Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Retiree versus Business Person: Travel Choices

Many retirees are booked solid with volunteer work and babysitting, sometimes raising grandchildren, toting them from here and there via sundry car seats and strollers.

Or their dance cards are filled with golf and/or pickleball and/or tennis and/or bowling… Whatever sports float a person’s boat and—and this is key—don’t cause us to fall down and break something, or keel over from dehydration, or dizzy us due to inexplicable vertigo because we stood up too quickly.

Many retirees are vacationing their way around the world, or at least to our kids’ and cousins’ homes due to free lodging. We’re cruising, bus tripping and adding to lines through airport security, causing Business Persons great duress.

Of course breakfast, lunch, diner, cocktails or coffee dates (raises hand to all) catapult seniors (gross exaggeration [refer to the Slow Rise]) toward travel. Not to mention the lure of Bridge or Euchre, casinos, Mahjong and/or other gaming enticers.

Oh, and doctor appointments. Sigh.

Most aforementioned activities are a choice compared to the confines of a 9-5 job that pays the rent, the price of Susie’s braces and that fancy latte. Plus car repairs, child care, electronics and counseling to learn how to deal with their aging parents.

In other words, The Retiree could schedule a Bridge game for 4 p.m. at Frank’s house but if it’s sleeting or looks like it might, bow out.



“Frank, I won’t …”

Frank, “I know. Everyone else has already canceled. Don’t know what I’m going to do with the giant punch bowl of  rum drinks. Lois has already warned me about too many dips into that pool."

Or say The Retiree (okay, me) has a lunch date scheduled and by ten there’s already three new inches of snow on the ground and it’s still near white-out conditions. Depending on my desperation for either the listening ear of a dear friend or chicken fried steak, I have the decadent choice to cancel or bundle up and fire up the ol’ Subaru whereby I tighten that seat belt, pat the dashboard and say, “Let’s go, Greyhound!” which is what, yes, I’ve named my Minnesota-ready vehicle since, well, I have time for such folderol.

But if I’m a thirty-five-year-old with a 2 p.m. meeting with my boss at the office when, according to Very Excited early morning weather persons, ten inches of snow are piling up, it’s pretty clear I won’t feel a choice. I’ll throw kitty litter in my trunk, pack a snow shovel, make sure I have my AAA card in my wallet, fill my coffee tumbler, leave early and white-knuckle my way to the office.

Now that my husband and I live near a bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin, I find looking out the window a better barometer of roads than staring at one of my three phone weather apps, two complete with radar. If a steady flow of cars continues moving over the bridge at a decent pace, I figure Mother Nature is civil. Yup, I will absolutely head to Frank and Lois’s to help them with that rum punch. But should there only be an occasional creeper up there on the bridge—and no sedans, just giant pickup trucks that populate this area, some with snow plows—I’ll stay put. Even though George’s Lounge (several televisions, slot machines, deep fried hot dogs, good whiskey brands and Shake of the Day) is just across that bridge. If I’m thirsty enough for company or a libation, I can always walk one block south or east of our condo to a nearby watering hole.

Since the theme of this post is travel among Worker Bees vs Retirees and all I can seem to talk about is booze—and especially since it’s five o’clock not just “somewhere” but here—I find I’ve now chosen to travel from my office to my liquor cabinet to make me a cocktail!

If you’re a Retiree, please join me in a toast to those who are still working. We shall safely stay put and clinky-clinky to their One Day.

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