Monday, September 17, 2012

A life of leisure

My parents are newly retired and enjoying it very much.
Me, I think they may have gone a little overboard.
They’re taking vacations to national parks I’ve never been to. They’re driving all over the Bay Area to visit old college friends whenever they feel like it. They’re volunteering at church and planning Air Force classmate reunions. They go for daily walks. Sometimes they’ll even walk — get this — twice a day.
My dad has been known to drive to Dean & DeLuca in St. Helena just to buy fancy mustard.
I know, crazy, right? Fancy mustard? Come on. It’s not like it can make that grilled salmon taste really amazing or anything. Not at all.
What is this new retiree world they’ve entered? And why can’t I come along?
When my mom calls to chit-chat about her day, I feel even more sorry for myself.
I’m not going to Yosemite or Glacier National Park.
I’ll never see my college friends again.
Welcome to my Big Fat Pity Party. If you’re retired, you’re not invited.
My mom, the new retiree, likes to go visit her neighbors, more retired people. I think the last time I went to socialize with a neighbor was sometime back in 2009. These days, I manage a wave as I drive in and out of our court, but I am sadly deficient in my neighborhood networking.
Now that they’re retired, my mom and dad aren’t worrying about hoarding the 18.5 sick hours they have to last until the end of the year. If one of them gets a cold, they just sleep in. And then later they can take a nap. Or two.
If I took a nap at work, I might not have a job to wake up to.
When my parents go on vacation, they call it a “trip.” Apparently, when you’re retired, every day is a vacation day, said Just Jealous Jennifer Huffman.
There’s no retirement in sight for me. Sometimes I think I may not survive 2012, let alone make it to any so-called retirement age.
To top it all off, I’ve also got the government taunting me about retiring. I get a yearly Social Security statement that lists the amount of earnings I’ll be eligible for when I turn 67.
Oh, Social Security, do you have to be such a tease? I don’t need an annual reminder of what I’m eligible for 25 years from now. Leave me be. I’m still working for The Man. And I mean that with affection, Napa Valley Register.
I need to stop this rant right here. The truth is, my mom and dad rock.
Whenever I text one of them about picking up one or more Huffman girls — and it always seems like it’s at the last minute — they hardly ever say no. My mom and dad are always asking if we need help with anything. They even feed us every Thursday night at our weekly family dinner. My dad usually grills something.
Next time, I’ll have to ask him to use that mustard.

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