Sometimes people ask me about the subhead on this blog. Mostly it’s younger-sounding peeps responding to comments I make on The Huffington Post. I don’t answer, but I could, and here’s what I’d say:
If you have to ask, you’re too young.
As we Boomers stare into the 7x magnifying mirror, trying not to stab ourselves in the eye with the mascara wand and bemoaning the crevasses in our skin, we should remember there’s some compensation for getting old. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see them. The Senior Discount, for example, if you’re not too proud to take it. Most of the younger folks are too innocent to know the difference between a 57-year-old and a 65-year-old, so I get the discount and they don’t card me. All us old people look alike to them.
Recently at the pool, I was trying to reassure my 86-year-old Mom that nobody cares if her legs are crisscrossed with bulbous veins or her backbone is curved or she doesn’t fill out her swimsuit top anymore. None of us in my 55+ community would win any beauty contests except maybe my friend Joan. I pointed at all the adorable children and beautiful young adults visiting their elders on that sunny Saturday. “Take a look around, Mom. The only people who look really good don’t qualify to live here.” And then my big sis and I shared a snarky laugh.
Mom knows what I’m talking about. She’s still independent, but it’s getting harder. Sometimes she has to negotiate with people who are too young, too busy, or too mean to care about a 4′ 11″ woman in her mid-eighties. So Mom prepares. We rehearse before the attack. One of her strategies is to “Play the Grandma Card.” For example, she might tell a clerk, “I’m just an old woman. At the rate you’re going, I could be dead by the time you (fill in the objective).” The poor kids are shocked because they believe her, and they really snap to. You might think this is unethical but I think it’s a benefit of age. Kids play the youth/beauty card all the time. Why shouldn’t we take advantage, just like they do?
Use whatcha got.
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