Living Retired — ‘One Step Forward, One Step Back’
Living Retired – ‘One Step Forward, One Step Back’
By Gary Chalk
Frequently Jan uses the word ‘step.’ If we are going shopping and she is waiting in the car for me, she is likely to say, “Gary, step on it!”
When I pull our car into the parking lot of one of those mammoth shopping outlet centres when Jan gets out of the car she will say, “Gary, I have some serious shopping to do. Step out of my way!”
When we dance it is, “Gary you’re stepping on my toes again.”
So yesterday when I mentioned that I was going to begin to use the step counter app on my iPhone I expected Jan to say something like “That will be a step in the right direction, Gary.” Or, “Begin with baby steps.” Instead, she said, “Gary, step aside. Can’t you see I am busy doing Wordle.”
“Jan, I thought you’d be interested in my fitness?”
“Gary, I need a five-letter word that ends with ‘s.’”
The first word that came to my mind was ‘steps’ — but because Jan uses step so often, I assumed she had thought of it. I thought I would pull her leg, so I said, “Jan how about ‘foots’?”
Well, you would think I had stepped off a cliff!
“Gary. Foots! What kind of word is that. In fact, foots is not a word.”
I was not backing down. “But Jan the plural of foot has to be foots.”
Jan was having none of this. “Gary don’t be ridiculous! The plural of foot is feet.”
Now I was having none of this. “So, Jan, think about it. Using your thinking the plural of feet would be feets!”
Both of us were determined that we were correct and the other was wrong. We dug our heels in, ah rather, dug our foots in.
Our discussion was not going anywhere. Jan went back to Wordle. But not before reminding me that whenever we are out walking together inevitably, I am out front of her. Sometimes, way out front. My all-time record for being in the lead took place when we going to the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. I was already seated, had ordered our drinks, and was halfway through looking at their menu book before Jan finally showed up at the table. With a hint of sarcasm she said, “Hi, do you mind if I join you?” It didn’t help when I said, “How about another evening. My wife is on her way.”
When we went to bed last night Jan reminded me of our discussion earlier in the day and asked, “Gary, how many steps did your iPhone record today?”
I wasn’t about to get back to our disagreement about foot and feet, so I said, “Jan, the app says I walked 5.9 kilometres.”
Jan being the mathematician she is, quickly did the math in her head. “Gary, that is about 3,200 feet.”
I couldn’t resist. “Jan didn’t you mean to say 3,200 feet’s?”
I checked back on my iPhone. “Jan, according to this it is exactly 9,265 steps.”
Jan sighed and mumbled “Gary, you certainly march to the beat of a different drummer.” She rolled over and turned off the nightlight.
I whispered, “Honey, I was only trying to think on my feet.”