My wife is retiring from her job


Carol and Roger
Carol and Roger, June 2018

The big news is that my wife is retiring from her job as a teacher of English as a New Language at the end of the school year.

You’d think since I retired three years earlier, I would have had time to get used to the idea of her being home too. Well, not exactly. Of course, she’s often home in the summer, though last summer she taught in August.

I was home alone from September 2019 until early March 2020. Then my wife and my daughter were doing the education thing at home for over a year because COVID.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I believe it’s vitally important: early on, she converted the spare bedroom into her office, pretty much at my insistence. Previously, she was teaching from the dining room table, which meant I was invading her teaching space regularly. That was not working AT ALL.


Am I anxious about the economics of her retiring? Er, yes, since she had been making more than I had been – I was grossly underpaid – for a number of years. But she does have a pension and other resources.

It’s impossible to know whether she would have left at this point if COVID hadn’t happened. No doubt, students suffered educationally but, at least as important, socially and emotionally from remote learning.

Now she’s musing on what the next phase of her life will be. I’m hoping that she’ll not take on another job for a time. Recently, she suggested we do “spring cleaning.” I’d be happy just doing something with the boxes and bags that have cluttered the living room and dining room, some since my mother-in-law moved from Oneonta to a place near Albany last summer. 


It’s our 23rd wedding anniversary today. I’ve determined that there are certain actions that help us to get along. One major one is not trying to decipher her filing system. When we get documents she believes are important, she files them away. And she retrieves them because, for whatever reason, I can almost NEVER find them.

This became an issue when she emailed me that the accountant needed to know how much I made in 2021 from Social Security. She emailed me, “I think those forms are in the tax file folder. Look in the drawer in the kitchen under the toaster for the  folder.”

OMG, no, no. I know had received the document, and had promptly put it in her mail drawer. The document was NOT in the folder, which I, remarkably, located.

Now, I was able to find the amount of interest we paid in 2021 on our home equity loan, a paper we had likewise received. But because I’m the one who tends to access the electronic info from our bank’s online system, I could recreate the 1098.


I called the accountant and told him I could find the monthly net amount I received, but not the gross. We’d been working with their firm for several years since some debacles my wife and I had in filing on our own. He said that he thought this was the first time he had spoken to me, and it was probably true.

(Prior to being married to her, I NEVER itemized our deductions. I still find it exhausting but it’s important to her, so I keep track electronically of my charitable contributions.) 

I always found the title of a Paul Simon compilation album a true path for keeping a marriage intact: Negotiations and Love Songs.

Thanks, dear, for the full-body hugs every night.

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