I am trying to figure out whether this is a Woody Allen movie or a companion piece to the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup. It’s hard for me to type because I am laughing so hard.
My wife, Carol, in a fit of graciousness volunteered to become the maven of dine-around. The concept is well intentioned and pretty simple. Among the various communities in Sun City (Adult Disneyworld) there are various stages of livability. Some folks have been here a while, some are snowbirds, some have moved in recently and some are really agoraphobic.
The idea of dine-around is to get people to know each other. The people who have lived here for a while are sometimes gracious enough to participate. They have already established friendships and are not so anxious to make new friends to help newer people to acclimate to this massive 14,000 person community.
Our community is Garden Walk. It is composed of about 250 homes on a series of streets at the back of the community. We sometimes have gatherings that include everyone in the community. At one of these get togethers; my wife raised her hand at an inopportune time to schedule the folks in dine-around.
It goes something like this. People signed up for the events. It was Carol’s job to associate four couples in a group, and assign a leader. Each person took a turn to make a dinner reservation at a restaurant and contacted everyone getting a date. At subsequent dinners, people agree about the next restaurant. After three months, Carol reshuffles the group and we begin all over again.
Problem number 1- there are a number of single women in Garden Walk. I am sure you understand how that happens. The dilemma here is whether to put them with couples, or group them together. One person wanted all of the singles to go out together. The others did not care. After one turn in the barrel, all of singles decided to be mixed in with couples.
In another scene, a resident complained that she and her husband could not find the restaurant that they were to dine in. When she arrived at the restaurant, she discovered that she had to sit at a rectangular table, rather than a round one. She is most uncomfortable at a rectangular table.
Then there is the woman who would not go to a restaurant because she had not heard of it. “Why would you go to a restaurant like that if you had never been there?” “What if the food was not good and you had to pay for it?” “What if the service was subpar? It is silly to try out a new place when there are so many other places to eat at.”
Then there is the person who only wants to meet people who live here all year round. She has lived here since June of last year and has not made any friends. “The people around here are not very friendly. I don’t know any of my neighbors. It was not this way where I came from. This is not what I expected. Put me in a group with full time residents.”
The objective of this activity is to make new friends. So, contrary to the idea, one couple only wanted to go out to eat with people that they already knew. Carol intoned, “You can do that any time, just call them and make arrangements with them.” The couple retorted, “We’re not sure they would want to go out to dinner with us.”
Maybe this is really, “The Sunshine Boys,” with Walter Matthau and George Burns? “ Just say come in. Don’t say Enter.” ENTAHHH.