I’ve come to realize that the inevitable aging process is, as mom often lamented, no walk in the park.
“No one wants you around. You’ll find out some day,” she was fond of telling me.
Of course, I’d either ignore her words of wisdom or offer some flip remark in return. The arrogance of youth. You’re confident that you will escape this distasteful process, that you are immune, invincible, that you won’t succumb. Lately I’ve realized, much to my chagrin, that not only have I succumbed, I’ve surrendered and embraced the inevitable.
It’s rather freeing.
You don’t have to be so preoccupied with appearances. You don’t care if every hair is in place you are just grateful you have hair. There are a few perks to this process, however. You acquire valuable life experience and wisdom that money — even in Scottsdale — just can’t buy. You should be valued and yet — you’re not. You’re often ostracized, marginalized and seldom treated with the respect you are entitled to.
Families, society, cities like Scottsdale start searching for — places to put you. Kennels, (retirement communities) Mesa or Sun City. The philosophy seems to be that if you are over a certain age you need to be “housed” with your own — species. I’m reminded of a commercial that talks about “a place for mom” like mom was a dog in search of — a kennel.
Cities are fond of touting the benefits of diversity when it involves race or the LGBTQ community, but are noticeably silent when it comes to age diversity. Take Scottsdale for example.
Seems Scottsdale is afflicted with an illness — Millennial Madness — for which there is apparently only one cure. Banish the undesirable demographic to the kennel or a surrounding community that is more tolerant of the 50-and-over crowd who are on fixed incomes and who cannot afford the $500,000 luxury abodes and accompanying Scottsdale lifestyles.
Oh sure Millennial’s outnumber us, but members of the over-50 demographic posses many fine qualities that should not be discounted. They’ve fought wars, protested in support of change and causes they believed in and, yes, they were among the first demographic to embrace “greens” only instead of eating Kale they preferred to inhale their organic material.
I’d like to assure Millennials and the city of Scottsdale that everything ages.
Council members, apartments and although you may find this process unpalatable, it’s how you embrace it that counts. No amount of Kale, Botox, organic foods/vitamins or exercise can ward off the aging process or maybe it makes it a little less obvious, perhaps. Just because something is old doesn’t mean it has no value.
Wisdom that comes from life experience, common sense, character are all qualities that the more “seasoned” members of the community possess. Sadly, these are often qualities that are disregarded and ignored by elected officials and others who have been infected by a disease that is sweeping the country — Millennial Madness.
Recently, I was forwarded a “news article” and I use that term loosely, that appeared in a local online publication that professes to be the Voice of Scottsdale. The article indicated that a well-respected local activist (an authentic activist) who has crusaded tirelessly to support and protect the preserve was somehow Millennial intolerant and should retire to a more welcoming community, one more suitable for members of his demographic. Sun City. Hmmm.
Applying this “logic,” one might conclude the mayor and council should be banished to an area more suitable for them, an area that reflects their complete and total commitment to a demographic they have not been a part of for decades, an area that reflects their unhealthy obsession with Millennial’s to the exclusion of other demographics.
Maybe it’s time for them to retire to the downtown bar district so they can more fully participate in that 24/7 lifestyle they were so instrumental in creating. Yup, time for Ms Klapp, Ms. Korte and Ms. Milhaven to get “their party on.” Experience the many benefits of being within walking distance of all the cultural amenities downtown has to offer.
Bars and bars and nightlife with all the noise you can handle. Not to worry. Those $500,000-plus luxury condos include well-insulated walls built to withstand the loudest of whispers.
If all else fails and you are unable to get a good night’s sleep, necessary for members of your age group, you can always call the police department although manpower may be an issue. So many apartments so few — cops. But
I wish to reassure members of the Millennial demographic that we harbor no grudges, no ill-will towards them. After all, you outnumber us but we have years of life experience under our ever-expanding belts. Other demographics deserve a little consideration, a place at the table and a say in the future of a community they have called home for longer than most of you have been alive.
Sure we may support different “lifestyle experiences” but in spite of endless propaganda to the contrary most of us recognize that change is inevitable. However, we also recognize that it is how we grow that matters.
Quality vs quantity.
Do we preserve our unique character/identity and quality of life or sell it to the highest bidder? Do we replicate the same cookie cutter strategies for revitalization that are being employed all over the country? Do we fully embrace the apartment mania that has swept the nation failing to acknowledge that fads come and go? Does that land once it is dedicated to apartments lose the opportunity for more creative uses?
Do we ignore the impact of oceans of cement and traffic on an already hot desert climate? Do we throw a more balanced approach out the window and succumb to the “if some is good, more must be better” philosophy of revitalization/ development?
I am reminded of mom’s admonition. Just because Johnny TD’d a house, did you have to follow in his footsteps? Don’t you have a mind of your own? Not a personal example mind you.
Scottsdale’s much-touted cache was created by generations of folks who displayed vision and recognized that Scottsdale could differentiate itself from other cities by going where no city had gone before and not by recreating New York in the desert.
By the way, seems south Scottsdale has a new official logo. A hummingbird. As in things are humming along.
Yup, apartments are sprouting faster than a hummingbird can flap its wings. Perhaps we need a motto to go along with the logo. Forget the “West’s most Western Town.” That dog won’t hunt. How about “New York in the desert. None of the perks, all of the problems” Or “Scottsdale. Not for residents — for profit.”
That has a nice ring to it, no?
As all demographics other than the luxury class are being priced out of town, it is becoming apparent to many that revitalization is not intended for everyone. Long-time residents are the recipients of an abundance of housing that few, except the target demographic, can afford followed by retail and other amenities that are geared and priced for those who can enjoy the luxury lifestyle. Better hope that market never dries up — like water in a desert.
South Scottsdale residents eagerly anticipated revitalization and expected to be around to reap the benefits. Instead, it appears that some will be transported from the revitalization phase to the extinction phase.
If you do not fully embrace the cookie-cutter approach to revitalization you are “branded” a NIMBY, a geriatric Neanderthal who needs to be put out to pasture, to a community that is more suitable for your species.
We believe that a diversity of demographics contributes to the character of a community. We can’t all eat kale or frequent bars that serve craft beers/cocktails or afford to live in $500,000-plus condo — and some of us don’t want to. We deserve a place to call home too, a little open space, a view of the sky not obstructed by apartments or housing communities named after something we can no longer see.
We believe that age is just a number. Perhaps we can compromise. For example, When a Millennial sees a non member of their species — a person over 50 — at the grocery store, whiz by on an electric scooter with a cart full of urinary incontinence pads, refrain from snickering.
Just wait a few years.
Unless technological advances render these products obsolete, you too will see Depends in your future. In turn, we will not snicker at your obsession with organic foods, green teas and almond milk. We can also consume modest amounts of organic material like Kale. We just don’t see a reason to. Life is too short and we understand the benefits of moderation and balance.
An Oreo won’t kill you.
If they were toxic I would have been dead years ago. Have a little fun that doesn’t involve the downtown bar district. Broaden your horizons. It has been said that the “meek shall inherit the Earth” but are the Millennial’s destined to inherit Scottsdale? Eventually, yes.
In the meantime, it might be nice if the powers that be could throw the rest of us a bone — before they banish us to the kennel. For those who believe that more creative approaches to revitalization are needed, for those who are card carrying members of a demographic over 30. OK, 40 and can’t afford the luxury lifestyle that is becoming the norm in Scottsdale, for those who believe that variety and balance are the spice of life, for those who embrace the more “authentic” Scottsdale rather than the artificial version that is being created and for those who believe that we need a mecca for the middle class and not just the luxury class, it’s time to stop complaining and put your money where your mouth is.
It’s time to not only identify candidates for local office who represent your interests, it’s time for you to finance their campaigns as much as developers finance those who support an alternative vision for Scottsdale and back it up with your vote.
As developers and others work to drain the desert of water perhaps it is time for residents to take back their communities and drain the swamp. If not, south Scottsdale’s next chapter could be titled “South Scottsdale — from rags to riches. The battle of the middle class to survive.”
From the perspective of politicians, there are advantages to focusing on a younger, fresher demographic.
They are the future and are more open to the vision being promoted by our elected officials. The more seasoned members of the community are often painted as members of a bygone era, as negative and unenlightened and far more likely to ask inconvenient questions.
They have often seen years of their community input buried in places more remote than Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place. Note to Millenials — to better understand this reference Google “Jimmy Hoffa” on one of the many mobile devices you posses.