How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Heaven Waits


When I retired, I thought: I can do what I want, when I want. No more trying to go grocery shopping on the way home from work. Everyone else in the world does that and is in my way. Irritating and slowing me down. Ever try to go to the liquor store on a Friday night? Yep. Same thing all over again. I don’t want my co-workers to see I’m  getting my supply of wine for the weekend. My co-workers don’t want me to see them either. Enough said.

At last, no more trying to squeeze all the running around at the end of the workday when I’m tired, hungry and agitated after a long week. All that I need is a sit-down and a glass of wine! Peace and quiet. Perfect.

Finally, I can get away from the rat race—the proverbial hamster wheel. That’s the same reason I didn’t enjoy Christmas shopping. Too many people; elbow to elbow.; crashing buggies with strangers and trying to pretend I’m not bothered. My focus is on just getting the hell out of there in one piece and getting HOME.

My illusion pointed out some bumps in the road.


One of my favourite pastimes in life  is grocery shopping. I love comparing next week’s grocery specials. Don’t ask how that happened. Most females love clothes shopping. I have to be different. I’m not a food junkie but I like to see my larder well stocked. Where / how did I become a grocery junkie? For the life of me I’ve no idea.. My mother didn’t head out to the store just because there was a storm coming. She didn’t worry that we might run out of milk by morning (we were 5 kids). Why did I, even before I had a family? How different were the storms then—and now?

Retirement shopping isn’t anything like I had imagined. Great, I thought. I can shop at 10:00 a.m. or 1:30 pm or 3:00 pm before all those poor working stiffs make a mad dash for the supermarket. At first it looked like a shoe-in. I felt so clever and of course my feet weren’t touching the ground yet. The feeling was almost spiritual. Fruit and vegetable aisles were free of traffice and I loved it. In the bread and cake aisle, things were starting to pick up. I had other things on my mind so all I noticed were more buggies in my way.

In the cereal aisle, I had my first breakdown. A buggy stood blockig my way. There were a few items in it so I figured it wasn’t abandoned. Up the aisle, two souls were wandering , as if losts, squinting at labels while muttering. I’m a polite person; well brought up, so I waited for a moment. I breathed in and out. Nobody knew I was alive / or even there. I cleared my throat. Nothing. I tapped the buggy gently. Still nothing. I started to MOVE the obstructing buggy out of the way—oh, oh. . .

“That’s MY buggy,” a squeaky voice reprimanded.

“Sorry, I meant no harm. I’m just trying to get through. Excuse me.” Suddenly, the spouse shows up at my elbow.

“What’s going on here? Are you alright dear?” How sweet. I didn’t even know the old guy and I felt I should show some appreciation for his coming to my rescue.

“I’m fine. I’m just moving this buggy so I can get through. This old biddy thinks she owns the store.”

He’s holding the old biddy’s hand. But I thought . . .

Oh . . . faux pas?

This is only one example of many. Why don’t all people keep their buggies close at hand and remember they are not the only two ones in the store. Would anyone attempt to drive down the middle of the road just because there was no-one in sight at that particular moment? Hmm. I remember when we were about twenty . . . especially if someone can’t see oncoming traffic. Right now, some people could use a booster chair. Maybe two.


I’ve tried backing out of parking spot at the supermarket, the dentist’s, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker—who cares where. I feel I’m being followed. I have a cell phone now and CAN call the police.

Nice late model car. Nice body (CAR body). Must have just come off the factory floor. . .

“Hold it buddy!” I screech. That’s weird. I don’t see anyone behind the wheel? That car can’t be driving itself. I’m not stupid. I know there are no remote control cars going to pick up groceries.

Oh—is that a patch of hair I kind of see? I push myself up higher in the seat as I turn to squint inside the car. There IS someone behind the wheel. Man or a woman? A child? Nope, I could be wrong but s/he can barely see over the dash. We’re going to crash for sure and I haven’t even moved out of my parking space.

Crap. Retirement is hell. Who are all these people? Why aren’t they at work? Oh, they’re retired too. Retired w-a-y before me? Don’t they have children who can run their errands for them? Don’t their children care about them?


One day I just couldn’t help myself. I complained to my daughter how difficult it’s been because OLD people keep getting in the way. I explained about blocking buggies, playing bumper cars in the parking lot, non-existent drivers and kings/queens of the road.

My daughter’s smile was like a Cheshire cat’s. All knowing.

“Mom, you do the same things.”

“What are you talking about? What things?”

“You leave your cart in the aisle as you wander up and down collecting things.”

“How can you say that? I do NOT.”

“Yes, you do and I cringe every time you back out of a parking spot.”

“Are you crazy? I do NOT.”

“Mom, you are just like them—the old people.” How humiliating that my OWN daughter feels it’s OK to say those words out loud and way before it’s time. I want to slap her. I am lost for words.

I’m retired now ( five years) but I  don’t know who I am anymore. I’m confused. What the hell has been going on?

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

28 thoughts on “Heaven Waits

  1. Very funny, Tess. Who knew those old people would show up and spoil your retirement!


  2. At fifty-three I’m not even supposed to be using the “old” word yet, except that half the time when I’m repeating the same story for the fifth time in two days, I see my sister’s eyes sort of glaze over, and I can see the “old” stamped all over her face … but that’s because she’s nine years older than me … hah!


    • I’ll have to add that to my dictionary. I personally try my best not to use that word (old) when referring to me. It’s THEM who are. . .you know. . .that word again. You’re funny. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Very funny, i will have to remember this one for my own retirement.


    • Lots to look forward to. Slow people in the check-out line. Bored rocking chair set without a life, chatting up the cashier. It’s another world. Nice to hear from you. Hope you have better luck when you retire.


  4. Nice blog – made me chuckle! I find the great thing about retirement shopping is that I can arrange it to coincide with the ‘approaching sell-by date price reductions’. The worst thing about retirement shopping is waiting in line behind other retired people who have too much time to stick around and chat to the cashier at the check-out!


  5. As a student, I have the flexibility to go grocery shopping on quiet times. It takes a lot of patience and telling myself how I’m not in a hurry. Especially when the chatting with the cashier involves photo albums (I wish I were funny enough to make this up).


    • I believe YOU. There’s always people with WAY too much time on their hands slowing everybody else down. Wait, it’s another RETIRED person! Have you done any cart crashing while you’re shopping during quiet times? Thanks for stopping by.


      • Have I? I don’t use a cart, but sometimes I feel like those cones used in driving lessons. Hitting is optional. I get hit so often, I’m wearing bumpers.


  6. I once griped about this subject to my mother, back when we were homeschooling our children and daytime trips to the grocery store were part of our learning process. Even though they were well-behaved, the children got scowled at by the retirement shoppers who perceived us to be crashing their party. I mentioned to my mother about this “one little old lady” who’d lectured me about the children not being in “real” school. As soon as the “little old lady” remark came out of my mouth, my mother warned, “Watch it, young lady!” I forgot my mom was in her 80s. My mom will never get old in my mind, apparently! Great post, Ms. Tess!


    • I complain because I’m a YOUNG senior. I still remember when I was a junior senior in training starting at age 60. I was ticked off then and I’m still ticked off. What’s WRONG with these people. They’re a whole other breed. I call them the rocking chair bunch because I think they’re starved for attention and they have no LIFE. I try to be charitable. I’m one of them yet I am NOT. Some 30 years ago, when my daughter was little, I’d sit her in the baby seat of the grocery buggy. Some people smiled and were nice to a little girl that was outgoing and saying HI to everybody. A few OLD sods almost made her cry just by their facial expressions. Kids have good radar. Broke my heart then and still today, I see unhappy people being unkind when they shouldn’t. It’s like they want to spread their ills and unhappiness. Too bad you didn’t have a little come-back but you know, it probably wouldn’t have been worth the trouble anyway. I’ve no idea why some OLD people (OK, now I’d SAID it) think they own the world. So nice to share thoughts. Thanks for sharing yours.


  7. Nice post. It kills me when two people stop and chat and look at you like they’re about to move, yet they keep on chatting. There are ways to chat and not stop the flow of traffic in the grocery aisles.


    • Go figure. I don’t understand it either and I’m supposed to be one of them! No, I don’t think I will ever be. Thanks for commenting. Nice to know it’s not just me having to deal with these old folks.


  8. Oh that is funny Tess! You write hilariously! 🙂


  9. Old is in the mind. I know people my age who are old, and they are not retired. But then again, I have been retired a little longer than you have and think the same thing…why do these people not go do something besides stand squarely in my way?

    And for the record, I do own the road. 😉


    • Old is in the mind? My MIND is NOT OLD! Come ON already… Isn’t that exactly the point? Who ARE these people? I haven’t met a group like this before either (before my retirement). They must be from a previous generation. I belong to a certain group, probably ahead of you, but even so, I do not belong to THEM. Are these the rocking chair group we all heard about when we were growing up or did I make that up somewhere along the line? I am a member (sort of) but I REFUSE to be COUNTED. OK?? I am not OLD. If YOU want the road, hey, who am I to refuse you. Just don’t get in MY way, OK?! Rules of the road: you STAY on YOUR side and I’LL stay on MINE. That way we can keep the traffic moving. (YUCK that sounds so OLD and that is not ME!) Are you SURE about this? YOU really OWN the road? How about a showdown? 🙂 or lol (not sure of the lingo yet) nsotly(?) (I really need to go to bed so I can face you invigorated in the morning). Night, night… Tess (Thanks)


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  11. Love this post. I’m in the 50’s and have been thinking of retirement more and more lately, thinking I will have the entire world to myself when I have all the time in the world. Ha! Looks like I have miscalculated. Thanks for the warning.


    • It’s a whole new world, retirement is. In the beginning it just felt like I was on vacation (from work). so everything felt RE-lax-ED. Then these slow people started popping up everywhere I went. I’m surprised I still have any hair on my head after pulling it in frustration.

      Thanks for dropping in. I love to hear any kind of comments. Thanks.


  12. I’m retired and I’m young, dammit. 🙂

    I still can’t get used to being called “ma’am” or kids referring to their parents (or grandparents–eek!) in an effort to relate to my point of view.

    Kids these days.


    • I’m with YOU! I didn’t like being called ma’am even when I was in my 30s especially when coming from a kid. I do BELIEVE some of the kids meant well: as in being repectful but EEKK! To me it sounds and always did sound condescending. I don’t know why but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      Indeed, kids these days. Thanks for stopping by. Nice to hear another opinion.


  13. Lol–sucks to be old, especially when your daughter points it out to you!


    • What a NERVE! I managed to point it out to her that her day will come too and she has TWO daughters who already are outspoken. What goes around . . . LOL Daughters, they think they KNOW everything. Thanks for commenting. Love hearing from you.