Updated: Oct 20, 2021
When my wife and I retired, we decided to go ahead, bite the bullet, and live together. During the working years it often seemed we just cohabited, sharing a dwelling and a daughter, but very often pulled in different directions. Retirement changed all that. Suddenly we were together, day in and day out. Fortunately, that change has worked well for us—it doesn’t always for many retired couples. My wife and I couldn’t help but wonder why. We think three things are key: Respect, Response, and Romance. In my last post I spoke of Being Respectful. This time let’s take up Being Responsive.
Within one particular stand-up display in New Orleans was an oddity that struck me. One person depicted was a Daniel Boone type, wearing buckskins and a coonskin hat and carrying a musket. (1)
The second person wore the togs of a Louis XV court personage: thigh-high hose, a three-quarter-length waistcoat, and a shirt ruffled at the cuffs and tied with a cravat at the collar. His hat had a plume feather, and he carried a walking stick. (2)
Interesting contrast, yes? These two individuals lived side by side in New Orleans in the 18th century. How do you suppose that worked out?
Often all around the country at retirement time two people with similarly vast differences face off in their living rooms. Wife wants more time with the grandkids and to travel to see them frequently. Husband wants to do more fishing and reading and to travel to Europe.
Who or what do you root for: Grandkids or fishing? Plumed hat or coonskin cap?
Living together in retirement means we have to decide what to do with our different “hats.”
Let’s talk about being responsive.
There is a very funny story going around about a retired couple. It seems that hubby wanted to be helpful and, not having anything better to do, he organized all the cans and bottles in the cupboard alphabetically. His wife decided to be helpful in return and arranged all his tools in the garage by size.