Dear Blake,

My wife and I are both recently retired. Our 19-year-old daughter lives 100 miles away at college. My wife has an elderly mother. My problem is family and friends who text early in the morning.

When I was working, I had to get up at 4:30 a.m., so one of the biggest rewards of retirement is no alarm clock. My wife keeps her cellphone next to the bed because of our daughter and her mother, so putting it somewhere else is not an option.

When a text comes through, I automatically think the worst. My adrenaline kicks in, and I can’t go back to sleep. One person even sent me birthday wishes at 3 a.m.

Why do people know not to call at those hours unless it’s an emergency but still text? How can I gracefully let people know that even though they are up, I am enjoying the rewards of a well-earned retirement and would like to be able to sleep until I wake up on my own?

Signed, Wilford
From Dallas, Texas

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Dear Wilford,

What your friends and family are doing is extremely insensitive. The best way to get even with those morons, is to text them misleading/partials texts, and text them with the clarification an hour later. Such as, send them a text that says “My doctor told me today that I only have six months to…” Wait an hour and then resend the entire text which reads ““My doctor told me today that I only have six months to book a vacation on a cruise ship, if I want to hang out with him and his wife on the ocean.” Or send a text with an incomplete word at the end, like, “I recently came into a lot of money, and I want to give it all to you…” And an hour later send them “I recently came into a lot of money, and I want to give it all to your worst enemy, and maybe then they’ll treat you better.” Or possibly this one, “I hate to admit it, but I have been sleeping around…” Wait a while and then send them “I hate to admit it, but I have been sleeping around the time you texted me, and I didn’t hear it.” And finally, if you want to appear to friendly and caring, send them this, “I am making a really fancy dinner tonight, so if you have nothing to do around 6 p.m., drop…” And then send them the new text at about 5 p.m. that evening which reads, “I am making a really fancy dinner tonight, so if you have nothing to do around 6 p.m., drop dead!” I hope this helps.

Blake

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