Jamie Reidy discusses guys who think they want to hang up their spikes, but soon return to the work force.
The Daily News reports that longtime playoff hero Andy Pettitte rejoined the New York Yankees this spring. He retired after the 2010 season to – all together now – “spend more time with his family.” According to Bill Madden, the left-handed pitcher would never have considered a return without the support of his loved ones.
“I talked to my wife and kids before I even considered doing this, praying with them,” he said. “I had this desire again and as I started working out, I enjoyed it more and more. I know no matter what happens, I prayed about this with my family and they all feel good about it.”
Considering how many athletes, coaches and politicians cite “spending more time with family” as their reason for retiring only to return prior to the next season of “American Idol,” perhaps these gents should “discount double-check” with their kin before making the decision in the first place.
My father is 70. A few years ago I asked my mother when he is going to retire. She looked at me like I’d asked if she’s considering quitting smoking.
“What, do you think I want your father home everyday driving me insane? That man is working till the day he dies.”
A friend in Texas told me a funny – and incredibly insightful – story. Her Dad retired early. On the third day of bliss, he walked into the kitchen and asked his wife, a lifetime homemaker, “What’s for lunch?”
She told him and then placed the meal on the table. Afterwards, she handed him a red pen and the “classifieds” section of the newspaper. He looked up at her in confusion.
“I said for better or for worse. I never said anything about lunch!”
Her husband’s meal did not sit well. “Why the hell did I retire, then?”
“I DON’T KNOW!”**
He got a part-time job.
Another friend’s father did the same thing in Milwaukee, but for a different reason: he was bored. Mr. K now stocks shelves in a local grocery store, just to get himself out of the house. He is EIGHTY years old.
I will have no problem with retirement, simply because, as a writer, I already spend eight-ten hours per day sitting down by myself. In fact, in retirement, I will probably enjoy a lot more interpersonal contact on a daily basis.
My father, I think, continues working as a financial advisor because he loves talking with clients; even more so, he needs that interaction. If he ever retires, I foresee him volunteering as a “greeter – a community center or someplace – just for the conversation. I dunno what he foresees; maybe following his bride’s instructions and never retiring.
What do you think: financial considerations aside, are men just not cut out for retirement?
**Note: Toward the bottom of legendary sportswriter Bill Madden’s article to which I linked, you will see the same “lunch” story credited to the wife of a Yankee executive in the 1960s. I’d never heard it before my friend in Texas shared it with me in 2004. I believe it really transpired between her parents, too.
Photo by: Ernst Moeksis