I don't want to be June; I want to be Ward

October 8, 2012

I feel guilty admitting this because so many folks have to go to work every day, but retirement life isn’t working so well for me. I just hit the two-year mark and have finally given myself permission to do nothing! This is not possible. Yesterday I ironed everything in my closet. I always hated to iron. This afternoon I cleaned the coffee stains from the inside of all of my white mugs. Did you know that Mr. Clean magic erasers could do this? Just a few moments ago I was tempted to graduate the cereal boxes in my pantry from tallest to smallest, or should it be smallest to tallest? Could it be that working outside the home made me saner? At the very least, I used to feel important, intelligent and connected to the world!

My husband loves to stay in the house. I told him I need something to motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning. For him it is working the crossword puzzle! From there he graduates to his laptop to play solitaire for two more hours and before he knows it, it is time to heat leftovers for lunch while he reads the paper. Soon it is time to go get the mail out of the box and recycle the paper. Then he will go to the health club eventually. Why does his schedule bother me? He deserves to do whatever he wants.

For some reason I thought that I could help him to retire more easily and fill his days with my “to do” list. Now that he doesn’t have to work, wouldn’t he like to install a bigger sink? Wouldn’t he love to tile the bathroom? He retired from aerospace engineering. Maybe he could invent a tiny hovercraft that sits outside  the house like the Jetsons' spaceship and cleans the siding.

Remember on the introduction to the TV show “Leave it to Beaver,” June would hand husband Ward his packed lunch pail as he walked out the door. I don’t want to be June! I want to be Ward. If I stay home and pretend to be June, then I want to redecorate, and now that I am retired there isn’t money earmarked for artwork.  This is an unforeseen disaster! I would have worked two more years if we had had this discussion before I quit. What do you mean I can’t buy artwork? The entire Eastern shore is awash with talented painters and every day I can check the paper for another art opening! The talent at the recent Rehoboth Art League show rivaled the masters! These paintings call out to me, “You will feel fulfilled if only you could look at me on your wall. Pay no attention to the bald man behind the curtain on the computer balancing our checkbook!”