Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Senior Moment

On a clear, crisp autumn Wednesday morning I joined millions of people from around the world and dashed off to work. Tired of my routine, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts instead of Bruegger's Bagels for my "must have" commuter coffee. After ordering a large cup with just one cream, the young man behind the counter said, "That'll be two dollars and two cents."

I stepped back in surprise. The price of coffee had actually gone down since I last visited, and nothing in this economy ever goes down, except the stock market and interest rates. "That's a deal," I remarked.

The manager walked over and said, "You just got the young lady discount."

Confused, I asked "What?"

The manager smiled, "Ya know, the young discount."

The true meaning of that statement sunk in. It felt like she had hurled a boulder into my gut. All I could manage was, "Oh." For the first time ever, I had been given the senior citizen's discount. Quickly gathering some pride, I faked a giggle, said, "Of course," paid, and left.

I sat in my car horrified. I had entered Dunkin Donuts young and left old. I pulled down the sun visor and checked for wrinkles that might have emerged since I put on my make-up that morning. Didn't find any, but my hair looked more white than blond, so I made a commitment to stop and pick up hair color that was a shade darker than usual. I texted my friend who sells youth preserving skin cream and told her I needed an emergency supply.



Before turning the key to start my car, I considered what had happened a little longer. Why was I so upset? I just celebrated my 54th birthday. Did I really think I looked 35? I was uncomfortable with my vanity. After all, it wasn't too long ago that I wrote a post right here about the beauty of aging. I featured a stunning 76-year-old woman with a face full of wrinkles and an effervescent smile who skied like a champion. She became my hero and here I was sulking because someone had just pointed out that my youthful appearance was part of my past.

Later that day, I asked the Internet why humans are so afraid of aging. After all, it is a natural part of life and the only way to avoid it is through death. I wanted to be the kind of person who accepted this, not fretted over it.

In a nutshell, we fear getting older because it means our life is closer to ending. The potential for illness is greater, our parts don't work quite as well and our appearance does change.

But oh the advantages that come with each birthday. We know ourselves better with each passing year and can alter our life accordingly. We become less concerned with what others think and more concerned about what pleases us. We focus more on showing the world our internal beauty that shines through with a gleam in our smile and a sparkle in our eyes; and a gleam and a sparkle can't be bought in a bottle.

During my search, I came across a blog post on Time Goes By called Fear of Aging, which discusses the compensations that come with getting older. My favorites are: "I've stopped comparing myself to others." and "I eat ice cream, only ice cream, for dinner when I feel like it without a twinge of guilt."
Check it out:
http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2005/06/fear_of_aging.html

Have I recovered from my welcome at Dunkin Donuts into the senior years?

I'm in the acceptance phase. I'm 54 and have more energy than ever, am pursuing my dreams, have wonderful friends and family, and am blessed with health. I couldn't be more grateful. That being said, I did opt for a darker shade of blond this weekend.

KICK BACK BOOK OF THE WEEK:

 
 
Age didn't stop the female characters in I.O.U. Sex by Sandra Nachlinger & Sandra Allen. Three middle aged women get together for an evening of fun and end up reminiscing about their high school sweethearts. The conversation leads to the fact that they didn't have sex with their former boyfriends. KiKi, Peggy, and June set out on a mission to find their young loves, and give them the sex they owe them. I.O.U. Sex is an entertaining novel that will make you laugh, ponder, worry, and remember.
 
 
 
KICK BACK SONG OF THE WEEK:
 
Goodbye Alice in Wonderland by Jewel. No. Alice can't stay young forever, even in Wonderland.
 
 
 
 A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA:
 
 



Kristen is the winner of "A Stop in the Park." Congratulations and I'll be contacting you to find out where I should mail it.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. "A Stop in the Park" is on sale until October 20th at Amazon.com: $.99 Kindle downloads; $13.28 paperbacks.



15 comments:

  1. Wow a senior discount on coffee! There are very few places that offer us these here, and then mostly on a certain day of the week and you have to be over 60 to get them. We get a bus pass at 60, free tv licence at 75, and winter fuel discount at one of those milestones. Some of our DIY stores offer over 60's discount on a set day and a few garden centers and the cafe's they have attached to them, but for the rest of the country unless you are 60 or over there isn't very much!

    I love the Hepburn quote, i believe more people should think like that xx

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  2. Aging is hard enough. I don't think businesses should automatically give a senior discount. We know we are aging. I don't mind my age and I don't want to go back in time. I'm not ready to die but I'm not afraid of it either. However, vanity does make it difficult to accept the physical signs of aging difficult for me. Nice post, Peggy. Thank you.

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    1. To be honest with you Linneann, I almost tweaked that young boy's nose for giving me the senior discount. I agree with you. I'll ask for the senior discount on my own when I want it. I haven't had the nerve to see what age Dunkin Donuts gives the senior discount. I'm hoping it's 55 and not 60-62. I'm confident though. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm quite certain I don't look 62 yet. My husband wisely agrees!

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  3. I am 56 now, I don't care so much, a little, but not so much. I am in good shape, and I have a heart that feels 16 (no kidding), so what the heck. At Hobby Lobby the other day I asked if they had a military discount. No. Senior discount? (Yes, I really did ask). No. Oh well. That was the first time I asked, but I think it's true, you're only as young as you feel. (However, like I said, I feel 16. Then I look in the mirror and there is this rather older woman looking back. I haven't introduced myself to her yet because I'm afraid she might like me and stick around!!) Love you!

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    1. I feel young like you Deirdre. That's why the aging thing shocks me sometimes. I'm very active and am pretty good shape. We are as young as we feel, right?

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  4. I remember getting subscription requests from ARRP when I was only in my late forties. I was so angry-I was healthy and looked much younger than my age then--that to this day I refuse to subscribe to ARRP lol! To those of you in your 50's , be careful--I was so healthy then until I was felled by back to back heart attacks at 56, the day after looking wonderful and healthy at a Christmas party. A lot of things start happening after 50--and if the best is yet to come, I'm going to be very old when it gets here! LOl

    Micki

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    1. I've heard that rumor before, Micki. All we can joy is laugh and enjoy the good moments.

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  5. I remember the first time I was given a senior citizen discount. My husband, sister-in-law, and I were paying to enter a museum, and the clerk automatically gave us all the senior discount. We asked, "Aren't you going to card us?" The kid shook his head no. After our initial outrage subsided, we got a laugh out of that.

    Thank you for featuring my book I.O.U. SEX on your blog today. In spite of the risque title, it's not too spicy!

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    1. It really is a great book and the women in IOU Sex certainly don't let age bother them.

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  6. Ouch Peggy, I so relate. Recently a new coworker looked at my wedding picture in my office and said, "Wow, you've been married a LONG time!"
    I look at that wedding picture and still feel so much like that younger version of me, just with more experience!

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    1. Isn't it sort of funny? I still think of myself as young. That's why I'm so surprised when someone reminds me that I'm really not.

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  7. Micki, my husband(who is 6 years older than me) was so happy when he got his AARP subscription at 49. Like you, I remember feeling, "how could you be happy about being old enough for THAT!!"

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  8. I could hardly wait till I hit 55 and had accumulated enough points in years worked and age to officially retire with all my benefits. And then began my second career as an author--the "Dessert of My Life!"

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    1. You've got it eight, Sandra. You really do!

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  9. I look back not at the Senior discount but eligibility for medicare. . .accepted most graciously the day I qualified. YEA! No more high cost insurance! More $$$ in the bank! Now the question is "How long will I enjoy its benefit?" That is yet to be seen:>(

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