So you’re retiring…

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

The time has finally come. No one ever expects it to happen, but happen it does. Relax and read on. I’m living it so you won’t go wrong listening to what I have to say.

Rule No. 1.Go buy a white cardigan sweater. Simple, nothing fancy. You aren’t accepted into this sorority without one. I kid you not.

You may develop many skills during your lifetime. Most important now is listening. As in being a good listener to somebody’s ills and problems. You’ll get those by the dozen. Being able to listen and hear what is being said at the tables around you in the dining room. In other words, to hear what is none of your business. This is an important rule.

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A rule equally as important to listening to that which doesn’t concern you is to learn all the phases of BINGO. In a retirement center you live and die by BINGO. Many cheat. Don’t do it or you’ll find me writing about you. You don’t want that!

Learn early to take care of yourself. Just make sure you can take care of yourself or you can go elsewhere. You can stay with an aide. Scares you, doesn’t it?

Be prepared to do your own laundry or have an aide do it. See me for this. I have the best in the world! Name of Geraldine.

No one here seems interested in country or world happenings. I am vitally interested. If you land here, see me. I keep abreast of it all.

Like to gossip? Who doesn’t? You’ll develop it early in your stay, but you’ll lose any reputation you may develop if you’re proven wrong on the least little thing. You are never believed again. A sad way to live. Even I couldn’t help you. Be sharp. Check with me. I won’t steer you wrong. After all, I have my reputation to uphold. It’s good to have someone in the know (I love that expression) in your corner. (Like that one, too.)

Dressing well isn’t very important, but don’t appear undressed. (It’s happened here once or twice.).

Don’t give the staff a hard time. You need them. If you do, it’s like cutting your own throat and you land in the nursing center. It’s like being put back a grade and now you share a room, My only criticism of it happening.

Some retirees share family ties with their tablemates. Not I! My family is mine. Get your own!

This next item is very important. Make some good friends and go out often. Just to know there is other food than retirement center food is good for the soul (and body.) The most impossible thing here is to get to a movie. I used to go three times a week even though it cost $7 – $5 for seniors. I sure let them know I was a senior, hoping it would surprise them and hear &uot;Really? You sure don’t look it.&uot; So if a movie comes by, grab it.

Try not to be a smart aleck. No one likes them.

Come and join us if you can afford it. Bring your white sweater (cardigan) so you’ll fit in. Any questions – see me. I don’t charge!

Happy retirement!