Tag Archives: Retirement

Hey ma, check out the old dude!

Blog Hair

So if you have been following along, you know we have discussed women’s hair and men’s beards.  I think you know my stance on fun hair color and disgusting weird beard trends.  Now it is time for an update.

I have been having so much fun with my hair color.  My tresses (that sounds so much more luxurious than hair) have been various shades of burgundy and plum brown.  Right now it is pretty close to a reddish purple color.  Nort has picked most of these colors out so if he doesn’t like it, he certainly has not said anything.  Madison is used to her mother’s hair being all sorts of different colors but she is not so sure about mine.  Luke doesn’t care one way or the other just as long as I don’t shave my head.

For so many years I had to be very conservative in my hair styles as well as colors.  Heck, there were some times in my career that I couldn’t even wear cool nail colors or decals.  But that was alright for the most part since I had done the wild and weird in my younger years.  Oh, and my toes were always pretty cool when I took my shoes off.  Bright orange toe nail polish with whimsical designs will always brighten your day.  Now that I am making paint, it is expected that I rock a different look.  Yippee!

Recently though, I had a woman and her teenage daughter come in for some paint for the daughter’s bed room.  “Oh mom! That is the color I want my hair!”  The look of  horror on mom’s face was pretty darn funny.  “NO!”  Then you should have seen her backtracking so as to not offend me.  “Oh, I mean, really, it looks great on you…….”  I just smiled and winked at the teenager.  What else could I do.  And, no, I was not offended.

One Sunday I didn’t even think about what I was wearing or really what eye makeup and lipstick I had on.  I was just glad I got dressed and ready so we could leave for church on time.  (Bet you have felt that way a time or two).  It wasn’t until we were leaving one of my friends said, “You really must have spent some time on what you were going to wear today.  Every thing matches your hair!”  When I got home and really looked in the mirror, she was right.  My hair matched my eyeshadow which matched my lipstick which matched my earrings which matches my top.  I was wearing black trousers and shoes so I wasn’t totally monochromatic.   I have been more careful since.

All this brings me (in a very round about way) to men.  Not so much what they are doing with their hair color, but just about every thing else.  As disgusting as I think braided, beaded beards are, I get a real kick out of the pony tails.  I just can’t help but laugh a little to my self when I see a semi-bald man with snow white hair and a pony tail.   Oh, and earrings.  Don’t you just love a 70 year old man with earrings and a pony tail?

While grocery shopping one day I saw a couple that were just too cute for words.  She had beautiful snowy white hair in a really cute cropped cute usually seen only on younger women.  He too had snowy white hair though he was semi-bald.  But what hair he did have was long enough that he could sport a cute little pony tail.  And what was even cuter was the red hair elastic that coordinated with his very neat and conservative button style shirt.   I loved it.

And that is not the only interesting hair style I’ve seen on white haired older guys.  Nort and I were shopping (he is SO patient so it is fun to shop with him) and in the check-out line was a man with some bit more hair than Nort has and much longer on top, but it was all spiky, like a porcupine.  Pretty darn cool, short on the sides (where it was thicker of course) and longer on top and standing straight up.  I looked inquiringly at my spouse but he just grinned.  Don’t think I can talk him into that.

At first I was not really sure about the look and found it kind of confusing.  I mean I’m used to old bikers and renegades.  Hippies (do we still call them hippies?) have pretty much always had long hair, pony tails and braids.  I remember when my brother got married in the early eighties there was a couple who both had lovely French braids.  The only difference in their hairstyles was she had flowers in hers and he didn’t.   But they were young and of course, hippies.

I wonder if these old guys I’ve been seeing wore their hair long when they were young men too and if this is just their chance to go back in time.  Or maybe this is the hair style they have had for sixty years and no sense changing it now.  Granted, I’ve not seen any “Beatle” cuts, but that could be because one needs lots of hair all over the head to imitate John, Paul, George or Ringo.  Oh the image of some old guy still going for that look is just too funny.  Pardon me while I chuckle.

But I think it is probably the same with them as so many of us women.  These guys are probably men who worked in conservative business environments like lawyers, bankers and such and just now get to go wild.  Remember, these are men who came of age when these careers demanded suits and ties for a work uniform.  Even most tradesmen had to be more conservative in their work life.  That is why you would see so many really colorful golf pants and shirts and other weekend wear.

So, that is what I really think it is.  We women who were either compelled to be less frivolous with our hair and such whether due to our career choices or demands of raising a family (or both!) now get to play as much as we want to with cuts and color.  There is no such thing as a matronly look anymore.  And by golly, the men get to do their own thing now too.  Once full on retirement hits and there is no more need to “toe the line” they are as free as we are to embrace our inner young person.  More power to the Age of Gray!

Not just a country song

Wasted days and wasted nights, is not just an old country song as I have discovered. I don’t think Freddy Fender was singing about my current life, but it sure does feel like it sometime.  Please tell me I’m not the only one, I really want to hear what you have to say!(Since you are a Boomer, I am assuming you now have that song running through your head, and if you are like me you will have to Youtube Freddy Fender which will lead to other great “Classic Country” stars you have to look up, then on to Spotify to listen to an early Marty Robbins album and then create a new Pandora channel for later).

If you read the “about me” page, you know I am semi-retired. I don’t go to work until 10:00 a.m. and get off at 2:00 p.m. Yep, anyway you look at it I work four hours a day. And to top it off, I don’t work weekends. So, I’ve got plenty of time to get stuff done. Ha! Then why do I feel so out of control? Could it be that over the years I have developed laziness to a fine art? Heaven knows I have really honed my ability to do nothing over the years, but I never thought it would reach this stage.

I have been told that one of the best things about being retired is never having to get out of your nightgown.  (Now Sundays have been nightgown day for quite a while.  As soon as we get home from church and lunch, I change for my nap and frequently never change again). And, I do so agree with that sentiment.  I stayed retired for a couple of months before I went to work part time.  And, guess what.  I stayed in my nightgown and watched movies, TV shows I’d missed (curse you Netflix), caught up on my reading and of course, spent waaaaaay to much time on the computer.  On the plus side, I crushed Zuma and Luxor so I never have to play them again.

But having Nort just look at me, shake his head and sigh one time too many did prompt me to do something with my days.  I did get the house all cleaned up and under control.  I cooked, Lord did I cook and worked in the yard (more about that later).  But, and this is the big but (not to be confused with a bodacious booty), all the things I thought I’d do didn’t happen.  I pictured lazy lunches with the “girls”, camping out at my sewing machine and doing some framing.  I was going to meet Nort for lunch and greet him with a cocktail when he got home.  Since Nort is still fully and gainfully employed, I knew that travel was not going to be a serious thing.  But, I was going to get the Guppy (the motor home) all ready to go at a moments notice.  How in the world did all my plans just vanish?

I managed to keep a basically clean house, feed my family and work in the yard when I was a worker bee.  We had clean clothes and clean dishes too. We took trips and Nort and I had date nights.   How did I go from getting everything done in the hours I had then to it taking all my retired time to do the same basic chores.  What happened to me?  I have always been prone to being a giant slug, (actually, I’ve always admired the sloth, how cool are they) but this was ridiculous.  Granted, I essentially did deep, spring cleaning on the house with all my new free time.  I cleaned out closets and cabinets (man, was that ever scary) and rearranged things that seriously needed it.

I also mastered the art of making a roux and perfected my gumbo, you know, important things that do take time.  Then, slowly and subtly like some sort of evil fog, I got sucked into the inability to get anything done in a more or less timely manner.  I could spend the whole day merely making the bed, straightening up the house and washing one load of clothes.  Then I had to hustle to fix dinner before eight.  And still hadn’t lunched with the ladies, done any sewing/knitting/crafting, or made any cocktails.  How do my friends do it?  Facebook pages are full of lunches, shopping, travel and crafts.  And, I’ve been to their houses.  No sinks of dirty dishes, beds unmade and piles of laundry.  And they are actually dressed, with hair and makeup done!  How, how, how?  Is there some sort of secret that I’ve not been privy to, a special code of conduct, a genetic trait I’ve missed?  You know who you are, please tell me!

Apparently, I am one of those people who must have a deadline or time limit in order to get anything done.  If I have to be at work by 8:30 and know I’ll be there until at least 6:30, then I know I have to get my arse up, dressed, bed made and so forth.  Then, better be ready with my grocery list so I don’t waste time on the way home so I can actually get dinner ready in time to clean up afterward and do a little picking up.

Now don’t get me wrong, since I’m married to Mr. Perfect, he actually enjoys cooking so it is not like a seven day a week cooking thing and he is capable of putting dishes in the dishwasher.  But still, I had a routine that kept us from being the next TLC hit show  (Oh my gosh!  Have you watched some of that stuff?  It sucks you in and rots your brain, but so addictive, just like crack only socially acceptable). I do have friends who have been fully retired for years and they have mastered leading full and active lives.  I have friends who have been retired for a relatively short period who never seem to sit still and travel and do all sorts of wonderful things.  But I my friends, am a wasted days and nights person.  If I don’t have a big old nudge, I will emulate the sloth.

Now that I have done all this work (and made up my bed) I think I deserve a nice little couch time and some TV watching.  Let me know how you conquered (if you have) your wasted days.  Leave me a comment and I’ll promise to sympathize.