Sunday, December 19, 2010

Retired NOT Expired

It took longer for me to perfect my book than it did for me to complete college and my master’s degree. Being a perfectionist causes two major problems. One, it made me chicken to be published—“What if” nightmares woke me many a night. The fear of not writing the perfect book, having one comma out of place, had me standing at the pantry in the middle of the night looking for something to crunch hard with my teeth. (If I write another book, someone please buy me a teething ring.)

This week, after years of deleting and rewriting, spending the same amount of money on reams of paper and gallons of ink that a cruise would cost, my “baby” arrived in the mail. I had barely opened the carton when eager readers were at my door wanting to be my first sales. Today, an email arrived from one of these readers, Jill D., that said. “Eda, warn your readers they’ll need a diaper while they read this book and not because of age but because of constant laughter.”

Hopefully, more comments like this one will bring an end to emotional eating and my pants will soon zip again without me having to lay on my bed to zip them.

Retired NOT Expired is available on line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

In my satirical book, Retired, Not Expired, I share my experiences as I paddle upstream into a new “anything but dull” life as a retiree. Readers will enjoy learning how I handle the daily challenges that await the aging baby-boomers—entering the Dorian Gray Generation, the leading cause of heartburn—splitting very uneven restaurant tabs, planning the party they’ll never attend—their own funeral, and deciding if or when they should move to a retirement wonderland. And the readers DO NOT have to be on social security to enjoy the book. Not one of the below endorsements was written by anyone over (or near) the big 50.

“Retirement can be scary, unless you’re Eda Suzanne, a wise and witty woman with a can-do approach to life. Her book will warm your heart and make your belly ache from laughter.”
M.M. Anderson  Author of Werewolf Dreams

“Eda Suzanne’s stories will keep you laughing whether you're 30, 40, or 70. It’s a great read and should be on every bookshelf, coffee table, and waiting room in the country!”
Elizabeth Bonet, PhD  Marriage and Family Therapist

“Eda Suzanne’s writing shows a rare blend of humor, insight, and compassion. Sure her stories make you laugh, but they also portray a meaningful new approach to retirement.”
Sherry North Author of Because You Are My Baby

The book is in stock and ready to be shipped at Amazon. Let me know if you laughed because that was my goal.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Senior Phone

I only use my cell phone for making and receiving calls when I’m away from home or if my husband is using our house phone. That’s it. I’ve learned how to text but don’t. I prefer to read my emails while sitting at my desk. Discount store coupons are downloaded from my computer before I leave home. Talking on the cell while driving is not my thing—I’m a blue tooth failure. If I happen to receive a call while behind the wheel, I disconnect as soon as I need to change lanes. I never knew my cell phone could take pictures until my granddaughter asked me to borrow the phone so she could take a picture of something to show her mother. It’s the only time that feature was ever used. On the extremely rare occasion I find myself away from home and need SOS information from Google, I call someone, usually Florida son, who has immediate computer access.

Recently, a friend showed all the features of her new Smart Phone to a group of my friends. It has every gizmo on it from a way to store bar codes for shops she frequents to the ability to Skype. I’ve had a Skype for over a year on my home computer and have yet to learn to use it, nor have I received one call on it.

All I could think of while my friend proudly demonstrated her proficiency in maneuvering from one feature to the next and “everyone” was expressing a desire to get one like hers was security issues. What if it is lost of stolen? Does each site she uses have a secret access code protecting her confidential information, or will this private information literally be an open book allowing thieves to do her harm? (Those who follow The Good Wife know that stored texts are foreshadowing a future story line.) Will the information available on these phones become more lucrative to thieves than stolen diamonds?

While my friend continued to show all the phenomenal potential her phone has and I don’t want, my mind wandered back about 25 years to when Hubby and I went to buy my then 82-year-old mother her first micro. The salesperson advised us to buy a “Senior Micro.” He explained that old people have trouble with too many choices when they use the micro. Would this same salesman today call my simple phone a Senior Phone?

Well, if he would put my generation down, my peer was proving him wrong. Seniors don’t need simple “Senior Phones.” The only reason I don’t want one like my friend’s is I have no need for it. It has nothing to do with the fact that the first time I used my fairly new SIMPLE phone someone literally had to yell at me to press “send” when it was ringing, and I couldn’t figure out how to answer it. (My old phone had a “talk” button. )And it has nothing to do with the fact that I still can’t enter phone numbers in my phone. If I really wanted a very complicated phone, I’m sure I could master all that is involved. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Real Deal

“Look,” I called to my husband across the store in Paris. “Your favorite French aftershave is only 30 francs.”

He responded that after converting francs to dollars, the same product was $5 less in Macy’s.

We’ve made several trips out of the United States since the above incident, and Hubby’s job is to make sure I am aware of the real price before I buy something. I am not a good shopper, and I’m fully aware of it. I tend to buy by need, ignoring the cost. (On the bright side, I tend to shop for need not for something to do.) Once the cashier in the supermarket embarrassed me into not purchasing the fresh red peppers I wanted because the out-of-season price was “so ridiculously high, even the Rockefellers wouldn’t buy them.”

Our guide during our most recent trip warned us to be wary of the street venders since their merchandise was genuine copies. I warned my fellow travelers that the same scarves prominently displayed by all the hawkers were cheaper in various American discount stores. With the exception of three stops on our recent trip that sell high end merchandise—and you can put your own spin as to why we had to see how cameos are made or learn how to select real leather merchandise—little time was had to buy trinkets for our family, friends and ourselves. So, when the opportunity did arise to buy meaning remembrances that were under fifty dollars, (way under), I had to shop fast. With Hubby by my side making sure I understood the actual cost of each woolen scarf I examined, the local art work I liked, or wooden carvings in the original Pinocchio store I liked, my purchases were made. Other than Halloween, I never buy bars of chocolate, especially for souvenirs. What processed me to do so in Switzerland, I can’t answer. If Hubby hadn’t taken that moment to search out a “smilee,” (see last week’s blog) I probably would have placed the “great deal” back on the pile. It wasn’t until I was home that I realized the price on top of the box was in Euros, and I spent more on chocolate for my friends and family than I do on food some weeks in the supermarket.

After unpacking, my stash of souvenirs was piled onto my dining room table. Fortunately, since Chanukah was this week, many of the “why did I buy all of this?” items could be used as gifts. Hopefully my grandchildren can figure out what to do with the mini-clothes pin that is glued to a wooden character from the story of Pinocchio. I can’t. When I bought them, I thought they were refrigerator magnets and didn’t realize my error until I started to wrap them. After I was done wrapping and giving the gifts to various people, I was left with one extra Pinocchio dangling from a cord, one key chain, one of the clothespin gizmos, and two bars of chocolate. I thought that since everything I purchased was made in Italy, my presents would be unique and certainly cheaper than what I would pay here.

I was wrong. First my son teased me for buying him chocolate filled with American whisky. Then, when I was in one of the chain discount stores the other day, there was the same chocolate I lugged home from Italy—identical brand, bar, and ingredients. The only thing different was the price. It was less here, much, much less.

I won’t tell Hubby. I don’t want to ruin his good mood. The electric bill arrived today. It’s our first bill under three figures since we moved out of our one bedroom apartment back in the sixties! What a great deal. If we leave home for three weeks, we can actually save money—as long as we wait until we get home to buy the chocolate.