“Senior Center” Is Definitely Code For “Cult”

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2021

I am the author of this story about my aunt demanding that my husband’s parents join the senior center. About three months later, my aunt comes up with this little gem.

Aunt: “Did you know that the director of our senior center is trying to get a law passed in Delaware that makes all seniors in the state have to join a senior center? That way, [Husband]’s parents have to join the senior center or they have to pay a fine! Our director always prays that every senior finds a senior center just like ours before we eat lunch.”

My aunt gets a look on her face like she is remembering something very pleasant.

Aunt: “Every senior finds a senior center just like ours: yes, she prays that. If the law goes through, her prayer is going to be answered!”

I am skeptical about this at first, so I decide to call the senior center myself and speak to the director.

Me: “Hello, I am [Aunt]’s niece. She says that you want to pass a law that forces all seniors to join a senior center. Is this true?”

Director: “Yes, it is! We are having funding issues at our senior center due to a lack of new people coming to the senior center. The state pays us based on the number of members that we have. We would receive more funding if all seniors were required to join the senior center. I am also trying to get the law passed so we can help seniors. Most of them can’t care for themselves and they need help that the senior center can provide.”

Me: “Don’t you think that it is unconstitutional to force everyone over the age of sixty-five to join a senior center? [Aunt] literally demanded that my husband’s parents join your senior center at my wedding! Do you realize that some seniors don’t want to go to a senior center?”

Director: “But your husband’s parents need the senior center! Most seniors are unable to do basics for themselves such as cooking, grocery shopping, and attending religious services. We provide a nutritious hot meal every day, we take them on bus trips to [Major Retailer,] and we have a preacher who comes to the center every day for services!”

Me: “My husband’s parents are Jewish and are members of a conservative Jewish temple in Wilmington. Why would they want to attend a Christian service every day? They also exclusively eat organic food so they wouldn’t want to eat at the senior center, and they refuse to shop at [Major Retailer] because they don’t like the quality of the food there.”

Director: “But the senior center is a great way to socialize!”

Me: “My husband’s parents both have social anxiety and they don’t want to be around people that they don’t know. They have a daily routine that is set in stone and they follow that routine to the letter every day. There isn’t room to spend time sitting around a senior center!”

Director: “But our senior center is losing funding because new people don’t want to join! If people keep leaving the senior center, we might have to close it! We need a law that forces all seniors to join a senior center to keep the senior centers open!”

Me: “Don’t you think that it is unethical to force people to join a social group if they don’t want to?”

Director: “But seniors need help! They don’t realize that they can’t care for themselves! We need them to join to keep them safe and healthy and to keep our senior center open!”

I hung up after that and I called the state division on aging to complain about the loony senior center director. The guy at the division on aging had heard about the director’s antics before and he said that they had been dealing with complaints about her for years in regards to her overzealous promotion of the senior center. When I talked to my aunt a few weeks later, she was VERY upset that her beloved director had been fired!

Related:
Is “Senior Center” Code For “Cult”?

1 Thumbs
317

This Is A Painful Learning Process

, , , , , | Related | December 22, 2020

I grew up on a small homestead in Delaware that consisted of a house on a two-acre lot on the outskirts of a small town. We had a HUGE organic garden, chickens, dairy goats, and a large berry patch.

This happens in the mid-1990s. When I am ten, an elderly family friend and her husband decide to move to the area to retire after living in the suburbs of Long Island for most of their entire adult lives. We all call them aunt and uncle. They really don’t understand my parents’ lifestyle; my mom homeschools my sister and me and we eat fresh and home-processed foods as much as possible. We have a pretty typical life and are allowed junk food but it is usually homemade.

My aunt thinks that scratch-made foods aren’t as healthy as foods that come from the store due to some weird thing that her mother taught her during World War Two.

This is what happens the first Christmas that they celebrate with us. My mom decides to make homemade honey wheat bread from scratch and my “aunt” doesn’t like it.

Aunt: “I brought bread for the meal!”

She holds up two bags of Wonder Bread that are WELL past their sell-by date.

Aunt: “The church was giving these out for free!”

Mom: “I made four loaves of honey wheat bread from scratch. I ground the wheat myself and the honey came from an Amish lady that [Dad] did some work for.”

Aunt: “Why are you feeding us that garbage?! My mother taught me that the best foods are highly processed because they add vitamins to the food, and processed foods are cheaper than scratch-made foods! You are harming [Sister]’s and [My Name]’s development by not feeding them Wonder Bread!”

Mom: “Don’t you realize that the junk you brought is not only full of preservatives and chemicals, but it is well past the sell-by date? I won’t feed that to my kids!”

Aunt: “I am going to throw away your bread because Wonder Bread is better for them!”

She grabs all four loaves and tries to throw them in the garbage can.

I am watching this and, for some reason, I grab a wooden spoon at this point. I slap her hand with the wooden spoon as she tries to drop the bread into the garbage can.

Me: “No, [Aunt]! You are not going to throw away bread that my mom and I worked really hard on! This is good bread! We all hate Wonder Bread!”

My aunt stops in shock and the whole room goes silent. My mom looks like she is going to either murder me or hug me. I’m not sure if I am going to get punished or if my mom is going to thank me for intervening. 

Aunt: “I’m just trying to protect you kids from bad food! Your mother keeps feeding you foods that don’t have any vitamins in them because the food is too fresh! My mother always taught me that you should only use processed foods because they add vitamins to them. You can’t get vitamins in fresh food!”

I’m shocked that a ten-year-old knows more than a sixty-year-old. 

Me: “[Aunt], do you realize that food loses nutrients when it is processed and that fresh foods are almost always better than processed due to the high nutrient levels that naturally occur in most foods? They have to add vitamins because the manufacturing process depletes the natural nutrients in the raw ingredients! I learned that in science this year!”

I grab my science textbook from the living room and open it to the section on food science.

Me: “See, [Aunt]? Fresh food is better than processed!”

She starts to stammer.

Aunt: “Well, I never learned that! They didn’t teach that in the 1940s when I was in school! I left school when I was fourteen, so how was I supposed to know that science changed?”

She ended up dropping the subject. She actually ate several slices of the homemade bread and it looked like she liked it. She never repeated that stunt again!

1 Thumbs
461

You Hanukkahn’t Keep Them Down, Part 2

, , , , | Right | December 21, 2020

It’s during the holiday season, during which our seasonal area is overwhelmingly overtly Christmas — little Santas, snow globes featuring the nativity, decorations featuring the word “Christmas” somewhere, etc.

While trying to put returns back on the shelves, I get stopped by a woman.

Customer: “Oh, good! Could you help me find some decorations?”

I am a little confused at first, since the area we’re in is full of nothing but decorations.

Me: “Absolutely, what kind of decorations are you looking for?”

Customer: “Well, this might sound a little strange. But in my family, we have a Hanukkah bush, but everything I’m seeing says Christmas and that just won’t do.”

Me: “Right, definitely not.”

I take a split-second pause to think.

Me: “Well, we have an area of tree lights; maybe something there’ll work? Just over this way.”

I lead the woman over toward the tree lights and she spots some other tree decorations that aren’t overtly Christmas. She gleefully picks one of them up and waits until we’ve gotten to the lights to ask her next question.

Customer: “Do you know if you happen to have this in blue? You know we Jews love blue.”

I, in fact, had no idea of the connection between Judaism and blue. I later looked it up, but the rest of the night, I was just so confused by the idea of a stereotype of “oh, those Jews just love blue so much.” 

Related:
You Hanukkahn’t Keep Them Down

1 Thumbs
216

The Art Of Being A Cool Kid

, , , , , | Friendly | December 11, 2020

As I am walking home from school, I pass these ladies outside our neighborhood’s town center with a Christmas tree, tables, and clipboards. These ladies look to be in their early forties to early sixties. Out of curiosity, I walk up to them.

Me: “Hello!”

Lady #1: “Hi there! Are you interested in helping a child in need this Christmas?”

Me: “Sure! What do I have to do?”

The three ladies look a little shocked at this.

Lady #2: “You pick a kid’s name off the tree, and then you just follow the instructions on the ornament!”

Lady #1: “Would you like to have your parents come back and write their names and phone number?”

Me: “No, it’s fine; I’ll put down my info.”

All the ladies are very shocked at this.

Lady #3: *Pause* “Sign here, please.”

I put down my information and pick a ten-year-old boy who wants an arts and crafts kit.

Me: “Wow! I got lucky! I got a kid who loves art, too!”

Lady #1: “You… you like art?”

Me: “Yeah! I take it at school! Bye!”

As I walk off, I can hear [Lady #1] talking.

Lady #1: “See, [Lady #2]? Not all teenage girls are self-centered b****es!”

1 Thumbs
523

Only Scratching The Surface

, , , , | Working | November 16, 2020

My car is at the mechanic, and I am renting a vehicle from a well-known nationwide business.

Rental Agent: “…and you can also purchase our insurance in case the car is damaged while you’re renting it!”

Me: “No, thank you. I’ll only be driving to and from work, and I don’t anticipate having it longer than three days.”

Rental Agent: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, thanks.”

I drive the rental car for two days — true to my word, only to and from work, not more than forty miles all told — and then get my car back from the mechanic and return the rental car with a full tank of gas. The next day:

Rental Agent: “Hi, I need to know your insurance and your deductible.”

Me: “Why?”

Rental Agent: “Your rental car sustained damage while you had it, and since you didn’t purchase our insurance, you’re liable.”

Me: “Please describe the ‘damage.’”

Rental Agent: “Scratches and mud on the lower door panels.”

Me: “There was mud on the door panels because it rained for the two days I had the car. And I want photographic evidence of the alleged scratches.”

Rental Agent: “Um… the scratches were discovered by our Damage Agents; they are specially trained to notice damages that other people overlook.”

Me: “And how was I able to accrue scratches too small for anyone but your special Damage Agents to notice?”

Rental Agent: “Well, driving on roads…”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You want me to pay for alleged damage I can’t see, after renting me a car so fragile that it incurs damage by driving on roads?

Rental Agent: “You should have purchased the insurance; then I wouldn’t have to be doing this!”

Me: “Please transfer me to your supervisor.”

I ended up escalating to the regional representative, but the “damage” report was thrown out and I never had to pay a dime. I’m never renting from them again, though.

1 Thumbs
545