Sunday, July 8, 2012

Practicing for retirement

Other and I have been talking about retirement. He’s older than I am by three years, so I’ve been pushing him to walk the plank first, partly so he can have a nice long swim in the retirement reservoir and partly so he can tell me how the water is. And for a while there, he was just inches from the edge, vowing to take the plunge next March, after he turns 66. Then suddenly his job got easier, and now he’s talking about not retiring—ever. 

But I still think it’s important to look the thing squarely in the eye, so you can make the most of it. So when my boss unexpectedly gave me a couple of comp days on top of the day off I had already booked last week, I saw it as a taste of retirement everlasting. 

I did not like it.

First of all, when you’re retired, even if only for a week, you still don’t feel like doing all the chores you’ve been putting off for years because you didn’t have time. I won’t ever feel like mending all that stuff that’s in the Chinese duffle bag on the chair in front of my sewing machine. I won’t ever feel like going through my closet and throwing out the stuff I never wear. I won’t ever feel like getting to the bottom of the moth problem. Hell, I won’t ever feel like doing a damn home-spa day. No yogurt face mask or deep olive-oil hair conditioning or goop-and-wrap my horny old witch’s feet. That knitting project I bought the yarn and needles for three days ago: not going to happen.

No, I’ve wasted most of my mini-retirement watching “Foyle’s War” and “Louie.” I watched 26 episodes of the latter pretty much back to back on Netflix yesterday and this morning. I think I have one left. My laptop got so hot from the strain that it kept kicking on my iTunes, so several times in every episode yesterday, Bob Dylan could suddenly be heard groaning, “Everybody must get stoned.” The funny thing is that it took me a while each time to figure out it wasn’t part of the script. The heat wave broke overnight, so Bob’s quiet for now. Or maybe they felt he wasn’t needed in the second season.

The thing is, there just isn’t enough TV to keep me busy in retirement. And I’ll never feel like even loading the dishwasher. I really don’t know what’s to become of me. 

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