NPR recently broadcast a story about a man who built a retirement community in Florida, where he invited people from his native country to come and live. (All folks were welcome, but the community was designed to look like India with Indian food and music.) I listened to the story and wondered what kind of community I would like to retire to if I had the choice. What cultural group would I belong to? I certainly identify with Mainers (and there are a load of communities in Florida filled with Mainers), but I also love being with librarians, women, writers, readers, and very tall people.
So who would live in *my* community? I want to hand pick them. Right now. I don’t want to wait until I retire. Do you know how many times I’ve wished all of my friends and family lived within walking distance of me?
I wish all of my college roommates could meet and talk about how horrid I was to live with. (Aymie and Becky, I think you would really get along. You’re both educators and great mommas and honestly, you’re both so sensual that being in the same room might make the room explode but it would be awesome!)
I wish some of my writer friends and family could meet and talk about literature and writing and wow each other with all the shit they know. (I’d love for Sean to meet Phil so they could discuss the books they’re writing or want to write. Of course then they’d end up talking about Star Wars at some point and would have to have THE talk. Han or Greedo?)
I want my work friends from all the libraries, bookstores and video stores to meet and talk about books and reading and how freaky the public can be. Share stories about the most disgusting thing (or person) you ever had to touch. (Judy from the bookstore could tell her tale about throwing away the pen the “urine lady” used and Heidi could talk about the many sticky videotape cases she had to clean.)
I want my college friends to meet my high school friends. I want my new friends to meet my old friends. I want to introduce Jess to Jo because I think they were sisters in a previous life. I want Moriah to meet my son because I think they would love each other, even if my son will be taller than her by the time he’s 9. I want Leanne to meet my husband because they’re both such excellent and creative cooks and would have the most spectacular cooking competition ever. And Sarah and Lyn should be there to judge it because they have the best palates!
But I also want Tiffany to live closer because she seems to calm me. And Gary could work on my back with his physical therapy mojo. And Trish inspires me (and makes me cry). And Theresa makes me want to do good. And John makes me feel good about what I’ve accomplished in life. Denise and Jean bring me common sense. Chrissy makes me laugh. Monica makes me feel better about myself. Ang brings love and reminds me to be who I really am. And I want to meet all of Nichole’s family and Shannon’s kids and see Andrea and Casey in person again and oh my word this will never end! (Don’t worry, I know you were thinking it.)
On Valentine’s Day (or Dress in Black Day), maybe don’t worry so much about getting flowers and candy for your honey or get upset because you don’t have a honey to begin with. Perhaps you could think about all those fantastic people (and animals!) you have in your life instead. Who would you want to live in *your* village?