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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Retirement Spouse Survival Guide: List #1

I spoke with my sister-in-law yesterday. She retired the same day as me. My brother had already retired a few months before her (and I).

She said she was ready to kill him.

She said the point that made her snap was that after hunting for a deer (it is a sacred tradition in the U.P. to hunt deer every Nov.15th thru Nov. 30th...they even excuse kids from school to do it.) (seriously)............. my brother butchered it ON HER KITCHEN TABLE.

Jeff Goldsworthy would have a ball with that one! You know you're a redneck when your husband butchers his deer ON YOUR KITCHEN TABLE. Can't you hear him now?

But, my brother is not a redneck. Not even poor white trash. He is just addicted to hunting and fishing. It has been his passion since childhood. But now his retirement has blessed him with all the time he wants to do it in....and obviously, it has him in his grip like cocaine.

My advice?....I sent her the "how to start your own blog" website, and told her to start NOW.

But, it got me to thinking. I think there should be an ongoing Retirement Spouse Survival Guide which retired spouse newbies can use and keep adding to so that when one reaches retirement, they can learn from others' wisdom.

So, readers....if there are any of you out there that want to keep the list going, just add on to this post. As I come up with more for the list, I will put Volume #2, etc. on my blog.
You just may save a marriage or two.

Here is my starting advice:

1. Have at least two good-quality television sets in two separate rooms. One must not be in a bedroom (because retirees can slip into naps faster than on a banana).
This prevents the tug-of-war, snips, and flinging insults that come from fighting over what to watch on a continual basis. Or, in my brother's case, will keep my sister-in-law from having to watch hunting and fishing programs 24/7).

2. When you want to be in the same room with one watching TV and the other one reading (or in my brother's case, studying hunting and fishing catalogs), there is a cheap gadget that is a lifesaver. It is a little box that you attach to the TV and a wireless headset to go with it. The TV watcher can turn it up as loud as (s)he wants and watch TV, while the other one is awarded blessed quiet. It cost us about $15.00 and it is worth every cent (and then some). Ladies, you will have to train your husband not to yell a question at you when he has the headphones on (not realizing how loud he is speaking), but it is well worth it.

3. You MUST, without fail....find a hobby to do somewhere in the house where he:
a. can't find you
b. can't fit in with you
c. has some obnoxious smell that he doesn't want to enter (if the hobby doesn't provide this, just open a bottle of nail polish beside you....every husband on the face of the earth hates this smell)

4. Buy a pair of nose-hair clippers for your husband. My Lord, what happens when they retire? Does some male hormone kick in that makes their nose hairs grow a yard a day, like Jack and the Beanstock?

5. Get him drunk once a month, and man-scape his eyebrows. All retired men look like Walter Cronkite. You will have to sit on him to do it, but it is worth it. And, while you are at it, clip those ear hairs. (Must be the same nosehair growth hormone).

6. To be fair, on those once-a-month hair trims of him, go ahead and give him a thrill and shave your legs. Just don't forget when you lean against the bed that you have shaven. Otherwise you may slip and fall.

7. When he is out and about (in my brother's case, hunting or fishing)...go through his underwear drawer and throw out the ragged ones. If he comes home and has no underwear in his drawer, act innocent and bat your eyelashes as innocently as you can and say: "Underwear? What underwear?" "You must have used them all, honey". "Let's go to the mall and buy you some more". (Or in the case of my brother, say: "You go hunting, honey. I will run to the mall and buy you some more.")

8. If you live in the north, constantly check the thermostat. If you live in the south, constantly check your air conditioning settings. Re-set it to what you want it to be. Husbands don't believe in comfort and he more than likely turned it down on you. (In the case of my brother, that is what comes from aclimating to being outside in a deer blind all day).

9. If you are planning to eat leftovers for lunch, better double check. He probably already ate it.

10. Now is the time to claim a bad back, even if you don't have one. You probably do from all the past lifting your partner asked you to do. But now, you have a legitimate are retired and "too old" to help lift fact, make sure you practice this one when it is time to get the groceries in from the car. Besides, you end up putting them all away anyway (right?)

11. Threaten to re-arrange the furniture. (You won't mean it and you don't want to due to the heavy lifting mentioned above, but bear with me here.) When your partner begins to protest, you can graciously agree not to. This earns you huge goodwill points to use when you want him to put on the TV silencer earphones, or when you want to man-scape his eyebrows.

Anyone out there with more to add to the list....feel free to comment......


Pearl said...

I've got a couple years to go before I retired, but this list is hilarious and I may have to print and affix it to the fridge. Love the idea of you getting your husband drunk to trim his errant hairs. :-)

Nice writing!


subrayoga said...

Although I am far from the retirement age, I think I have to take heed on your "beutiful", "wonderful", heartfelt" advise in order to be prepared.

Aria said...

OMG, thank goodness I was done drinking my coffee! And this one tears it, I'm passing you along to my mother...

Anonymous said...

This post got me laughing and almost spurting my my morning coffee! I remember what my own mother had to go through when my father retired, several years after she did. I remember too how he drove ALL of us up the wall. *LOL* He's a golf nut these days so at least Mum gets time on her own. :D

Brilliant tips! :D

JG said...

I have 3 days to go before I retire. I'm occasionally positive about it, but mostly terrified. Jumping from an airplane was only slightly worse. Hearing that the initial phase ends, and a retirement routine develops is encouraging. I'd like to be a bit further down the road. : )

Anonymous said...

Just found your hilarious blog. I'm a few months ahead of you in retirement--almost a year now. I have to say, my husband and I are STILL adjusting to being around each other all the time. On Day 3 I made him help me move all the furniture around in the spare room so I could have my own office with my own computer far away from hearing him eat nuts. Oh yeah, and apples. Did I mention all day long?

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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