So, gosh, politics. I understand nothing. Not to go all MAGA on you, but in some ways, I’m glad I don’t even have to pretend I’m intelligent anymore. One of the many joys of retirement. You can be dumb or play dumb, and no one cares.
When I was working as a communications professional for a big corporation, we interacted with all kinds of people in and outside of the company, and no matter what, you had to say the right thing … informed but ambiguous, direct but nonconfrontational, sincere but aloof. Seriously, it’s an art form.
You also had to be careful with your colleagues, because you never knew who was in a position to offer an opinion about your future.
Oh, Beatrice. She’s certainly competent, but some are saying she lacks executive presence.
John’s a great guy, but he needs a few more years to sharpen his soft skills.
Which brings me to Bud Light. Sales are down because the company featured a transgender woman in an advertising campaign. An acquaintance asked me what I thought. You can see how my responses have evolved since I retired, and my inside voice morphed into my outside voice.
Old I respect the right to boycott as an expression of your personal beliefs, and at the same time, it’s my hope that people can come together and appreciate our differences.
New It’s bullshit. Why do you care who’s transgender and who isn’t? Maybe they would like me instead? Gray, grumpy, opinionated, post-menopausal. #dreamgirls. And, oh, by the way, I’ll be drinking extra Bud Light just because I’m pissed off, and someone has to do it.
Here’s another example. I’m sort of looking for a new car. No rush, but it’s on the horizon. I’ve been thinking about an electric car and ruled out Tesla. A friend asked me why.
Old I’m seeing a lot of innovation at Tesla, but I’m just a little concerned about quality as production ramps up.
New Because I despise Elon Musk, and I’m not buying a fucking Tesla.
Or you can just keep your mouth shut. That works, too.
On the bright side, we got a new coffee maker. When the old one went on the fritz, I did my usual hunter-gatherer thing and read every single review of every single coffee pot made in this century. I’m attracted to bells and whistles … perhaps the BeanMaster 5000 … but came up empty-handed.
Dale, on the other hand, happened to be in Target and saw a coffee pot that looked almost exactly like the one we have.
And just like that, done. Why is everything so easy for him?
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.