A Senior And Proud Of It

Seniors-Card-Welcome-hereWhen I was in my early 50’s I was on a city bus going home. The bus was full, standing room only. I assumed my position. Feet planted and spread apart,  holding  firmly onto the handle dangling from the bus’s ceiling.

The bus lurched forward and I was on my way home. Settling in with my eyes closed making the trip bearable, I heard a voice, almost a whisper. “Mr?”,  not enough to break my thoughts to open my eyes. “Mr? You can have my seat if you like” came the voice again.

When I opened my eyes and looked down this very young teenage girl was getting up with a concerned look on her face. I wanted to look around to see what old man she was going to give her seat to when I realized she was talking to me.

Did someone just slap me in the face with a wet fish?

I said thank you to the dear girl as we exchanged places. I sat down, gave her a thank you smile and closed my eyes. Not because I wanted to resume my daydream but because I was embarrassed.  I was now officially old.

I was eventually able to erase that image from my mind over the years until my next “aged”encounter. There was a time when McDonald’s served the best coffee in town. I know, I know, we’ve come along way haven’t we. But It was good in the day, free refills and and catch up on the daily news.

On this fateful day, I was waiting my turn in line. An elderly man was in front of me and he proudly showed his Seniors Card so he could claim his discount on his $1.50 coffee. When It was my turn I ordered my coffee and the young man behind the counter said in a matter of fact tone, “Do you have your Seniors Card with you sir?”

I tried not to react as to cause a scene and my wife would have be so proud of me as I kept my cool, smiled and said, “no, I am not a senior”. Inside I played out the scene the way I would have liked it to go. I saw myself, reach over the counter, grab the young little ….by the shirt, pulled him over the counter and show him how old I really was.” But with a shake of the head to try and get that image out of my mind I continued to smile.

I made a secret vow that I would never under any circumstances get a Seniors Card or get old.

When I turned 65 last July I was officially a Senior Citizen. I kept a low profile but my wife was not one for letting saving a few cents here and there get by her even at my expense. I had cold sweats going to bed the night before my birthday thinking she would wake me after midnight and remind me of my age and that in the morning I was going to apply for a Seniors Card as soon as we wake up. We were like to Pro Football linesmen going toe to toe for months before I reluctantly gave in. She set up my online application for me and all I needed to do was push the enter button and it was out of my hands.

It took me another few months to take the card out of my wallet. When I saved my first dollars on a train trip to Brisbane my wife hugged me and told me how proud she was.

It was all down hill from there. I proudly present my Seniors Card without hesitation or prodding.

Getting old is hard enough. Feeling old is another thing. A card should not play a factor. Trust me, its all in the mind.

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Posted on January 5, 2014, in Faith and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Ah how this post made me smile and giggle. I sat with a group of children recently, one of whom looked at me and said, you’re quite old aren’t you. To which I replied, “am I? What makes you think so?” Immediately, another little darling at the table piped up, “you have grey hair!”……. And I just turned 43! Time to reapply the hair dye clearly.

    On the other hand, my mum who is of pensionable age absolute loves that she gets to ride the bus for free and gets all sorts of discounts. As my children get older, I realise that this must mean that I am getting older too but I’m not quite ready yet! Forty is the new thirty isn’t it? Lol

    • Yes forty is the new thirty. That must mean that 65 is the new fifty five. But I have a card that says differently. When I look in the mirror now I don’t see a 65 year old man. I see a man who can get on the bus for free and get a discount at McDonalds. Ha……

      • When I look in the mirror, I see my mother! That’s not good either lol. Having said that I have seen my mum use her retirement to have a life travelling and taking up hobbies to the point where she is busier than I am lol. And I couldn’t be happier for her. She had it really tough when we were growing up so she deserves to be happy. Hope you are spending your ‘wisdom years’ to fulfil your dreams too!

      • Good for you mum. I hope she continues to enjoy her ‘wisdom years’. We will hit the road ourselves when the time is right. We have a few years to go as we still have our two youngest girls at home and are “patiently” waiting for them to make a life for themselves. Until then I will enjoy my Seniors Card to the max.

      • They bought a camper van and toured Europe! Hope you get to do something equally amazing.

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