Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Senior Discounts, The Benefits of Growing Old

Last week marked a milestone for me. I crossed another decade marker and turned 60 but, for some reason, I don’t feel any different. Turning sixteen was a “biggie.” That was a right of passage. At last I could drive (legally) and I rushed right down to the DMV to get my license. At twenty-one, I was legally an adult. But this birthday seems uneventful. The most startling reality is that suddenly I recognize that my wife will also soon be a “sixty year old senior citizen.”

We have been enjoying the privilege of “cashing in” on all the senior discounts that many merchants offer to seniors at age 55 but we did notice that, by the time we reached that age, many of them had raised the bar to age 60. But I have to admit, we have enjoyed some of those already. My wife discovered that some stores offered discounts to people over 50.

I have been getting senior discounts in one of our local fast-food restaurants for several years because, sometimes, young people just assume that anyone over the age of 30 is ancient. That doesn’t bother me. I gladly pocket the extra change.

I did manage to get a senior checking account at our bank a couple years before I officially qualified. When I was perusing the brochure, I saw that the benefits and perks were just exactly what we needed so I asked the branch manager. When she told me NO because we weren’t old enough, I sarcastically responded, “I have to be old enough. I am the ‘father’ to 140 senior citizens.” She was amused at my remark so she gave us the account.

My old age gets me very little sympathy among the residents at the retirement home. They think I’m just a kid. There is an old French proverb that says, “Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.”

Well, I guess I will just continue doing the work that God has called me to until He takes me out. But for right now, I need to go get my senior discount card at one of our favorite restaurants.

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