I just got seniored for the first time.
Well, there was an incident a couple of years ago when we popped into the Dairy Queen for a late night treat. As I sat in a corner booth with my husband, sipping my coffee while he drank his root beer, I idly picked up the receipt and saw one of our items was listed as Senior Coffee.
I didn’t process it at first. I thought maybe it was what they called their large coffee. Sort of like how A&W has Papa Burgers. Just as I was about to point out that I had, in fact, ordered a small coffee (Junior Coffee?) so I had likely been overcharged, it hit me. I had been seniored. And me just a year into my fifties.
Then I eyed the kid behind the counter who looked to be all of twelve years old. When you’re that young anyone over thirty probably looked like a senior.
I let it go.
But a mere two years later here I am, seniored again but this time no excuses. It happened at Shopper’s Drug Mart by a woman who looked to be my age.
I didn’t understand her the first time she asked.
“I said, do you qualify for the over 55 senior discount?”
“No,” I said, glancing over at my husband who was waiting nearby and judging by his gleeful grin, had understood the cashier’s question correctly the first time. And the second.
Suddenly a memory flooded in of when the very same thing happened to my mother in the very same store chain. I remembered how she loved to tell the story of her response…a resounding yes.
“If I’m going to be asked I might as well get the discount,” she had laughed.
As for me, I have spent a lifetime outdoors and not always with sunscreen. I look 55. I probably look older. But why does it matter? Why does it bother me? It shouldn’t. There are a lot of things a person could be ashamed of, but aging isn’t one of them.
Look at nature. The objects that fill us with awe are always the ancient things. The more ancient a forest looks, the more it is revered.
Nature is also filled with wrinkles.
I never see a wrinkled tree or rock or piece of bark without wanting to touch it. I am always filled with a mixture of awe, joy and peace whenever I encounter nature’s grooves.
And you know what? The following photo is pretty wonderful too. There are seniors who radiate youth and vitality, wrinkles be darned.
If I age as beautifully as this woman, I’ll be happy.
The next time I’m asked if I qualify for the senior’s discount I’ll say, You betcha baby!
Except I have this honesty thing where I get crazy flustered over the slightest fib, so I will probably say something like, Only two more years to go, baby!
And then all those savings will be mine, Mine, MINE.
Who knows? I might even save enough to go down to the Dairy Queen and order myself a senior coffee.