I’ve been thinking about the benefits and disadvantages of the varying retirement plans since I was twelve years old. I started college when I was sixteen. I moved into my own house at seventeen and started a full time job. I inherited a two-year-old when I turned twenty. I was basically born old, is what I am saying.
I wanted to do something fresh and exciting for the Valentine’s Day before my twenty seventh birthday. I wanted activities that would make me feel hip and youthful for a change; a feat made difficult by my insistence on using words like “hip” and “youthful”. My partner and I found the one restaurant in town with dim lighting, deep booths, and hipster menu items like free range, gluten free somethings. It would make a nice start for the night.
They would only give us a reservation at four in the afternoon. Not a great start. We took the reservation anyway though, and ate in the entirely empty restaurant. They hadn’t even dimmed the lights yet. The servers crowded around the bar tender next to our booth and helped him clean glasses and menus and discussed their plans for the rest of the weekend. Their plans were much better than ours; we should have followed them.
We emerged from the restaurant into the beaming, still-afternoon sunlight. It was far too early to head to a bar, so we went to a drive through liquor store for the very first time and bought forty ounce bottles of Smirnoff ice. We took our mildly alcoholic hummingbird food to the local Audubon center for a rummy, romantic stroll to pass the time.
We stopped by the creek to watch some geese fishing. There was a teenage couple on the other side with an industrial sized trash bag full of colorful balloons. They started dumping the balloons into the water and, of course, filming it on their phones. There were dozens of balloons. Dozens of plastic, water polluting, fish killing, duck choking, nasty freaking balloons falling into the creek.
I lost my mind. I yelled over at them: HEY! DON’T DO THAT!
They, of course, flashed some quite civil hand gestures our way. I took out my phone and tried to get pictures of their faces.
I HAVE YOUR PICTURE! I’M CALLING THE POLICE! YOU’RE GOING TO KILL THE BIRDS! DON’T DO THAT! YOU CLEAN THAT UP! I HAVE YOUR PICTURE!
Surprisingly, they did not comply. Overwhelmed by the ordeal, we concluded the evening early and spent the rest of Valentine’s Day at home in front of The Princess Bride. So, to recap the super hip and youthful evening: we had dinner at four, I yelled at teenagers, then we went home early to watch an old Rob Reiner movie.
Did I mention I know how to do the Charleston?