Tuesday

Marriage Saved by Government Subsidized Golf Carts

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If you look up "active adult" in the dictionary, you'll probably see a picture of my Aunt Amy.

She's 60...ish, and in stellar shape. She's got shoulder-length blond hair, and thanks to artfully administered injectables, disarmingly full lips and no wrinkles whatsoever. Her wardrobe is pure Lilly Pulitzer and she's always, always tan.

Amy lives... appropriately enough... in Florida, and better yet, she's now a resident of iconic active adult community, "The Villages". If you watch the Golf Channel, even occasionally, you know the Villages, and you know it's America's Friendliest Hometown. Because, the jingle says so. And the jingle has been seared into your memory till the end of time.

About a year ago Amy married Al - husband number three - and moved into his house at The Villages. Al is exactly the type of man you'd expect to see on Amy's sleek golden brown arm. "Active Adult, Male Version"; if there was a "Field Guide to Human Subspecies", that'd be Al's Chapter. I'm guessing he's about Amy's age though he looks quite a bit older due his silver hair... and refusal to have his face injected every six months. He looks prosperous though, as prosperous as Amy looks pretty, and that's why they're such a perfectly matched pair. Put them side by side in matching bathtubs and you've got a Cialis ad.

And like the Cialis couples, they get along so well. Most of the time. Lately there's been a bit of trouble in paradise. You see when Al's previous marriage broke up, his German wife grabbed Max, their Labradoodle, and went right back to Berlin, leaving him with the house and two golf carts... and that was fine, because not only do they both play golf...daily, but in The Villages even if you don't play golf you'll want a golf cart. It's the way people get around in the self-contained Disneyland for adults. And these active adults really do get around. Shopping, Theater, Dining ...and golf galore. The Villages is very animated.

The problem was that Amy, after seeing the amazing tricked out carts many of the residents drove, found Al's carts a little too... Vanilla? She soon found an adorable cart to covet. A cart designed by her favorite designer.

Yep, Amy found a Lilly golf cart. And she had to have it. She'd found a bright orange cart on-line for Al too. That's when she discovered that the man who had courted her with long weekends in Paris and pricey baubles from Tiffany had a sensible side. He balked at the glitzy golf carts, citing the two perfectly fine carts in their garage... and alluding to recent stock market losses. Amy was not at all pleased, and the golf cart discord was putting a damper on her relationship with Al.

This morning, before I left for NY, I got a call from Amy. She sounded happier than she had in a while, and I soon found out why: It seems there's a federal tax credit, a kind of "cash for clunkers" type thing, but with golf carts. Because golf carts...apparently...qualify as "green" vehicles: environmentally friendly and thus eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $5,500. So, Al is finally on board for the new carts.

The happy couple plans to do some golf cart shopping this weekend.