Greetings from Palm Springs! The rig is all decorated for the holidays, and I’m settling into my routine here in the Coachella Valley.
The last time I visited Palm Springs, a very flamboyantly gay gentleman approached my friend Jamie and me in a bar, exclaiming, “You two aren’t from around here, are you?” We replied, “No. Did our pale skin give us away?” He replied, “No darlings, you’re not gay men and you’re under the age of 70!” There is no doubt that the Coachella Valley is a haven for the septuagenarian-plus set.
The demographic was readily apparent on the first day I returned to Palm Springs. The RV park gave me a directory of local services. A jewelry store advertisement boasted, “The largest selection of clip-on earrings in the valley.” At the espresso stand by the pool, I commented that the box of coffee punchcards was rather full. The barista, no spring chicken himself, replied, “Yeah, I never look at those. Most of those people are dead.”
On a Friday night I met my adopted mother and her husband for dinner – at 5:00 p.m. The patio was packed with diners in jackets and little dogs, also in jackets, in 70° temperatures.
At restaurants I eavesdrop on conversations about Medicare and doctors’ appointments. Golf carts are equipped both with a golf bag and walker, leaving me to wonder how a stroke is accomplished. I searched on Craig’s List for a moped, but the search term “scooter” revealed nothing but the three-wheeled variety utilized for mobility.
For sale at the Eisenhower Medical Center thrift store:
Recently, while waiting at a red light to make a left turn off Palm Canyon Drive, I heard a car approaching behind me before I saw it. It was leading a caravan of angry drivers – its own little personal horn section. As it stopped behind me at the red light, five cars continued to honk in frustration, the blares changing in tone and tenor as they passed. I thought, “Wow, I wonder who pissed off all those people!” I looked in my rearview mirror to see a red sports car piloted by a little turtle of a man who could barely see above the steering wheel.
The man and I were stationary for at least another 30 seconds, and the light had not yet turned green. Suddenly, I felt a small bump from the rear. He hit me! I looked at him through the rear window, and it was apparent he had not a clue what he had done. The tap was so slight it could not have done any discernible damage, so when the light turned green I left him in the dust, putting as much space between us as I could.
I am busy making medical appointments for routine matters, as I will not return to Seattle for my regular medical care until March. I did not anticipate the difficulty I would encounter with birth control. I called several primary care physicians and OB/GYNs, asking if they stocked my particular brand in their offices. They did not. I suppose when the majority of your patients are well beyond their child-bearing years, it is not a priority.
At the RV park I’m reluctant to engage in social activities. I’m about two decades too early to be relevant here. Of course, it’s all relative. I don’t think Mick Jagger still believes what a drag it is getting old. My mom Maria plays tennis with club members in their 70s and 80s. One tennis player is 90 years old. It is mind-boggling for me to imagine living to the age of 90, an additional 43 years.
When I first began thinking of ceasing the practice of law, my plan was to sell everything and buy a condo in Palm Springs. It dawned on me then that I needed to see more of the United States before deciding where to settle down. I’m so glad I went that route. I don’t think Palm Springs is the permanent place for me – not yet, anyway. In an earlier post I worried if I would be able to pick up stakes again on February 1. I now believe I will be ready to explore again when that time comes.