Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Wearing Purple

Most people know the poem about growing old and wearing purple with a red hat that doesn’t suit, and learning to spit, and running one’s cane along the fence railings. Before retirement I thought I'd be like that. I thought I’d stay up all night and sleep all day. I thought I’d eat Table Talk pies and throw the wrappers in the fireplace. I thought that the only reason I didn’t do these things was the need to conform to earn a living.

I thought it was the necessity of the workplace that drove me to dress a certain way, the need to interact professionally that kept me to a certain schedule. When I was free I’d grow my hair and wear--I don’t know, any old thing, a housecoat. You see a lot of those.

But so far I just can’t, any more than I could climb on an airplane wearing blue jeans. These conforming structures are internal. In retirement I go to bed early and get up at the usual time. I balance the checkbook and clean the house. Staying up all night and sleeping all day just isn’t me. Or maybe I'm just not old enough yet.


Blogger Doc Bubbles said...

You mean that, like me, you prefer baggy sweatpants for riding airplanes?

Last week there was a group of them crossing Route 9 in their purple clothes and red hats, holding up traffic, very stately and enjoyable to watch!

1:12 PM  
Blogger SK-reader said...

I read somewhere that it's healthy to keep up one's regular habits after retirement (like when winning the lottery). Or, maybe you just need more time to get used to the freedom. It's early days yet.

12:44 AM  

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