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Posted by on Apr 7, 2024 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired — ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’

Living Retired — ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’

Living Retired — ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane’

By Gary Chalk.

Recently, an expert ‘Clothes Closet Organizer’ came to our home to update our primary bedroom walk-in closet. (NOTE: In a previous column I said it was our master bedroom walk-in closet, but a reader corrected me. Dave laughed, saying, “Gary, these days it’s not referred to as the master bedroom. It is the primary bedroom; you have to be politically correct.” My first thought was to tell Dave he was tone deaf, but Jan said that is also politically incorrect.)

The point is we now have a walk-in closet like you see in those home decorating magazines. But half of it didn’t last long. This is what happened…

Jan’s half of the closet looked great as soon as she carefully arranged her clothes on hangers and put her shoes on the new shelves. But, when I jammed all my stuff in my half of the closet it looked like, well, my side of the closet before we hired the ‘Clothes Closet Organizer!’ The ‘After Picture’ looked similarly close to the ‘Before Picture.’ (If clothes make the man, they don’t make the closet. Just saying…)

One benefit of our closet makeover is it forced me to sort through my shoes which turned into a trip down memory lane. I came across an old pair of heavy brown leather brogues with fancy stitching and big rubber heels. I don’t wear them — they’re too small. After all I was in Grade 12 when I bought these shoes. The last time I wore these heavyweights was at a high school dance — I was tripping over them to ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles.

Standing in my half of the closet, I picked the brogues up and realized how heavy they were — especially compared to my collection of Skechers I wear these days. Just how heavy? Well…

“Gary, what are you doing now? Why on earth are you weighing a pair of your old shoes on our kitchen scales?”

“Jan, just for fun I want to know how heavy my shoes I wore in high school are?”

The scales don’t lie. The brogues came in at a whopping three pounds four ounces. My Skechers: barely over a pound.

“Jan, now I know why I couldn’t dance when we were dating? My shoes weighed a ton!”

“Gary, not to mention you have two left feet.”

“And you insisted on leading, Jan.”

“Gary, when you led, we kept bouncing off the gym mats hung against the gym wall.”

I couldn’t toss these old shoes away. Instead, I decided to wear them one last time, for old time’s sake. Before you could say ‘If the shoe fits’ I scrunched my toes tight and crammed my feet into the brogues, then holding onto the wall, I hobbled out to the den where Jan was reading. Grimacing in pain with my shoes pointing inwards, I stumbled toward Jan and said, ‘Siri, play ‘Hey Jude.’” Awkwardly, I reached for Jan’s hand…

“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better.”

I held Jan as we’d danced our way around the sofa, towards the kitchen island. Jan glided. I groaned.

“Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better.”

In my mind, it was like old times dancing in the high school gym.

“Na na na nananana, nananana, Hey Jude!”

We sang LOUDER…

“Na na na nananana, nananana, Hey Jude!


This is when it happened: I tripped over the damn brogues! I smashed into the end table, knocking over Jan’s decorator candle collection! I was down on the area carpet! Where are those damn gym mats when you need them!

Jan doubled over, howling in laughter! Siri blared, “Na na na nananana nananana, Hey Jude!”

The following morning…

My knee was bruised, but not as much as my ego. I still couldn’t bring myself to toss out the brogues. All I know is I shouldn’t have let Jan lead. That’s my story, and I’m tripping over it.


Living Retired is written by syndicated humour columnist Gary Chalk.

Listen to ‘Living Retired: The Radio Edition’ every Friday morning 10:30 — 11 AM on The Mike Farwell Show on CityNews570

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