What happens when you're mistaken for being older than you are? A lot of anger and teasing from elderly neighbors. Did we mention anger?
Humor Life

48 Is The New 60

What happens when you're mistaken for being older than you are? A lot of anger and teasing from elderly neighbors. Did we mention anger?

Today at the grocery store, against my better judgment, I allowed a bored cashier to convince me to go through her checkout line.  I’m a self-checkout kind of gal, usually.  I mean, that’s just how I roll.

“Hey, you gave me too much change,” I told the cashier.

“No, it’s right.  Your charge was $20.58.”

“I thought I had to pay $22.09,” I persisted.

“No, no, it’s Thursday.  Senior citizens’ discount,” she said to my not-gray 48-year-old self, as she turned to help the next customer.

Senior citizens’ discount?  Really?  You know, the self-checkout lane would NEVER have done this to me.

I headed toward the front of the store, carrying my groceries while metaphorically cradling my freshly bruised sense of self.  While I waited for the 80-year-old neighbor whom I had driven to the store, I obsessed over why my cashier thought I looked a good 12 years older than I really was.  Was it my hair style? My clothes? My lovely middle-aged jowls?

And then – as if I weren’t demoralized enough — my stooped, gray-haired neighbor came up to me and said, “Do you mind waiting a minute? I have to go to customer service – that stupid cashier didn’t give me the senior discount.”

“Um, no,” I stammered, inwardly reeling from this fresh blow to my admittedly fragile middle-aged ego.  “Go right ahead.” I used the extra time to obsess further –that cashier couldn’t even see the veins on my legs, could she? Was it my lack of makeup? My imperfect teeth? Standing there by the cart drop-off, I persisted in going through a veritable roll call of my perceived physical inadequacies until my neighbor rejoined me.  Because FUN.

As we got into my car, I could keep it in no longer. “I can’t believe this,” I said to her, rather undiplomatically. “Why would they give ME the discount and not YOU?”

I don’t know why I said that, really. What was I expecting from my elderly friend, after all?  Some motherly reassurance that the whole incident was completely ridiculous? A confirmation of my belief that I looked nowhere near 60?

“Well!” my neighbor – my three-decades-older neighbor — said, with a certain amount of satisfaction as she buckled herself in. “I guess we know NOW which one of us looks younger, don’t we?”