Lee Pitts: Now What Do I Do? | TSLN.com

Lee Pitts: Now What Do I Do?

I hope I never have to retire because, quite frankly, I’m not very good at it. My friends can’t understand why I don’t want to retire while I can’t understand why they worked their entire lives doing something they can’t wait to quit.

My wife and I don’t own a motor home, nor a second house, and I don’t fish, play bridge, golf or belong to any fraternal organizations. And I don’t have any relatives I’m dying to visit. I love my life the way and what I do best is work. Having said all that, I thought I’d retire for one day just to see what all the excitement is about. Here is my diary from that day.

4:30 Tried to sleep late but I was so excited about my first day of retirement I couldn’t wait to get started.

5:00 Read the paper to see if any of my retired friends had died, and decided to catch up on some long overdue personal hygiene. Trimmed my toenails and pruned the brushy outgrowth in my nose and ears. So far I was really liking this thing called retirement.

7:00 Sharpened my chainsaw, put new line in the weed whacker, saddle soaped my saddle, polished my boots, sorted some screws, filled the birdbath and dusted the inside of my mailbox.

9:00-11:00 Alphabetized all my books by the author’s last name, dusted my old FFA trophies, inked the rubber stamp pad, changed a weak light bulb, and removed all the Rolodex cards of people who had died in the last 20 years. Getting a little bored, I wandered into the kitchen where my wife was preparing lunch. “Let me help,” I said, dropping a jar of blackberry jelly on the floor and breaking it. My wife suggested it would be better if I wouldn’t help. “Why don’t you sort the everything-drawer,” she suggested.

Noon- After I separated the rubber bands from the old keys, my wife and I had lunch together. “Isn’t retirement nice?” I said. “Now what do we do?”

“We could have a conversation,” she suggested.

So we sat at the table in stone cold silence for ten minutes until she said, “Why don’t you go to the store and get some bread and milk?”

1:00 Got home from the store with bags of candy, gum, soda pop and chips but no bread or milk. The wife is starting to get a little testy I think.

2:00 All I was trying to do was help her with the housework but she did not appreciate it when I spilled the vacuum bag on our white carpet. I think I’m starting to get on my wife’s nerves. So I polished our tarnished silver, sharpened all the pencils in the house and used my powerful air compressor to “dust” the furniture.

3:00 to 5:00 The wife said I could watch TV with her but we only have one TV and she was watching Dr. Oz and Ellen. Ten minutes was all I could take so I went to the shop to realign the wheels on the vacuum cleaner. I’m starting to think retirement may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

5:00 to 6:00 I gave the wife a break and cooked dinner before realizing I don’t know how to cook. So we ate cold cereal without the milk I was supposed to get at the store earlier in the very l-o-n-g day. I even answered the telephone, even though I hate talking on the phone. It was Amber, a telemarketer. She lives in St. Louis and doesn’t really like her job but is trying to make some money for beauty college. She wants to be a fingernail artist. Since I’m retired I bought a timeshare in Cancun to help her out.

7:00-8:30 I tried to watch TV again with the wife but she was watching Dance Moms and said, “If you can’t keep your sarcastic remarks to yourself why don’t you just leave.” So I went to bed. I was exhausted from my first day of not doing anything anyway. Tomorrow I’m going to unretire.

Please, I beg you, keep reading my writing so I can keep working or you’ll be responsible for my wife’s institutionalization, a divorce and my being bored to death.

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Lee Pitts

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I am often asked where I get my material to write about. Basically, writers have three options. They can invent a story, which requires a fertile imagination, or they can share their interesting life experiences.…

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