|See what I mean about "fainted, diva-like"?|
Okay, that's their business. Also, the word "snowbird" inevitably brings to mind the classic Fleetwood Mac love song "Songbird" (the version at left ended up on our wedding video). It's such a beautifully evocative word that I never suspected the vitriol with which it could be said. I heard a teenager, certainly a year-rounder and probably an Arizona native, hurl it as an invective against a couple of people probably in their sixties who weren't moving fast enough for the young ones.
I guess I can understand that people who stay here, really call Arizona home, and suffer through the summers, might resent people who only stay as long as they care to, using natives' resources. When I was growing up in Northern California, we had a similar resentment toward people from LA who came North to retire, causing a population spike that might have led to overdevelopment, etc. But it takes a teenager (or similarly evolved individual) to imbue such a lovely word with the profanity I heard that day.
I began to think that my husband and I are sort of poor-man's snowbirds. We've arrived in Arizona just in time for the winter season, and so we've missed the massive storms where we came from, which certainly would have put a kink or two in our backs from shoveling. The similarity ends there, because it's not exactly a vacation home we've set up here with borrowed furniture, and we won't be leaving when the weather gets really hot. But just as Arizona saves the real snowbirds' aching joints, so too has it saved my husband and me from certain economic doom. I still feel like a complete outsider here, but I'd like to offer Arizona my sincere thanks for accepting us when we had nowhere else to go. Arizona has been a perfect model of the ideals expressed in Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus":