Thursday, January 7, 2010

Errand Boy

Six months into my retirement from everyday contributions to society’s welfare (at least the society of my staff and magazine readers), I’m finally doing something good for my fellow human being. Not in an impersonal way, such as buying and bringing food to the local food bank each month, or donating funds to other worthwhile causes.

No, this new phase of my post-work life has me running errands for a woman (she’ll remain nameless) who thinks I am quite young. I asked her over the phone how old she thought I was. Seventy, she replied. Told I was nearly 61, she said I was truly young. I guess when you’re 90, being 60 can be considered young.

So Wednesday I went grocery shopping for my “young” friend. I say young because she’s quite an active lady. Just out of the hospital (they found no reason why her electrolytes were off kilter), she invited me to accompany her to a movie at one of the local temples next Tuesday evening. Alas, it’s poker night. She understood, she being a card player in charge of the senior citizen bridge game.

Lest you think I’ve been overly selfish with my time, I have previously offered my services to friends and family who might need emergency coverage for their parents or grandchildren. So far, no emergency takers, though I was on call a few weeks ago if the need arose to assist an elderly parent while friends were vacationing in Las Vegas. But helping a casual acquaintance is a new venture for me. Perhaps it will finally inspire me to read through those Meals on Wheels recruitment brochures that have been sitting on my desk for six weeks or more.

I’ve also arranged to house-sit for my sister in Los Angeles next month while she vacations for almost two weeks in Europe with her daughter who is studying in London this academic year. Her husband won’t be accompanying her, so I’ll be keeping him company as well. Once Gilda saw that Los Angeles average temperature is around 70 degrees in February, it was a no brainer that she’d use part of her carryover vacation time to fly out west, too, for nearly a week.

We’re both looking forward to warmer weather. For me, it will mean a return to no socks regimen.