I’ve just figured out why our Social Security office staff were all so happy – they are located right next to a Cracker Barrel. For my two foreign readers – this is a chain of restaurants, each with a gift shop, across the U.S., serving Southern country food. It’s like a slice of Disneyland at the top of every freeway ramp. I’d be happy, too, working walking distance from Cracker Barrel. If you’ve been following closely, you know that Cedric and I dressed nicely for our appointment. We were business casual Class A and looked fabulous. We already knew we would go to Cracker Barrel for lunch that day. We walked through the irresistible gift shop and were shown to our seats. A lovely waitress approached – motherly and kind. I’ve only ever had one occurrence of a mean waitress at Cracker Barrel – maybe that will be a blog subject one day. But Karen introduced herself and asked for our drink orders. Cedric asked for a Perrier and I asked for herbal tea. Silence. We repeated ourselves. More silence. Finally, Karen said, “This is Cracker Barrel, we don’t serve nothing fancy here.” But she had a twinkle in her eye. We ordered soda water and regular tea and, as she walked away, she said, “I’ll be right back with your order, Mr. and Mrs. Fancy.”
So that’s what she called us. When I asked her whether it was our accents, she said she noticed us as we walked in and she just knew we were fancy. Clothes make the man. Clothes, clothes, clothes – no one warned me that I would end up with a closet full of unwearable clothes one day after the Big R. My sartorial choice each day is now which color leggings to wear and I try to get out of my jammies by noon (just kidding!). I try and wear a touch of lipstick and mascara, but the dress code for retirees is way different, even in Atlanta, where it’s more casual than London or Toronto. I know I won’t be wearing power suits and high heels much any more. Today marks the beginning of Week 3. I can feel myself relaxing and I turned into a “Lady Who Lunches” when I met two girlfriends for lunch – one who retired a couple of years ago and one who had to go back to work. I kept asking her how to spell that word – very mean of me.
I’ll work out soon which clothes stay and which clothes go. For now, Mrs. Fancy signing off – gotta get her jammies on.