Since it seems to be important that everything has a label anymore, I have a question. How do you define old? When you look at something or someone, what drives your decision to label it or them “old”. I guess it is a little easier when you are discussing an object then it is a person, because objects can often be traced to origin and or period. People not so much. But that doesn’t stop us folks of an age from being placed in our proper boxes. The difference is, with people, it’s subjective. I’ve seen eighty somethings that look sixty and I have seen sixty somethings that look, well, you know, unsixtyish.
I have become more keenly aware of this phenomenon as I have, how should I say this, ‘matured’, and I have reached some conclusions. One is that I apparently look older in the grocery store then I do in a restaurant. Perhaps it is the lighting or something, but I find I can no longer check out of the store without being asked “do you need help out with that”? I know it is just a courtesy, but it hurts a little when you are only buying a loaf of bread. Well, and maybe a six pack. Today when my wife and I shopped and gave the clerk our bags, she asked “how heavy should I make these”. I told her to take her best shot, my wife is stronger then she looks.
The same does not hold true in restaurants however. And it doesn’t make any difference if it is a sit down or drive through. How do I know this. It’s easy. No one has ever ever offered me the senior discount without my asking for it. It has to be because of my youthful appearance. I did have one young lady ask, when I ordered an iced tea, if I wanted the senior tea. Not knowing what that was, I was almost afraid to ask for fear it came in a sippy cup.
Although I am comfortable with my age, I think that I in some ways try to hide it, or at least obscure it. For instance, I no longer wear my John Denver tee shirt with his picture on the front and “FAR OUT” printed on the back. I don’t want to take the chance someone will ask me who he is, or was. My wife also made me get rid of my white shoes and belt. She did it diplomatically however. She said “I think it would be a nice gesture if you donated those to a retirement community in Florida.” I hate sarcasm.
I guess it is not so bad, being carbon dated by the people around me. After all, I do it too. I am sure the kids in the grocery store are about twelve or at least still looking forward to puberty and my doctor is not old enough to have completed med school. But that’s just me. I try to concentrate on the positive things. Like the other day when for some reason my check did not clear at checkout the first time and they had to ask to see my drivers license. As I walked across the parking lot, I had a big smile on my face. Why you ask? Because I had just been ‘carded’ for the first time in forty years. Made my day. Just sayin.