Thursday, April 5, 2007

A retirement plan

As I stood munching on cocktail shrimp and sipping bland sauvignon blanc at yet another UST retirement party this week, I thought: the retirees are starting to look more and more like me. In a mere 13 years, if this place doesn't kill me first, I could be standing before a cake and colleagues, thanking them for putting up with me for 32 years.

Hell, I want to retire now. I'm tired of rushing to get everything accomplished every day. I would like to draw on my pension, take a nap in the afternoon, write some good poems while I still have brain cells left, and stand in the Hallmark card section as long as I can laugh. I would like to weed my garden on a summer morning before it gets too hot. I would like to polish my silver and appreciate the pretty things which I now keep hidden ... and tarnished. I'd sit on my deck and have breakfast and listen to the radio and watch the birds. I'd shop for shoes before my ankles got puffy. I'd go to the market every afternoon and get just what I'd want for dinner. I'd stop running on the treadmill at the gym after dark -- which I do now because I just run out of daylight -- because old people should not be out at night unless they're dancing and have a driver.

But I'll want to be an old woman who still looks pretty good and has laugh lines and cool glasses. I'll want someone to say that I'm a real character, even if I'm a little eccentric. I'll still want people to tell me dirty jokes, and I'll still want to laugh aloud. What do you want to do and be when you retire? (A funny word, don't you think: re-tire? Get tired again? I don't think so. Hmmm.)

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