If my husband has his way, in twenty years I’ll be sitting in the hot Arizona sun taking tickets from baseball fans.
“Look at that elderly woman working at the turnstiles,” he said last week when we were in Phoenix to watch an Oakland A’s spring training game. “You would look totally adorable sitting on a stool and wearing a white visor like hers. Adorable.”
“And where would you be?” I asked.
“Probably selling footlongs,” he answered. “Or greeting people up in the luxury boxes. Depends on if I have working hips at that point. You know how tricky stairs can be when you’re that age. Good thing you’ll have your stool!”
Yeah, good thing. Wouldn’t want to break a bone trying to dodge a foul ball or anything.
Unfortunately, this grand plan of his to be hourly employees at the Phoenix Municipal stadium when we’re 60+ didn’t come as any surprise. No, it was just the latest of his ideas for our retirement. Ideas that he seems to come up with every time we go on vacation. Like last summer when he suggested that we spend our Golden Years driving shuttle buses at the Grand Canyon. (“You could wear shorts and honk at people!”)
The summer before that, it was selling Native American trinkets on the roadside in New Mexico. “But we’re not even Native American,” I’d protested.
“Who cares?” he replied as we stood on hot desert dirt gobbling up the Navajo fry bread we’d just bought from a sweaty man named Moosey. “We’ll be so wrinkly by that time that nobody will even notice our ethnicity. Besides, you love turquoise.”
Which is true. If I didn’t restrict myself to one piece of turquoise jewelry at a time, I’d probably look like Santa Fe threw up on me.
But while I’m happy he obviously plans to grow old together, I’m not so sure about the “let’s get jobs” part. I mean, if we’re okay financially, can’t we just spend our senior years like his parents did? Playing nickel slots and drinking free casino whiskey at 8 a.m. before going home to yell, “Pull your pants up!” at the defendants on Judge Judy? They always seemed pretty content.
Or we could be like my parents who travel more frequently than a high-tech weenie trying to reach Platinum status. For example, right now they’re in Hawaii for three weeks spending all of their children’s inheritance at the Waikiki IHOP. (Uh-huh. Aloha OY.) But honestly, I’d be happy if we didn’t even leave town when we’re old. We could just sit at a library computer for three straight hours trying to send our kids an email attachment. We certainly don’t need jobs.
So that’s why I’ve told my husband that I don’t want to captain a boat on the San Antonio River Walk. Or braid tourists’ hair on the beaches of Kauai. Or be “der meatball shaper” in a Stockholm cafe. I’ve even said no to giving tours of Texas wineries with a pet cat named “AARP” on my shoulder, as tempting as that one sounds. But he still doesn’t stop with his plans.
The last time we were in Florida, he saw a white-haired woman riding a bike with a little pink basket and immediately poked me in the ribs. “Look!” he said excitedly. “If we moved here, you could get a bike like that! You’d look so cute!”
“Awww, thanks honey,” I said, flattered. “That’s actually not a bad idea.”
“Yep,” he continued. “Then after I make the sandwiches at the deli, you can put them in your basket and deliver them to all of the office workers around here. It’ll be a blast! Think of the tips!”
I’m just going to go ahead and buy the white visor now. The sun’s going to be pretty bright on that Phoenix stool.