Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tips on Coping with a Retired Husband

Sweet Ronnie's World

I hope everyone had a delightful Easter. Since all our brood was otherwise engaged with family or friends, we spent a quiet weekend with
each other. My only error was going to the grocery store on Saturday...thinking the shopping would already be done and the marauding hoards would be at home. Bad planning on my part. You know you have made a mistake the minute you hit the parking lot. The thrill of it all was that the shoppers were so grim. I get it...Easter is a short holiday with lots to do and no time...but honestly, there were no smiling faces except for the workers. They were delighted that the overpriced good were moving out of the store faster than a dog can trot.

At this time of reflection and grimness, I took a good look at what has been going on since Ronnie retired....since we had to spend the entire weekend with
each other. Don't get the wrong idea...I love my husband very much...not just every single day of the world...with all the hours that entails. Shock, horror!

You see I was accustomed to having hours of solitude in which to do my work....and it isn't like he does anything to get in my way. The simple truth is he is just here...and in his own world...shown above. I am truly delighted that he retired...his job was a monster. My only question is couldn't he have retired to somewhere else?

Two photographs of my or office. Not quite far enough away but better than nothing.....sigh!

Why didn't I listen to my mother in law and all my friends about their husbands? Okay so we all have to learn the hard way...but listed below are a few tips to help you from suffering, oops! to help you enjoy, your husband's retirement.

1. Buy another house near or far away from your own. This is sure to give you or him someplace to know have to tend to the property...or have a quilt retreat with the girls.

2. Get a job. Seriously, my best friend, who shall remain nameless, did this and it worked. She was blissfully happy working part-time to get a few days respite. She had a great time in the real world and loved spending the extra $.

3. Have him get a another job. Something fun that he has always wanted to in a Bass Pro shop...or a bookstore....or as my father in law did open your own company. Anything to get him out of the house so you can vacuum and dust.
Let me extrapolate on the vacuuming and dusting. Neither Ronnie or I suffer from being neat freaks. However, during his retirement I have discovered that his tolerance for dirty and mine are very different. The problem only occurs if they sit in front of the television all the time. Hence, vacuuming and dusting interfere with his viewing pleasure.

4. Buy a second television and procure a cable connection for it. (If you haven't already done this long ago.) Suffice it to say, I watch some pretty inelegant television...but I like it, so there. It is also great to quilt and applique to bad tv because you don't have to watch it...just listen. Sweet Ronnie, naturally, has male instincts regarding Save me.

5. Pretend they aren't there or, if I may be so bold, ignore them. This is an acquired skill requiring the fine art of learning the proper inflection to use when saying, "Yes, dear." Men require a response of some sort because that is what they are accustomed to. A fatal error occurs when you actually forget and start a conversation with them. Soooo...start practicing now to prevent yourself from thinking they really listen or even care what you say. A simple response is all they want or need but it must seem genuine.

Lest, you think that we aren't happy...remember....Sweet Ronnie is still alive, read I haven't killed him yet...and even though baby boy is a lawyer, I am sure I could get off with justified manslaughter....just kidding...seriously...I ahem, mean, really..but now that I have said it in print, it isn't an option. And I am so glad that he is,...see, there is my defense, your honor, she really loved him...and I do...if he would just do something...anything...but be retired.

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Mary Ann Littlejohn said...

This is too funny for those of us who have already been through it and terrifying to those who are approaching that date.

I still remember shopping together and my economist husband is going up and down the toilet tissue aisle doing a full blown economic analysis -- single vs. double rolls, single ply vs. double ply and cheapest price per sheat. My memory tells me that is finally just lost it and (at least in my mind)screamed "just buy some F'g toilet paper." We got a second car then.

Jeannie said...

Yep, I know what you are talking about, having hubby home changes the flow. I made Carl have his hearing checked because he was listening to his music so loud. Hearing is fine, it was just that I wasn't used to hearing it 24/7. It does get better, but I do look forward to going shopping by myself. Cheers.

Karoda said...

My father had a part-time job and when that ended my mother beefed up her volunteer work.

When Peter is on vacation and we're here together, alone, I admit to wondering what our life will look like once he retires.

Sandy said...

My dirty secret: Been walking around with a steak knife behind my back for three years now. Mine does nothing- hear that? NOTHING except sit and play with his remote. Because HE is REtired, and I am JUST tired... I simply cannot work when he is in the house, so I get your complaints. The thing that will get me to show the knife is one more 'What's For Dinner?' My mother warned me, I should have sued for divorce when he had an income. Sigh. Hang in there.