How Having A Wedding Business Is Like Being At The Retirement Home

Through a long series of events that I won’t get into right now, my kids have been doing volunteer work at the retirement home where my inlaws live. They go there once a week to help the residents with any computer problems that they have, and teach them how to use email and things like that.

(I have to take credit for being the most cruel mother in the world. Because what other type of mother would arrange for her children to teach computers to the elderly? Bwuahahahahahaha!)

I’m sitting in the library at the retirement home as I write this, waiting for them to show a lady how to set up an email account. They just finished helping a 96-year-old man figure out how to get rid of an error message. Bwuahahahahaha!

The funny thing about this is that the 96-yr-old man was complaining about another old man who comes in and uses up all the printer ink. He was telling the story, and then he stopped and looked around to check that his nemesis wasn’t around before he continued.

My Mother-in-law is 90, and her retirement home nemesis is a lady who blocks off the bowl of fruit salad at the dinner buffet by sticking her walker in front of it so nobody else can get to it. When she’s built her fort, she takes all of the strawberries out of the bowl and leaves the less desirable fruit. My MIL calls her the “strawberry queen.”

You’d think that once you get to a certain age (I think 90 is adequate) you’d be less likely to have to deal with all of the politics that come with daily living. Well, apparently the song was right, and high school never ends.

I was thinking that being at the retirement home is a lot like being in the wedding business…You have to deal with a lot of different personalities as far as other vendors go. Once you get to know people you also get to know their “quirks,“ shall we say. Some of them will be people who you really like, and others will be the ones who take all the printer ink and steal the strawberries from the fruit bowl.

But since you’re all residents of the same place (Wedding business land) you have to interact with them whether you like them or not.

So make sure to look over your shoulder before you start yapping about what a jerk someone is. Or better yet, don’t say anything at all. And don't be the one who steals all the strawberries, that just isn't cool.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and

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