Although I like the concept of looking stylish in retirement, I simplified my wardrobe in the last few years of working, and I just can’t get too excited about clothes anymore. I buy my jeans in the men’s department at Kohl’s, and I wear a lot of black because it’s easy. I’ve been told I look menacing, and I’m afraid that’s what happened at the bank this week.
Part of my retirement income came in a lump sum. Not ideal in terms of taxes, but I had no idea what I was doing when I made distribution decisions, and I’ve accepted the government gets a big chunk of it. As someone once said to me, if you’re paying more money in taxes, it means you have more money to begin with. Be grateful.
The check came Tuesday, and I wanted to deposit it right away. I’m an avid walker and hope to keep walking as long as my body parts hold up. I especially love to walk with a destination in mind and knew there was a trail from my house that would ultimately get me to the bank, so I put on my standard winter walk wear: black Sugoi track pants, black Champion polyester half-zip top from Target, black Tilley hat, a layer for warmth and a black backpack. Because what other color would it be?
It was a beautiful walk that took about 30 minutes. When I arrived at the bank in my hiking clothes with this hunk of nest egg in my backpack, there was a greeter who gave me the evil eye. She said, and I quote, “Did you have a transaction here?”
No, I’m just looking for a place to take a dump.
I didn’t say that because I am such a Girl Scout. I said, “Yes, I need to deposit a check.”
She points me to a counter, I fill out the slip and make my way to the teller, who also gives me the up and down. I said, “I get the sense ya’ll think I’m homeless, but I assure you I’m not.”
The teller said, “Oh, no, my mother always taught me. Never judge a book by its cover.”
That hurt. I mean, really, I thought I looked kind of cute.
Then she looked at the check and asked if we sold a house. I said, no, that’s my retirement. I did not add, “And it won’t be in your bank for very long.”
Later this week my husband got a $30 refund from overpaying his dental bill. He drove to the bank in his khaki cargo shorts and bright green North Face pullover, and apparently, he did NOT look menacing. Later I wanted to know if they asked him if he was there for a transaction. No, they just said, hi, welcome to Bank of America.