Last week my quarterly retirement statements arrived. While my losses are not nearly as bad as some folks’, they weren't good news.
Part of what makes this such a pisser is disappointment: I thought I'd be at Point X by this time in my life, and it turns out I'm only somewhere around Point M.
Another part is the suddenness: It has taken me 35 years of doing without things to amass some retirement savings. And now, in less than six months, the whole picture has changed. My bon voyage date is disappearing on the horizon like a cowboy in a spaghetti western.
But the thing that really sucks is knowing that I'm pretty much the same shape as the people who've spent those years blowing every dime they got their hands on. The only real joy we ants have is the knowing the grasshoppers will be shivering in the cold while we're all snug in our paid-off ant-hills.
There are a couple of houses in my neighborhood that (apparently) have been foreclosed. One is a two-story sand-colored brick. There’s a boarded-up hole on the side where a bay window used to be.
The other is a little cottage that had a replica of the Liberty Bell in the front yard. I used to drive by there and wonder what that Liberty Bell meant to them. Was it their version of flying the flag, or sporting a yellow ribbon magnet on their car?
So I guess there are plenty of grasshoppers out there whose teeth are chattering. Along with their little grasshoppers, who don’t understand why they can’t live in their own house and go to their own school anymore.
Turns out watching grasshoppers turn blue isn't much fun after all.