Month: March 2016

tuenight retire susan ito husband

The New Man in My Life — My Retired Spouse

“What are you up to today?” This is the question that my husband and I often ask each other over our morning coffee. For most of our 28-year marriage, I knew what my physician husband would be up to — he’d been doing the same things since the day we met. He would be running miles through hospital corridors, performing colonoscopies and liver biopsies. He’d be delivering good news as well as life-changing-in-an-instant bad news. He’d be awakened from a sound sleep and summoned to the emergency room to deal with a “bleeder.” He was dealing in life and death, every day and night. But for the past year, since his retirement, his agenda has taken an almost unrecognizable turn. Now, when I ask that morning question, his answer will startle me. “I’m going to meditate. Do my stretching routine. Maybe go for a bike ride up in the park. Take a nap. Go to the aquarium shop. Read a little.” Who is this guy? I barely recognize him. But I like him. Before he …

tuenight retire 39 freelance writing penny wrenn

Why I’m Throwing My Own Damn Retirement Party

At 38, and soon to be 39, I am nowhere close to receiving social security checks or living off a cushy pension or a seven-figure Roth IRA. But financial security hasn’t stopped me from declaring my retirement at the end of 2016. That’s right. I said retirement. This is retirement in the tradition of the thirty-something-year-old NBA basketball player who retires from the hustle of the game. (Except I’m neither as rich nor as famous as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.) I have been writing professionally for 15 years, and most of that time I’ve been a freelancer. That means that I’ve been floating from assignment to assignment without an employer to call my own. But this year, I am retiring from that writer-for-hire life. I have not made a lot of money, I have not made an indelible mark (whatever that means) and I have not achieved all that I’d hoped to accomplish in my professional writing life. Having written my way to mediocre success, I am choosing now to say to myself, “Good …

A head shave, cancer, chemo

Ovarian Rhapsody: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Upon hearing you have cancer, the thing people will ask you about, more than anything else, more than your diagnosis, more than the treatment, more than surgery: “But will you lose your hair??” And that’s only the executive summary of queries. Will you wear a wig? Are you doing a synthetic or human hair wig? Will you shave it off? Will it fall out? Won’t it be easier not to shampoo your hair? Does it fall out down there? (Yes, if you must know. Easiest Brazilian ever.) One friend suggested a cold cap? “You can keep your hair that way!” she said. Cold cap? Huh? Like many things related to cancer which I’d never thought about before in my life, this sent me down the Google rabbit hole on a process which is about $600 a month where, during chemotherapy, you wear an iced cap on your head which has to be changed at least every hour and kept in the infusion center’s refrigerator. It’s painful, it’s expensive. No thanks. I already had enough of that. …

tuenight retire more magazine

More (and More) Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Another one bites the dust. The recent announcement that More would cease publication was just the latest blow to loyal magazine fans who still enjoy flipping through their favorite glossies. The women’s lifestyle magazine, which aimed at older, affluent “women of style and substance with articles on style, health, work, spirituality and relationships,” garnered both publicity and favor by featuring celebs ages 40 and up, including cover stars Diane Lane, Rachel Weiz and Jennifer Connelly. In 2002, Jamie Lee Curtis made news by appearing on the cover in only a sports bra and underwear, minus makeup or photoshopping. The magazine aimed to go more upscale and a little younger in the past year – Katie Holmes, a mere 37, ditched her makeup for the February cover – but the move failed to nab advertisers. Publisher Meredith Corporation forced it into early retirement after nearly 19 years of publication, making it the first magazine casualty of 2016; the last issue will appear this April. And with up to 15 reported layoffs in November, some predict that …

tuenight retire courtney colwell planning

What No One Tells You About Planning for Retirement

I put at least 10 percent (or is it 15 percent?) of my salary in my 401K every year. I contribute to a ROTH every other year (or so). I own my home — or will in 28 years. I have enough in stocks to carry me at least a few weeks. Financially, I’m not that bad off… am I? I ask this of my financial advisor, whose primary value seems to be telling me that I should save more. Disappointingly, he can’t make magic of what I have put away thus far. We meet annually to review where I would be financially if I were to retire at an age that increases with every meeting. He routinely poses questions that start with “If you plan to ever stop working…” or “If you’re serious…” My current retirement plan seems to be not to retire. But then, as I’ve seen with my parents, retirement can come unplanned and earlier than you think. They did everything right — scrimping and saving, counting their pennies and on their …

tuenight retire ed note margit detweiler

Margit’s Note: Are We Halfway to the Rainy Day?

  I don’t plan on retiring. Or maybe I’ve just never put much thought into it. Ok, let’s be honest. I actively avoid thinking about it. My mom, a septuagenarian, still works and my Dad, just a bit older than that (though he’s told me he’s 29 for as long as I can remember) only recently retired in the last few years. He still does volunteer work at such a clip that it might as well be a full-time job. They love what they do, it isn’t exactly work, it’s a livelihood. I feel the same way about my work — writing, editing and making fabulous web sites. So why retire? I know — life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans. I’m hopeful I can do what I do until I keel over and, ideally, get paid for it. It’s a terrible course of action. It’s the classic Gen-X approach to retirement: “Gen-X is sleeping through its retirement wake-up call. Starting to turn 50, they’re acting like they’re 30.” Who, me? Don’t …

tuenight 1996 jon benet ramsey amy barr

20 Years Later: Reflections on JonBenét

On Christmas Day 1996, a little girl named JonBenét Ramsey was murdered in Boulder, Colorado. Any murder is horrific, especially that of a child, but this crime was particularly shocking, generating massive attention from the media and the public. The nation was mesmerized by the case with its unending supply of lurid plot lines. There was the angelic yet weirdly sexualized victim, whose beauty pageant photos featured teased hair, a full face of makeup and a flirty smile. There was duct tape and a knotted nylon cord and whiffs of jealousy, incest and revenge. And there were more theories on whodunit than an Agatha Christie mystery. I love puzzles and this one was a killer. It had solid leads and red herrings and just enough clues to implicate and exonerate every potential suspect. Just one of countless such clues: Before JonBenét’s body was found, her mother contacted the police, saying her daughter was missing and she had found a ransom note in the house demanding $118,000 – the very same amount that JonBenét’s father, John, …

tuenight 1996 patty mayonnaise faith cummings

9 Lessons I Learned from My 9 Favorite ‘90s Shows

Oh, 1996: The time in which my eighth year of life on this Earth came to an end and my ninth began. I had begun to take school seriously (#honorrollgoals), spent most of my time in dance class and didn’t care about too much more than my coke bottle glasses and whatever new sneakers were coming out for the week that I could sport on casual Fridays (the perks of being a private school girl.) The year was also a pretty fantastic time for television. I still frequently hear that television kills brain cells and that it’s an idiot box, but I have always begged to differ. Like any kind of media you consume, it can be either imbecilic or informative and, though a balance is best, there’s absolutely no reason why you cannot take any major keys from the telly. I’m still gleaning some epic lessons from television and fondly remember the messages I received from the good old year of 1996. Here are a few from some of the legendary (well, in my …

tuenight 1996 annette earling husband

Asked and Answered: How the Universe Provided My Dream Guy

January’s East Coast blizzard, now manifested in little more than a few snow piles that continue to lull me into thinking there are more parking spots up ahead at the local Target, brought back memories of the Blizzard of 1996. As the weather ‘bots on TV attempted to roil up panicked shopping at The Home Depot, recollections of that monumental snow dump informed many of my decisions in preparing for the blizzard of 2016. While checking on generator fuel and access to the snow shovel (try digging out your shovel when it’s across the yard and all you have on hand is a large spatula), I marveled at how my circumstances have changed in the interim between storms. In 1996, I was recently divorced, confused and in terrible psychic pain. What I can now blithely refer to as my “starter marriage” had gone horribly wrong after I had ignored one of the basic tenants of relationship advice, which is to actually listen to what your partner is telling you. My ex-husband had made no bones about …

tuenight 1996 caroline waxler switzerland

I Went All the Way to Switzerland, and All I Got Was Chewed Out by My Boss

Seeing my hairbrush down the hall from my hotel room after a long day of not-so-helpful interviews should have been my first clue that this was not going to be the reporting trip of my dreams. In 1996, I took my first international reporting trip to Switzerland, researching the wealth of Swiss billionaires for my magazine’s annual billionaires list. My portfolio of targets included a family with vast grain holdings, a private bank, oil interests, the family behind Swatch, a cement baron, and the scion of a pharmaceuticals company that made good use of nuns’ urine. I was also asked to report on and write a lifestyle piece on the state of the Swiss watch industry, which was then rebounding from a Timex and Japanese-based assault. Getting to go on an international reporting trip was a coveted boondoggle, not that rare though in the flush 1990s when magazines sold so much advertising that editors begged reporters for more copy to fill the pages. Two fellow reporters famously went to the Far East every year for …

Boob Cakes and Free CDs: The Glamorous Life of an Intern

Sally Field’s iconic Oscar moment came after striding to the stage to accept her Best Actress Oscar when she ended her speech by practically shouting, “You like me!” My moment came not in the form of a golden statuette, but as a cake in the shape of a woman’s breasts. Two sweet, spongy mounds of yellow cake covered in fondant flesh with two pink chocolate nipples and a candy heart denoting a tattoo. “Breast Wishes” ran across the bottom in loopy script. It was my last day as an intern at alt-weekly Philadelphia City Paper. Starting my junior year of college in 1996 in the Philadelphia area with a young woman’s idealistic interest in journalism, I decided I needed practical experience. I contacted several publications in the city and was lucky that the City Paper was the first to answer. On my first day, decked out in jeans, Doc Martens, and a shiny brown shirt (Don’t judge!), I took the train into Center City and walked several blocks down 13th Street to the office. I …

Karen’s Note: The Beginning of Adulthood

In 1996, we officially became adults. We went to friends’ weddings where we reluctantly did the Macarena. We watched Ross and Rachel FINALLY get together. We talked about how all the things in Ironic by Alanis Morrissette weren’t really ironic. We fell in love with Frances McDormand in Fargo and Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. We started hearing about this new musical phenomenon called Rent and the tragic story of its creator Jonathan Larson, who died the morning of its first off-Broadway preview. That was my 1996 — and probably yours too. The idea of 1996 as a theme came up during the blizzard in January. Remember the blizzard of 1996? That was 20 years ago. Ugh, we’re so fucking old. It got us thinking about that year and realizing it was a time when our lives, careers and relationships started to take shape. Early onset adulting. A look back at my own trajectory: January: My husband and I had recently moved to New York from D.C. for real big city jobs in advertising and …