My department and job are moving to another state, so at 53, I’m calling it quits and retiring. It’s taken no time at all for my husband, who works out of our home, to decide that this is a bad, bad thing. He’s informing family and friends that my retiring will be the end of life as he knows it, and describing to anyone that will listen, his recent nightmares—with me as the leading lady—invading his space and moving his stuff. He is now obsessed with protecting his turf. I think I caught him peeing on the remote.
Our financial advisor was not much more encouraging. “This green line up here represents your money; this red line down here represents your ages. At the point where the green crosses the red, you run out of money.”
No mistaking it; a complete green nosedive at 80. Obviously one of us has to sacrifice ourselves before then, or both go down in flames. I’m not crazy about the way my husband is looking at me. Our financial advisor apparently picking up on this, and hoping to stave off an all-to-assisted suicide, continues her cheery dialogue suggesting I may change my mind about retirement. Implying that I will suddenly realize the unending monotony of days upon days stretched out bleakly before me, and I’ll decide to return to corporate America: hence resuscitating the green [line]. Smiling upon us, Miss Financial Sunshine reports she has witnessed this with other baby-boomer clients.
Sometimes, recalling that plummeting line, and considering all the hours my husband is logging watching Forensic Files, Cold Case Files, and American Justice, I wonder—how might he do me in. After all, the man does make his living selling chemicals; and he makes my coffee every morning—with ‘cinnamon.’ During these lapses of absolute trust, I puzzle; where would he hide me? Long ago we agreed on cremation; he’s proposing, that instead of a traditional burial at sea, saving time and gas, pouring my remains into the marine head (that’s toilet to you land-lovers), and flushing me out to sea. But I don’ think he could manage a do-it-yourself cremation without showing his hand, or burning down the house— and without the benefit of cremation, jamming me into the toilet would prove difficult. More likely, he’d hide me in the freezer in our garage, which is about the right size to house my body. That would work unless there’s just been a hurricane and we have no electricity. Then we’re back to the boat. He’d store me in that freezer and run the generator. That freezer isn’t big, but I’ve always been very flexible.
I know this is crazy talk. I’m positive we’ll survive this lifestyle tweak, but just to be safe—I’m giving up cinnamon—and selling that boat.