Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mr Mailman, wrong house!

I got the funniest (at least to me) advertisement in the mail today. The outside had an old black and white photo of a old car containing mom and dad in the front seat and two kids in the back, labeled 1963--summer vacation. The tagline was "Remember carefree summers in the Catskills?"

Um, no, I don't. In 1963 I was 3000 miles west in Los Angeles and we certainly didn't summer in the Catskills. We summered in British Colombia and Marblehead, MA. The Catskills, shudder, were never on my parents radar.

Inside the card unfolds into three parts. The one on the left says, "Give them the feeling again at Chestnut Park." in headlines, and goes on with this copy, "Remember when going to the Catskills with your family was the highlight of your summer? You'd go to came, meet new friends, and play all day, while your parents had a great time playing bingo, seeing Las Vegas stle shows, and enjoying all the could eat, every meal of the day. WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF YOUR PARENTS COULD RELIVE THOSE DAYS?"

Well, my father is dead, and my mother spent one summer in the Catskills when she was a teenager at a Yiddish speaking camp, and I'm very sure she has no plans to ever return. So no, we won't be reliving those days that never happened for our family.

Then we move on to the middle panel, the sales pitch. This is where I started laughing out loud. I wish I knew who their ad agency was, because evidentally they reside on Mars. Check out this copy. "At Chestnut Park, they can! With three kosher meals served in our elegant dining room, a full calendar of trips, activities and events, and a Jewish lifestyle, every day feels like a day in the Catskills. Our assisted living community has all the touches of your favorite resort, with a library, beauty salon, fitness center, country kitchen and outdoor patios and gazebos. with our convenient location in (extremely busy local known as a student hangout for BU/BC students), housekeeping and linen service, and assistance with activities of daily living, we make life easier for everyone who lives here."

OK, this is like a mixed metaphore gone horribly wrong. Are we on vacation in the Catskills, or are we in an assisted living community where we need help with our daily tasks? You be the judge.

What I want to know is, how did they find sandwich generation Jewish me in the first place? And why would they even assume that the Catskills would be a selling point for me. Shecky Green is gonna make me want mom and dad to spend their final days in a loud, college student infested neighborhood? I don't think so.

What a totally weird concept this was. Especially since I'm more of a candidate for assisted living than my mother these days. But the assumption that all Jewish people spent summers in the Catskills, and that this is what they would want as their final home... well, that's just odd.

I do have to admit that another assisted living place that advertises on TV late at night does look a lot more attractive. It's got an indoor pool and a shopping center and all the buildings are connected by glass walkways so you never have to go outside in bad weather. Kinda like Montreal. Now that would be welcome, especially the day after a blizzard when the world is slushy and kinda gross. But I'm not moving into assisted living any time soon. Besides, what are kids for if not to help their parents in their dotage, right?

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Blogger Shephard said...

A strange concept, I guess. Esp. considering the college kids you mentioned! Not my idea of a peaceful retirement(?) either.

Interesting story!
Michele sent me!

17/3/07 2:42 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Once you're on mailing lists, whether snail or the Internets, well, that's it... inundated with the stuff!

btw, here from Michele's.

Happy St. Paddy's day! :+)

17/3/07 3:09 PM  
Blogger Bob-kat said...

It's incredible what turns up in the post! It is all based around data mining of course - nasty insidious thing that it is.

So I guess you're not off to the Catskills then? :-)

I tried to visit you yesterday but was having computer probs so Michele sent me back today to say hi. Thanks for dropping by my blog. I agree, Insurance companies are pure evil.

17/3/07 3:53 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

My family never went to the Catskills, either. Wonder how that stereotype persists? Kind of annoying, isn't it?

Thanks for visiting West of Mars!

17/3/07 4:26 PM  
Blogger PI said...

Sounds a little like Butlin's Holiday Camp! Personally as an older person, I would hate to live surrounded by people as old and older than myself. Who would open jars? Or maybe that's the assisted bit. Thanks but no thanks!
Michele says Hi!

17/3/07 4:35 PM  
Blogger craziequeen said...

My parents found the perfect retirement home - in a tiny Scottish village on the shores of a beautiful loch.

I dearly hope they manage to stay independent and live in their lovely home until the end.

I don't think my mother would survive assisted living :-O

Michele sent me, Margalit dear.

ps - is there a link between vacationing in the Catskills and being Jewish?

17/3/07 5:03 PM  
Blogger Mr. Althouse said...

I forget who said it, but the quote goes something like "I want to live long enough to be a burden to my kids."

After all, I changed their diapers, didn't I?

Michele sent me,


17/3/07 5:27 PM  
Blogger Nikki-ann said...

We get some weird mail too (but sadly I can't think of anything good atm).

Anyway, I hope you're having a good weekend. Take care :)

P.S. - I'm here from Michele's today.

17/3/07 5:46 PM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

Thanks for visiting my web journal. I hope you've preserved your dad's story.

Re: Strange Mail. My wife always wonders why she gets those "Morty's of Hoboken" catalogs in the mail.

Strange, that.


17/3/07 7:53 PM  

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