Saturday, April 16, 2011

Retirement Issues - Crankypants

Tina Fey has a new book, Bossypants. I haven’t read it, but if I ever get a Kindle, it will be one of the first books I download. I love Tina Fey, but I don’t watch 30 Rock. It’s the Saturday Night Live Tina Fey that I love, and not just the Sarah Palin skits. I love the early Tina Fey even more. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s clever. And she goes toe-to-toe with the big guys in an industry that is about as testosterone saturated as you can get.

If I were to write a book now, it would have to be titled Crankypants. I’m just four weeks into retirement, and I can see my patience dwindling day by day. I have never been one to suffer fools gladly, but the freedom of retirement seems to have triggered the hypercritical button in my personality.

I feel free to get annoyed at anything and everything. Simply put, I no longer feel obligated to pretend I’m sociable. Oh, don’t look so shocked. What do you expect from someone who sits home drinking wine by herself? (Or at least wants you to think she does…)

The littlest things annoy me. So, like the features on morning TV, where the person being interviewed starts every sentence with “so” are my pet peeve of the week. So, why can’t they speak at least one sentence now and then without so much as one “so?” Like, is that so difficult? (And my second favorite word in these interviews is “like,” if you haven’t guessed.)

I used to be upbeat and positive—a glass half full kind of person. Now, not only do I see the glass as half empty, I find myself inspecting the rim, looking for chips.  I know what you’re thinking: It’s the stress of trying to get the house ready to sell. This is very likely a big part of it. A few nights back, I couldn’t sleep, thinking of all that has to be done. I got up and went to the third floor, where I organized and categorized piles of stuff into smaller, neater stacks, including things to throw out. I went back to bed at 3 am.

I keep telling my friends it’s like the loaves and the fishes. No matter how much I go through, I don’t see any signs of progress. I’m sure that if a stranger walked up to the third floor where I worked until the wee hours, they would ask me: “When to you plan to start on these rooms?” When indeed.

I don’t really like being cranky, but I don’t have the energy to fight it right now. It’s easier to be cranky than nice. I never knew that before. (There’s lots of things I never knew before, most of which have to do with what goes on in my neighborhood on weekdays…)

In a nod to my old self, I’m going to end this on an upbeat note. First of all, those of you who’ve been following the saga of my efforts to start collecting Social Security will be happy to know that everything is now under control. Miss Katshow returned my call (and responded to my certified letter.) She claims she never asked for proof of my name change. It was the computer’s fault. Apparently, it automatically generates that on line status message when you check the box that says you’ve ever gone by another name.

Damnable computers. They’re to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world. Well, the computers, the religious extremists and the Tea Party. Oh, wait. That’s redundant, isn’t it… I know I’m not supposed to be ending this cranky, but it’s not my fault. The computer made me do it.

Finally, I had fabulous success running errands today. I found an area rug for the third floor landing (wall-to-wall carpet now removed) that couldn’t have been better had I designed it myself. Plus it was at a discount store. And I found a replacement cushion for the wicker loveseat for the porch; (squirrels and neighborhood cats trashed the old one.) The print goes well with the other pillows and it, too, was at a discount store.

After a day like this, there’s really not much else to do but sit back, power up the shredder, and pour myself a nice glass of wine. So, if you’re not okay with that, you can, like, kiss my crankypants.

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