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As Long as We Remember...

March 26, 2008

Piner Whiners

Tom McLaughlin

The people in Ocean Pines are so old! That’s what I discovered when I returned to Middletown after a month’s absence. It is so nice to see young people and families. Strong vibrant individuals walking purposefully onward in their lives.


In the Pines, people are waiting for God, with a scowl on their face, forever complaining about life. They are called the Piner Whiners (right Nancy?). Health is the big issue where everyone performs one-ups-man-ship. One’s creaky bones are always worse than someone’s elses. I nod politely and listen because with my disease, mom’s cancer and dad’s Alzheimer’s, I could beat them all in any health related contest.


There are many clubs. The problem is members squabble. In their former life, they were a big shot in their corporations or in government. All of a sudden, they are thrust into retirement and still think they are a hot shot. They try to take over and run the 18-20 people just like they managed sections or divisions of hundreds of people. They are usually cast aside by other members and return to their homes sulking and embittered.


Another way they lash out is by attacking the local government. Ocean Pines meetings usually are shouting matches with rioting by the old geezers. They all seem to know how to run the retirement community better than the manager they just hired. The retired lawyers always prepare something, free of course, and file it in court. It is usually dismissed.


When something really riles them up, like a new pool or community center, they march out and get petitions to try and stop it. The community finally got an indoor pool after one drive failed. The community center is in limbo because first the lawsuit failed but the petition drive succeeded. This is after the entire population had approved the new building. Somebody will probably start a new effort to get the structure approved and the cycle will start anew.


There are positive groups in the area, but their numbers are small and voices soft. The garden club plants bushes and flowers. Another group monitors the back bays for pollution. Establishing oyster beds is the goal of another. But their good deeds are drowned out by the volume of the naysayers. The local press does not have much to print in the winter and it hops on the shrills and shrieks of the loudest complainers.


I had recently read that the cause of the problem about nasty old men is the lack of testosterone. Apparently, this vital hormone plays a role in personality. They need to send a tanker full of the stuff into the Pines and turn many of them into pleasant fellows. How their wives put up with them is beyond me.


Me? I take the dog for a walk every morning and enjoy the wonders of the back bays. Filled with ducks, geese, gulls, egrets, young bald eagles, fish hawks (osprey) and many other creations of nature, it sets my mind for the day.


In Middletown, I watch the bird feeder and walk my four pound Yorkazoo in Middletown Park.


Life is good…

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