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Is “Senior Center” Code For “Cult”?

, , , , | Related | April 21, 2020

My elderly aunt is obsessed with her senior center, so much so that she feels the need to literally bully any senior who isn’t a member of a senior center to join one. She also happens to practically worship the ground that the director of her senior center walks on.

The following exchange happens when I bring my new fiancé to meet my family.

Aunt: *To me* “What senior center do [Fiancé]’s parents belong to?”

Me: “They aren’t a member of a senior center. They both have severe social anxiety and don’t like groups. They have enough trouble hosting [Fiancé] and me for dinner.”

Aunt: “What?! They aren’t a member of a senior center?! How do they live without a senior center? How do they get a nutritious meal every day?”

Me: “Uhh, they cook for themselves.”

Aunt: “But our director says that seniors shouldn’t have to worry about planning meals because they can eat breakfast and lunch at the senior center. How do they even go out to buy their groceries? The senior center bus takes us shopping every week.”

Me: “They go shopping by themselves.”

Aunt: “But our director says that it’s dangerous for seniors to go shopping by themselves! Don’t they want to go to [Restaurant]? Our director says that the only way that seniors can go to [Restaurant] is if they go on the senior center bus.”

Me: “That’s not true. Anyone can drive to [Restaurant] any time that they want to regardless of age.”

Aunt: “But our director says that seniors can’t do things for themselves and they need someone to help them. She says that all seniors should be legally required to join a senior center when they turn sixty-five. She says that we have the best senior center in the whole state!”

Me: “Did you not hear that [Fiancé]’s parents don’t like to socialize with other people? They have enough of a problem hosting [Fiancé] and me for dinner. They are definitely not going to socialize with people that they don’t know!”

Aunt: “I will talk to them at your wedding and make them join the senior center!”

My aunt followed through on this and ended up making my now father-in-law so angry that he had a meltdown at our wedding and stormed out of the reception. My aunt is STILL hung up on the fact that every senior should join a senior center despite my father-in-law’s reaction.