I remember it like it was yesterday, the day Randy retired. Sure it sounded like a great idea at the time. We had plans to take cooking classes together, drive in to Sonic every afternoon at 3 to get a buy one-get one free-cherry cola, watch movies until midnight, all cuddled up eating popcorn and feasting on the homemade brownies that we would bake together in the early evenings, right before our stroll, hand in hand through the neighborhood.
Those were the plans 6 months ago. Today, well, let’s just say that plans have changed. By early afternoons, we are barely speaking. Driving to Sonic would actually make us ride closed up in the same car, which is not going to happen any time soon. I made sure that the guns we had in the house have been sold on Craig’s Lists. Just didn’t want to take any chances.
One day last week, while I am in the kitchen making frosting for a cake, unbeknownst to me, as I am scraping the cream cheese just to be sure I got every last drop of it (as I am constantly reminded that we are now on a retirement budget), he comes right beside me and proceeds to unwrap the butter and ask me if it goes in the same bowl as the cream cheese. Really? I can no longer make frosting by myself? What has happened to our glorious plans of how retirement was suppose to go? I have forgotten the way to WallMart because I never get to drive there myself. Shopping at Macy’s? Not anymore. I am told that with us being “retired”, how many blouses do I really need anyway? He even watches Ellen with me. Last week, he told me that he had been thinking that maybe he should get a pedicure just to see what they are like so would I make “us” an appointment for next week. He is now clipping Hobby Lobby coupons for me and has rearranged the garage so many times that my car doesn’t know which side to park when the garage door goes up.
He has shown me a much cleaver way to fold clothes. I never knew that how I folded them wasn’t “cleaver”.
We now make shopping lists since we don’t want to waste gas having to go back and forth to the store. That was my only way to get out of the house. Using the excuse that I had forgot to buy bread and cocoa. I am having to become a little more creative of why I need to leave the house. Please don’t tell him that 64 year old women don’t just, poof, start having periods again, since I used that excuse to have to run to the store the other day.
I now tell him that I didn’t have a check with me when I had a manicure so I need to run a check up to the salon. It is my little secret that I have started adding just a little “Benedryl” to his afternoon coffee so that his normal 15 minute nap that he likes to take now, lasts an hour. Ah…an hour to myself. What do I want to do with my hour? Read, bake? The excitement of all the possibilities of the things I could do while he is asleep, wears me out and I usually end up falling asleep, only to wake up to him standing over me telling me that it’s time for us to watch Ellen and boy, wouldn’t a bowl of fresh popped popcorn taste good. It is so great that he doesn’t like to visit people in the hospital so that has become my new hobby. I visit people I don’t even know.
The golden years, isn’t that what they call this season of life? I guess that’s because the tape that is used to mark off our own territory in our homes is yellow, Next time you are invited to a retirement party, forget the gift cards or the travel brochures to give the couple. Give them a roll of Yellow Duct tape. It might just save their marriage.