Friday, August 28, 2009

Retirement and a lapse of personal hygiene

(I should take better care of myself.)

Since Management and I started working at home (I retired, she changed jobs), we have gotten a little careless about our personal hygiene and appearance. We don't shower as often, I don't shave like I should, and we tend to wear the same clothes until they holler out "wash me!". This slippage just happens, almost as soon as you no longer go to an office where you have to encounter co-workers, or customers, or students. I think the mechanism works like this: because I rarely shave, I almost never look in the mirror in the morning, and I don't see how frightening I appear. When I finally do look in the mirror after a few days, at first I don't recognize who I am seeing and when I realize it is me, I become horrified and then do something about it.

Of course, Robin and I have to look at each other as we pass in the hallway or meet for lunch, but we know that if we criticize the other, they will retaliate and we will both have to do something we don't want to do, like shave our legs. So we tend to remain silent about the shaggy appearance of the other, like the days when the U.S and the Soviet Union each had lots of nuclear weapons, but neither would dare use them first.

Sooner or later, we invite someone to the house and we clean up our act. Surprise visitors.......well, they just get a surprise. When the Jehovah's Witnesses showed up last week, I had a 4-day beard, I was wearing sweaty clothes from working in the yard, and I had a half-smoked cigar in my hand. I'm sure I smelled as bad as the nearby compost pile that was just sitting there (not cooking at 170 degrees). Maybe this is why the UPS man tosses packages into our garage from his moving truck. Maybe our seediness and our loneliness are related in some way. Cause and effect, or simply a spurious correlation?

No comments:

Post a Comment