August 14, 2000
Ready to Retire

Countdown to Son #Only: Three days!

"I don't feel 'pulled together' this morning," said David wearily, as he stood in the middle of the living room waiting to pass the daily Girlfriend Inspection.

I thought he looked great: tan slacks, freshly-ironed shirt, expensive tie. He always looks great when he's dressed for the office. Clothes love David. But this morning he also looked a little pinched and haggard ... especially around the eyes. His back has been bugging him for the past few days, and he hasn't been getting much sleep.

"I just don't want to go to work today," he sighed.

I can relate. I don't want to go to work, either ... today, yesterday, tomorrow, a week from Thursday, five months from now, five minutes from now. I especially don't want to go to work on a sunny Monday morning following a pleasant, moderately productive three-day weekend.

As a matter of fact ... I want to retire right now. Today. At age forty-two years, seven months, thirty days, one hour and ten minutes.

Seriously. I'm ready.

I'm sick of crawling out of bed at 5:45 a.m. every morning, for one thing. I want to sleep in until at least  6 a.m., every single day for the rest of my life. Some mornings I may even throw all caution to the wind and stay in bed until 6:10 or 6:15 a.m.

I don't even want to own an alarm clock anymore.

I'm sick of wasting the most productive, most creatively-energized hours of my day, every day -- those precious morning hours between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., when my brain is filled with wordswordswords -- changing fax toner and re-re-rescheduling dentist appointments and transcribing voicemail messages all about construction contract indemnity clauses.

I'm sick of pantyhose. I have absolutely nothing nice to say about women's undergarments right now.  Don't even get me started on high heels.

I'm sick of toiling away in an "industry" I find only slightly less coma-inducing than televised chess.

I'm sick of bad coffee, malfunctioning office equipment, scratchy corporate toilet paper, cranky phone messages. Why can't I stay home every day and enjoy my own bad coffee, malfunctioning office equipment, scratchy toilet paper and cranky phone messages?

And I'm sick, sick, sick of Franz. I'm sick of his bad moods. I'm sick of his bad breath. I'm sick of his hangovers and his sunburns and his shoulder problems and his dental surgeries. I'm sick of listening to him hack up that phlegmball in my ear, every goddamn time he calls me on the cell phone. I'm sick of making excuses for him, and cleaning up after him, and taking the fall for his screw-ups. (This morning he dumped all eleven thousand super-critically-urgent voicemail messages on the wrong person, here in the office. He kept misdialing my extension by one number: 618 instead of 608. Poor terrified Maria in Traffic Engineering thought she'd inherited my job without notice. When we courteously pointed out his error to him, it became *my* fault because I don't announce my extension number during my voicemail greeting. "It's an issue of communication," he said grumpily.)

I'm sick of returning to the office after a three-day weekend, feeling reasonably relaxed and upbeat, ready to deal with whatever life throws my way ... and finding myself reduced to sad and defeated before I've even had that second cup of lousy Totem Pole coffee.

I don't want to work for Franz. I don't want to work for anybody. I long to be in charge of my own destiny, my own schedule ... and my own coffee.

But -- tragically -- I do have to work. At least, right now I do. It's how I pay my bills. It's how I support my Maybelline habit. It's how I contribute my share to the Castle *household.* It's how I finance airfare and school clothes and apartment deposits and Gummy Bears for the Tots. It's how I avoid getting hooked on Judge Judy.

And as much as I may hate to admit this, it provides my life with the framework and motivation and self-discipline that it probably needs right now. Dammit.

So until David and I make our first bazillion on the Bed Picnic Bruschetta franchise idea ... or until Hollywood calls to announce that they're casting *FootNotes: The Movie* (and that Madonna and Jennifer Love Hewitt are battling over the lead) ... I'm just going to have to suck it up and report for duty at the Totem Pole Company every morning.

Or wherever I happen to be employed.

(But geez. C'mon, people. Isn't there anybody out there who would be willing to pay me ridiculous amounts of money to sit around The Castle in my pajamas all day, downloading True Type Fonts off the Internet? I wouldn't even complain about the coffee.)

one year ago

throw a rock