Senior discount?

Senior discount?

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:02 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Laughing is superior to crying on so many levels. I’m glad my parents taught me to see the sunny side of life. I’ve needed that perspective on so many occasions. Oh, how I’ve needed it. Such was the case a few weeks ago in Jackson.
My dear husband and I went to see “The King’s Speech.” It was a fantastic movie, but today’s column is not about the movie. It’s about what happened before we saw the movie. After standing in line for more than 30 minutes, we were relieved to finally be at the ticket window. I smiled and happily said to a girl who was born long after the Bee Gees stopped touring, “Two for ‘The King’s Speech’ please.”
She looked right at me and my beloved and said, “Senior discount?”
Bewildered and believing I must have heard her wrong, I said, “Pardon me?”
She repeated, “Senior discount?”
“Uh, no. Not today.”
How could she have believed we were seniors in high school? Wow. We must look a lot younger than I think we do. I guess it was my hip happenin’ new hairstyle combined with my career wear from the old lady section of JCPenney. Or maybe it was the fact that Philip had on stylish blue jeans and was trying to look at his cell phone while wearing those ever-popular  $7.99 old man reading glasses from Walmart.
After entering the theater, in a sweet gesture to safeguard my self-esteem, Philip immediately said, “Honey, it was me. I promise that little exchange was about me. It’s the gray in my beard, the gray in my hair. Believe me, there’s no way you look over 50. That comment was for me.”
I replied with a laugh, “Oh, absolutely!”  
I knew the young girl probably just thought, “Hmm. These people are definitely a lot older than my parents, so I better ask to be sure.” I have no problem with that. I took no offense at the time. And I still don’t. But we have had some great laughs about it and have enjoyed sharing the story with other 40-somethings we know.
The truth is we’re getting older. Phil does have gray in his beard. I have crow’s feet and a slight limp from the car wreck years ago. Things have changed in our lives. A young girl who thinks “Bread” is just a food group would rightfully assume we’re over the hill. That’s OK. We can live with that.
As we sat in the theater, we joyfully recounted the life experiences we’ve had. We both remember eight-track tapes, black and white TV with three channels (two of them fuzzy) and the first time a man walked on the moon. We talked about our early years of marriage when we had no money but were blissfully happy despite the fact. We remembered old tiny apartments and the ’83 Pontiac.
I don’t want to be young again. Really. You can believe me or not believe me but it’s true. Every laugh line on my face represents a blessing. The gray in Phil’s hair has been accompanied by a gentle and reverent wisdom. So the next time someone at a ticket counter asks, “Senior Discount?” I’ll happily reply, “Not yet … but I can hardly wait.”
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website lisasmartt.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.16.11

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