Dining at a retirement community can bring back powerful memories. In high school, the “Popular Table” was where the cool kids sat at lunch. Sometimes the cool kids grow up to be the cool seniors — the people everyone wants to sit with during meals at a retirement community.
My mother says she was never popular in high school. For one thing, she skipped second grade and as an October baby was nearly two years younger than her class peers. They don’t do that to kids anymore, which is a good thing.
So when Mom was invited to sit at the “popular table” with the other hipsters at her community after moving in, she was thrilled. Dining at a retirement community with the same people every night allowed her to make new friends. She couldn’t have done this living by herself in our old family home. She also got to know other residents who stopped by the table each evening to say hi.
Six years later, Mom is now one of the leaders at that table. I’m happy to say the table has made it a point to include other people whenever space allows — mostly because my mom remembers how it felt to be excluded all those years ago.