The comely young man that greeted me at Target the other morning not only made that day for me – he was promptly moved to the top of my list of essential workers who deserve a raise. Well … he would have been inserted in the No. 1 spot if I actually compiled such a roster.
“I’m sorry, sir,” the bespectacled fellow said. “The store isn’t open to the general public during the first hour. We reserve this time for our customers who are 65 years old or older.” It should be noted that, as he turned me away, I was still veritably wheezing from having blown out 64 candles at a recently completed virtual birthday party witnessed by a collection of younger Youngbloods via the magic of a Zoom conference.
For the record, our smoke detector did NOT go off during the soirée, though I suspect at least a few of the virtual attendees entertained such a notion as I inhaled deeply in preparation of eliminating the tremendous glow emanating from my Brady Bunch box on their computer screens.
Upon the aforementioned Targeted spurning, I promptly smiled under my face covering, reversed course and returned to my car, sporting a pep in my step that was not present during the walk from the automobile only moments prior. Then I actually wondered if I should return at once to suggest to the whippersnapper that he probably should conclude his work shift by ambling about 100 feet down the aisle to the store’s optical department. He clearly needed new glasses.
You see: I have been asked if I want the “senior discount” since long before Target Guy told me I wasn’t qualified. The first time the query came up, I was offended. I was 52 at the time. (It occurred on Nov. 8, 2008. It happened at Schlotzsky’s. I told you I was offended.)
The trend has continued pretty much since. My reaction to the trend, however, evolved quickly. Given that the Little Mrs. and I enjoy dining out, and given that a three-to-five-percent discount every time we enjoy dining out adds up to a not-insignificant annual savings, I concluded that there might be some gold in them there silver hairs.
Now I grin through 12 teeth sporting or affected by prosthetic devices and bear the thought that my looking old has some benefit. For one, just noted, I’m not left as light in the wallet as are most of the people in line behind me. Also, I just helped those of you playing “Old People Bingo” fill in “comely,” “veritable wheezing,” “whippersnapper,” “Little Mrs. and I” and “light in the wallet” on your cards.
And, of course, I now can speak with authority as I heartily suggest you check out our Senior Living story beginning on page 34. It reveals all manner of glorious benefits offered to local seniors by local entities, and, if you or one of yours are painting your years in a golden hue, you would be well served to check it out.
So check it out, dag nab it!