Thursday, January 13, 2011

Looking Forward To The Retirement Home!

When I was 18, I went away to college (Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas).  I was given a dorm room and a "Vali-dine" card (Oh! And a whole bunch of pesky books!). 

A Vali-dine card was a wonderful and miraculous thing -- I could just walk into the dining hall, get whatever food I wanted, slide the Vali-dine card through the machine at the checkout, and go eat with all my friends.  It was that simple.  Like magic! 

In my adulthood I've come to appreciate even more than I did back then the concept of a central, commercial kitchen where someone other than ME, plans the menu, procures the food, cooks the meals, and does the dishes!  It takes me back to my childhood where food just APPEARED!

The girls in my dorm and the boys in the dorm across the courtyard quickly came to the collective concensus that Vali-Dine cards were really great.  We also concluded that college would be really great if only we didn't have those pesky classes to go to!  We had our dorm rooms, our roommates, our suitemates, our friends, plenty of members of the opposite gender nearby, and regular  mixers.  We had a game room, a gym, a track, and courts for tennis, basketball, and raquetball.  We had cars, the neighborhood bar (The Bombay Bicycle Club), and all of colorful San Antonio to play in.  It was just those darn classes and all the studying that spoiled the fun.

Then we figured out that the college set-up without the classes is what retirement homes are!  You get the equivalent of a Vali-dine card, someone else does the cooking and cleaning and maintenance and manages all those other annoyimg details, and the residents are free to just PLAY!  Except for wrinkles, illness, arthritis, Alzheimer's, impotence, and a few other downfalls of old age it's just about the perfect world in my eyes!  At this point in my multi-wicked (as in, I burn my candle at MANY ends) adulthood, if classes were all I had to worry about, I'd be tickled to death (though not literally -- because one must watch out for things that end in death because they cut back on time in the retirement home!).

I would LOVE to spend about 30 years (from say 82 to 112) living in the retirement home!  I would read and write ALL DAY EVERY DAY!  And, if I needed a break or new topics or plot twists, I could have play dates with my friends until the writing inspiration returns!

All this makes aging sound so much better to me!  And, if I ever get bored, Mark and I can pretend we're batty and have great fun hitting people with our canes, dressing each other up in funny mismatched outfits, and talking in wacky circles about ridiculous things, repeatedly. 

I know for sure that Mark, whether in his right mind or not, can be counted on to give regular reports on the daily antics of the local squirrel population!  By way of a current example: most recently, he reported to me that he witnessed the bully squirrel from across the street run across the street, beat up a poor, unsuspecting squirrel in our yard, and then retreat back to his own yard!  Only Mark would notice this -- and delight in it!

We have also been known, during a long wait in the doctor's office waiting room, to catch imaginary butterflies out of the air and feed them to each other!  I definitely think we could manage to keep ourselves entertained in the retirement home!

I'd better start taking better care of myself because I have BIG plans for the retirement home and I want to be healthy enough to spend several fruitful and frolicking decades playing there!  In the meantime, I must be very, very careful to stay out of the paths of buses!

Mark and I have been practicing for our senior years!  We have photographic evidence but I can't get the photos to upload at the moment so check back later to see them!