2012-03-09 / Commentary

Never ask if I am a senior

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

There are certain stores I don’t go to on certain days.

When I first moved here, I was in one particular department store on a Tuesday, and I was buying a cute little negligee. It was a sexy little number with lace and ribbons, and it fit me well.

I got up the counter to pay, and the woman asked me if I wanted my “senior discount.”

I couldn’t believe it.

SENIOR discount?

I wasn’t even at the half way mark to 100 yet.

(Well….I was close, but I wasn’t there YET.)

“Senior discoun?” I asked the clerk incredulously. “Do seniors buy racy night gowns? Do I look 65 to you? What are you talking about?”

She explained to me that in that store you got your senior discount at 50 and didn’t I want it? It was, after all, 20 percent off.

“I’m NOT 50!” I screeched at her.

Flustered she took my money and bagged my purchase.

She had ruined my day.

My feelings were hurt, and my ego was in the gutter.

Some retail therapy was definitely in order here. I was going to buy myself something extravagant that I simply didn’t need.

I found this great coat. It was red with a black faux fur collar and cuffs.

I loved it, and it was on sale.

I took it to the register…. not the one I had just been to.

This was a sweet older lady, and she even commented on how good the coat looked on me when I tried it on.

As I was digging out my wallet she rang up the coat.

She looked at me and asked me if I wanted my senior discount.

I burst into tears.

I know…it’s shallow and silly but really….two people thinking I was a senior was just too much.

She apologized profusely and told me Tuesday was senior day, and they were supposed to ask everyone that could possibly be 50 or over about the discount.

“But I’m not 50 yet,” I blubbered.

She looked at me suspiciously, but I don’t know if the look was one of doubt or if she was just wondering if she needed to call security for this unstable woman in her store.

I got my coat, but now it was ruined by the memory of being mistaken for 50.

I resolved to never go back to that store on a Tuesday.

My husband laughed at the story and told me I should have taken the discount.

That was six years ago. I haven’t been back on a Tuesday since.

The other day I was in the grocery store, and I bought a couple of bottles of Champagne for an upcoming brunch.

As the checker was running my things through, when he got to the Champagne he stopped and looked at me and asked to see my driver’s license.


At first I thought he was kidding but he wasn’t.

In reality he was probably around 19, so I figured he just carded everyone. But I couldn’t help but be a little flattered.

I mean I work out, I walk two or three miles several times a week, and I try to eat the right things.

I moisturize and I take good care of my skin.

I use sun block and don’t really lie out in the sun a whole lot.

So…I figured maybe he was serious.

I don’t know what I was thinking because I am probably older than his mother.

He didn’t seem to be the flirtatious type.

Maybe he was serious?

As I was standing there basking in the glow of someone not thinking me old enough to drink, I stood a little taller and I sucked my tummy in.

I even gave my hair a sprightly little toss.

I think I even ran my fingers through it and glanced around to see if anyone was noticing that I had been carded.

I really wanted to pull out my cell phone and snap a photo of him checking my license, but I figured that was a bit much.

As he finished ringing up my groceries, I beamed at him as I pulled out my debit card to pay.

The last item went through, the total came out, and the checker looked at me.

“Would you like your senior discount ma’am?”

I won’t be going back there on Wednesdays now.

I’m just saying……..

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