Retirement for men can be quite exciting. They get to 'tinker' in sheds, explore the intricacies of model airplanes or remote control cars or they can ride around the Yorkshire countryside in prams chasing Nora Batty (fans of Last of the Summer Wine will relate) I suppose the SA version of this is cruising down to the Golf Club or the Bowling Club in search of Nora Batty!
Female retirement involves ending our working career..and the money that goes with it, which means an end to Clinique, Woolworths and Milady's. (the idea of having to sell my body to get my Clinique is an option for serious consideration). Our 'other' job of washing, cooking, cleaning, ironing and shopping continues and if there is any spare time we will visit other women's homes and drink tea.
When I moved into my current house, I was invited to one such event. Well summoned really! We sat around one can only described as an austere formal lounge. Years ago every home had a room like this - the 'front' room or the 'parlour'. It is a room where every precious thing has its place - no running is allowed, no bouncing on the settee and laughter is frowned upon. Here I was introduced to ladies who were at home during the day - they played bridge, golf, bowls, baked and drank tea. Our hostess had baked up a storm and we drank tea from tiny, floral china cups, which were raised in unison while our hostess talked... and talked.... and talked! As she drew breath we rose in unison to leave and she stood by the door and thanked us for coming - rather like the vicar does as you leave the Sunday service, "So very good of you to come." "Please come again soon." Not bloody likely I thought as I nodded and bolted home and thanked the Lord for the world of work!
Then there is the question of the retired man of the house. Can we survive twenty four hours together, seven days a week. Previous experience of this was not a success. We are better when there are spaces in our togetherness and there is only so much tinkering a man can do.
There are a couple of things that I do plan for my old age. I have promised more than once to go shopping in my wedding dress and I am looking forward to this. Living in Summerstrand and having been kept on my drive in the morning as the stream of student traffic pass by selfishly not giving way, I have a plan to mount my mobility scooter at 07h30 and motor down the road at 10kph with my iPod on full so I cant hear the abuse!! Can I wait? Decisions! Decisions! Any advice?