A few weeks ago at a big 50th anniversary shindig for my in-laws, one of my favorite guests, Sam, came over to say hi.
“I’m going to tell you what I told you 16 years ago at your wedding. I wish you had a sister that I could introduce to my son!”
He then went on to say that he heard I had retired. “What am I doing wrong that I’m 72 and still working?” he joked.
Last week in Molokai, at one of the many neighborhood dinners we were invited to, Diane, who works as a real-estate agent, asked us “what do you guys do that you can just take off on a Hawaiian vacation with your friends at a moment’s notice?”
I told her “nothing.” I think she thought I was joking. Later during the evening, my husband admitted that, yes, we really did do nothing—we were both retired.
Well then Diane wanted to know, “what do you guys DO then, now that you are retired?
Another retiree, Georgie (age 70) jumped in. “You don’t have to answer that!” she said. I thought that was a very appealing option.
Because the truth is, I find myself uncomfortable discussing my retired life at cocktail parties—especially with people that are working; even though I know that in both these instances, they work because they want to, not because they have to. Even before I retired, I knew the cocktail party chatter would come to an abrupt halt when called upon to list my retirement activities; especially with people that actually love their work.
“I blog, read, bike, garden, and sew. “ As I say it, I anticipate the glazed look in their eyes, “that seems very nice,” they say. I guess a simple fact comes to the surface at cocktail parties. It’s much more fun to be retired than it is to talk about it.