Remember my excellent advice on coping when the old man is suddenly at home ALL BLOODY DAY?
My esteemed fellow columnist on the Gazette, Mike Bah-Humbug Pearce, has waded in with his own rantings on the matter. Still, keeps him busy, love him. He is retired, you know…
The perils of retired life by Mike Pearce
SO WHERE were we before we were so rudely interrupted by Christmas?
Ah! yes, my columnist chum Jane Wenham-Jones was offering advice to a wimpy woman wanting to know how could she cope now her husband is retiring, which is like asking a flower how it’s going to cope now that the refreshing rain is on its way. All chaps know it is the MAN who will need help.
So agony aunt Jane and your new pal, please go off and have a natter while I reveal what he needs to know.
Dear Jim. Make sure you invest in a sat-nav.
You are now an on-demand chauffeur and your navigating spouse will invent a new compass point – There.
Whenever you ask “Where do we go?”, she will reply “Over there”. One lady told me, when we stopped at a T-junction, that we should go straight on.
Be prepared for preposterous assertions, the most popular being “You don’t want another drink” after you have just announced that it’s exactly what you would like.
Don’t announce your plans in advance, because you will be headed off at the pass with previously unthought-of things that can be done only on the day you plan to play golf.
Women used to have sinus trouble – “Sign us a cheque for this, sign us a cheque for that.” In the electronic age, leave your credit card at home if you are ever forced to join a shopping expedition.
Buy a second television. Your beloved will sit like a trappist through hours of soaps, then gabble like a goose as soon as anything remotely interesting comes on screen.
And yes, you can afford to have Sky Sports, if she can afford to buy glossy “style” magazines. And if you can’t afford both, get her interested in football. Tell her the centre-forward’s having an affair with someone from Eastenders, which she will find interesting and will probably be true anyway.
Treat yourself to an ipod and a set of earphones. Enjoy records you haven’t played for years, while at the same time blocking out the hour-long phone calls to the friend she had lunch with just hours earlier.
Accept that your suit-and-tie days are over. Casual clothes always look rumpled on an ageing frame, so don’t be ashamed to wear them for days or to leave them lying around the bedroom, the bathroom, the dining room and the hall. She will pick them up eventually, if only to allow the door to close.
Be careful how you react to her cooking. Be over-enthusiastic and you will get the same dish over and over. And when you point out that liver and bacon three times a week might be excessive, expect the: “I thought you liked it. What’s wrong with it?” sulks.
Say you’re not that keen and you’ve taken a short cut to the “What’s wrong with it?” stage.
Be prepared for sighs, an irritating affectation exclusive to women.
You spill your coffee, they go “Tch-huhhhhhhhhhh”. You forget (along with an increasing number of things) to put out the dustbin – “Tch-huhhhhhhhhhh”.
Be prepared for daft questions. When your phone rang at work, nobody would chirp up “Who’s that?”, as if you were Claude the Clairvoyant. Now you’ll get it all the time. Same if there’s a knock on the door. You might try answering “The neighbour I’m having an affair with”, or “The bailiffs”, but it’s a high-risk strategy.
And remember Jim, if this all sounds too daunting, B&Q are always keen to take on older workers.