I'm writing this in sweatpants and sneakers, which are the mainstays of my wardrobe these days. Sweatshirts, too. Sometimes when I want to get dressed up, I'll put on a sport shirt. But that's just for special occasions.
This is one of the perks of retirement. I remember Casual Fridays. I now pursue Casual Seven Days. Works for me. I no longer dress to impress others. I don't much care to impress others, except my wife. I dress to be comfortable.
There are suits in my closet. Dress shirts and ties, too. Ties. I have dozens of them. Nice ones -- solids, stripes, all manner of ties. Leftover gifts from birthdays past. I don't remember the last time I wore one. I think I can still tie a knot, but I can't be sure. And I am in no hurry to find out.
The Long Island Rail Road had an issue in late March. A derailment caused delays and cancellations. I sent my sympathies to the Dashing Dans. Except for occasional trips to Madison Square Garden, I have always avoided the railroad. I don't remember the last time I rode it. I don't intend to return to it anytime soon. This is another perk of retirement.
The Jackie Robinson Parkway is backed up by an accident. Sorry to hear that. I know all about the JRob's two lanes. Been there, done that. I don't go near it anymore. I don't have to because, in case I didn't mention it, I'm retired.
Being retired means doing what I want, when I want, if I want. My wife calls it being in control of your time and your life, not living by somebody else's schedule. Smart lady.
Then there is the matter of snow. I am not a fan. I trudged through it a lot when I was working. I don't do that anymore. I noticed something remarkable when I turned 50. It snowed one day and I went to shovel the driveway at our home in East Williston. Suddenly, it had grown overnight. It was longer and wider than ever before. The same phenomenon occurred with my lawn when I went to mow it. Now my gardener deals with mowing and shoveling. Costs me, but it's better than having a heart attack.
Actually, I'm in my second retirement. I worked for 40 years as a sportswriter for The Associated Press, covering all the glamorous events that make that business such fun. Then I retired and was asked to teach at Long Island University. "Come train the next generation of journalists," they said. I thought that sounded pretty cool. Then the students showed up.
I was editing one paper when in the middle of a sentence, three dots appeared. I asked the writer why she put them there and she said, "Just for fun."
Then there was the day one of my guest speakers showed up in a walking boot after foot surgery. He gave the kids a wonderful talk full of anecdotes about college basketball's colorful coaches and the Final Four. When he was done, I asked if there were any questions. One scholar raised his hand. Now this was a young man I had not heard from all semester. I wasn't sure he could speak. I was delighted to see his hand go up.
"Great," I said. "What's your question?"
My student looked at my guest speaker and said, "What happened to your foot?"
It was about that time that I started thinking about sweats and sneakers.