well, we’re back from our exploratory visit to the poconos. never was i so happy to crawl across the GW bridge at rush hour to return to the steamy anonymity of NYC. we had gone to meet Muggins’ friend, who’d been raving about the community he lived in, which i will call “basil woods.” he told muggins it was like going to camp – that should have been our first clue. we checked in at the woodsy gate and drove into the 40,o00 acre area. immediately to our left was a big square temple with a gigantic star of david on it (fyi, i am jewish and muggins is catholic). “wow, there’s a really big temple,” i said. “you sure?” muggins asked. “well, it’s either a temple or the place where all the basil woods jews live,” i smart-assed back. muggins smirked.
we met muggins’ friends, a lovely couple called shelley and sy. they told us we had to see the country club because that’s where all the action was. and indeed, when we rolled into the country club dining room, overlooking the 4th hole, the room came to a halt. little did i know, we were the action. “those are the 9-holers,” shelley explained as the ladies paused from snarfling their almond horns to check us out. “Hello, shelley,” squawked one, never taking her eyes off me. “flo, these are our friends from the city and we are trying to SELL THEM on Basil Woods,” shelley said, wiggling her eyebrows dramatically.
“well, you’ll love it,” flo said. “we have mah-jong on monday, canasta on tuesday, and duplicate bridge on wednesdays.”
I looked at muggins. my most sophisticated card game is cribbage, and even that i mainly like to play for the bridge mix. other than that, i am a “go, fish” kind of girl. i used to play it with my grandmother, nana, and only because she always let me win. once she slipped up and won a hand. we didn’t speak for the rest of her visit.
after lunch, we were introduced to the on-site real estate agent, morty glickstein. in 98 degree weather, morty was sporting white socks with white patent leather shoes (and a ponytail, but that’s another story). “i’m not one of those brokers who likes to push,” morty clacked, “but if you wanted to buy, how much would you spend?” While visibly dissatisfied with the answer, he nonetheless bundled us into his subaru and showed us a couple of houses, mostly belonging to people whose arthritis was so advanced that they could no longer navigate the stairs, let alone the monthly square-dancing fests, which morty assured us were whippersnapper-groovy events. when we told him that it was muggins’ 2nd marriage, morty got personal. “I’ve been married twice,” he said solemnly,” with 3 years off for good behavior. HA!” when we told him we wanted a place with a big kitchen, he said, “last night i asked my wife what she wanted for dinner. She said she wanted to go somewhere she’d never been before. I took her to the kitchen!” ok, henny.
here’s what i think: basil woods will be perfect for me and muggins. In about 20 years.