I received a comment the other day on an old blog called How to be a Snowbird. The comment said:
The number one thing that snowbirds need to do is to polish up their good manners. As a former resident of Yuma, AZ -- and yes, one of the 5 top reasons we left was because of winter visitors -- we were appalled by the "Ugly American" mentality and behavior of way too many snowbirds. Remember -- when you pull into some town, you are pulling into somebodies hometown -- their home. Be courteous.I could only imagine what these people had experienced. It seems to me that any group of old people or snow birds or even young people will have a few bad apples. As I have said before if a human is rude, unethical or even criminal when they are young, they will be just the same when they are old. Truly, there is no such thing as a cute little old man/woman when they behave themselves in a way that makes those around them uncomfortable. The same standard that applies to those of us that are young must apply to those of us that are old.
For example, I give you a very bad old person that lived in this RV resort. Some thought he was "cute". He received porno in the mail daily. He was prosecuted just before he died for molesting a young girl. He was a very wicked young person and did not get over it when he was old. Cute does not now nor every has applies to a person like this. But he was only one bad apple. A little over a year ago I wrote a post called Old People Behaving Badly. This is what I said to snow birds:
...you cannot behave badly or break laws or put other people in danger or "swear in the streets" or do any of the other things that you might think you can get away with because you are old. First of all, yesterday's old is today's middle age. You may not be old at all. Secondly, there are getting to be a huge number of old people so we need to remain civilized as long as possible. Thirdly, the laws applies to old people too. You really should not drive if you need oxygen to stay alive or cross three lanes of traffic at one gulp. But most importantly, acting as though we have license to behave badly [because we are old] just makes you and everyone else miserable.
So I would say to you, encourage that seniors are held to the same standard of the law and behavior as everyone. If a senior or a young person is rude to you, remember what goes around comes around. Generally, karma will come back and bite the person that is rude so you don't need to.
But here is a lesson in life. No group of people should be painted with the brush of guilt just because some behave themselves very badly. That is what we call bigotry. To the commenter from Yuma I will give an apology in so far as I can. But I do want you to all know that my friends volunteer in our community when they come south. They cook meals for the homeless, attend church and spend their money freely. They are law abiding and well meaning.
Tucson welcomed the snow birds and their money this year. The city begans to thrive as it should even though traffic becomes heavier and restaurants are full when people come to eat. Snow birds are sustaining this community in the only way they know how. They are living here.
Every snowbird should realize that if you are guest in a community, behave yourself appropriately. As the commenter said "This is someones hometown." If you become a resident for part of the year, do your part...no one owes you anything.