is in need of change. Our complex is governed
by a board of 5, and the place is overseen by a management company that deals
with the day to day administration.
Our current board president – S -
has dug into her position like a tic on a hound dog and seems to have forgotten
that this isn’t a life-time term. She
also doesn’t realize that the management company actually works for us, not the
other way around and so we’ve received pretty lackluster service. Painting is
flaking on one of the older buildings and the landscape company hasn’t
fertilized the grass for over a year.
I’ll give S credit though – in
spite of being 80, you’ll see her everywhere, on the job. However, people who have been to
her unit on the third floor of her building report that she also keeps a pair
of binoculars on the ready. Her place overlooks the pool and heaven help the
person who puts a float in the water or who stops by to chat for a moment with
The good news
is we’ve just elected two new members to the board and S is due for re-election
next year. I see a coup in the making.
I’m one of baseball’s unlikeliest fans. I certainly didn’t
have a sports-filled childhood. My parents’ idea of a leisure activity was a
spirited dinner argument over how to pronounce ‘medieval’, reading the latest
New Yorker, and building a better cocktail.