Living Retired — ‘Watt’s Up?’
Living Retired — ‘Watts Up?’
By Gary Chalk
Do you remember Debby Boone’s hit ‘You Light Up My Life’ back in 1977?
These days it is Jan who lights up my life. Here is what I mean…
We were getting in the car to meet up with friends for dinner. “Jan, you left your office light on.”
“Gary, one lousy light. What’s the big deal?’
“But you also left the light on when you were in the den.”
“Well Gary. I am zero for two. That’s pretty good in my books.”
“Jan, make that zero for three, you also didn’t turn off the light when you were doing your hair in the bathroom.”
“Stop the car! I’d better check that I unplugged my curling iron.”
Leaving lights on when they aren’t needed is a big bugaboo of mine. It is something I learned growing up. Whenever I left a room and didn’t turn the light off, my father would talk about wasting electricity, “Do you think I am made of money?” When I asked for a bottle of Wink, chocolate drip for my DQ cone, or a dime to buy a pack of hockey cards it was the same: “Gary, do you think I am made of money!”
If your house is anything like ours with pots lights everywhere, leaving the lights on makes the electricity metre spin so fast I expect to see clouds of smoke billowing up like when Richard Simmons is working out on a treadmill!”
Our kitchen has three light switches — but they control six pot lights in the ceiling, three smaller pot lights overtop the sink, and a whopping TWENTY itty-bitty pot lights hidden underneath the cabinets that shine down onto the countertop.
Last night I mustered up the courage to tell Jan she left the lights on in the kitchen. “Dear, you didn’t turn the lights off in the kitchen. Just so you know that is TWENTY-NINE, TWENTY-NINE FRIGGIN’ LIGHT BULBS! Do you think I am made of money?”
“Gary, you sound like your father. Next, you’re going to want your blue jeans ironed with a crease down the front.”
Later that night, a light went on in Jan’s head.
“Gary, I cannot remember to turn the lights off, but you can never remember important dates?”
(Oh boy I knew where this was going. Jan often complains about me forgetting important dates — I just can’t remember the last time.)
Away she went. “Gary, can you remember the date of my birthday? Tell me the year I graduated from university? Or the year we were married? Any idea when it comes to my favourite author? How many times have I told you the colour we decided on for the new eavestroughs and you still cannot remember.”
I was stumped. I couldn’t remember the last time I was at such a loss for words.
“Gary, the absolute worst time was when we were dating. You remembered your Mom’s birthday, so we went shopping and wrapped the gift and signed a nice card. When she opened it she said, “Today is June 25th, my birthday is July 25th.”
“Gary I was never so embarrassed! AND, how about when I graduated from university and my parents hosted a graduation party. You at least remembered to buy me a card — but when I opened it in front of everybody out fell a red thong!!!”
One thing I do remember is a George Burns’ quote, “First you forget names. Then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper upper up. Finally, you forget to pull it down.” Have I mentioned this to Jan? Hmmm, I forget.