I recently hit that golden plateau – you know the big 6-0! Even though the awareness that I likely have between 20- to 30-years left on planet earth freaked me out a bit, I have since adopted the “Emperor Wears News Clothes” approach to life and am boldly moving into the last third of my life.
So, what does that mean in lay person’s terms? As Rhett Butler once uttered, “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m, not hell bent on wreaking havoc upon humanity, but I have come to realize that aging does has its advantages, and that older people can get away with a lot more than when we were younger.
Let’s start with senior discounts. There are a vast array available at retailers everywhere. That said, they all have different age parameters, some start at 55, some 60, some 62, etc. Since it is often confusing who offers which discount (and as I realize to younger people think EVERYONE over 30 looks cadaverous), I simply say “senior discount.”
Haven’t been questioned once. This works particularly well at movie theaters and with online ticket purchases (face it, most of the people working at theaters look like they’re 12-years-old and I likely remind them of “gramps”).
Door opening. I am still big on opening doors for people, but lately I’ve been having doors opened for moi: “After you sir…” At first, I was like, “Is this akin to being called ‘Sweetie’ or ‘Dear’?” Then, I thought, “Who cares?” It is nice that after all those decades of gentlemanly door-opening that folks now think enough of the lines on my face to open a door or two for me.
Airport lines. I have gotten really ballsy with this one since I was told if you give the airline check-in person one of those sweet, little-old smiles, they don’t seem to mind if you board with group “2” rather than the “7” you’re really in. This works particularly well if you use the Puss in Boots sad face from “Shrek” or force a limp.
Attire. Remember how you were told never to wear white after Labor Day (or is it Memorial Day)? As we age, all bets are off. Now, you can dress as you please. Feel free to pair those camo shorts with the striped Ben Sherman pocket shirt.
Disneyland. I don’t necessarily recommend this one as Disneyland is pretty adept to ensuring everyone receives equal treatment, however the point of our recent trek to Anaheim was to get on the “Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance” ride (which btw is beyond AWESOME!). As it is so popular, it is one of the few rides at Disneyland where you get in an automated queue via Disney’s app. After a few attempts, we were put in boarding queue 210 which had an estimated entry time of 4 p.m. I excitedly checked the app throughout the afternoon and at 2:30, the ride broke down, re-opening sometime thereafter. Suddenly our 4 p.m. entry became 5, then 6:30, 7 and finally 8:15.
We debated staying as the park closed at 9 and there was no guarantee we’d get on, but I was bound and determined to be attacked by storm troopers and see those light sabers cutting through ceilings. We ate dinner early and then meandered over to Star Wars land.
My spouse said, “Lemme see if we can get on sooner.” He went up to a seasoned park employee, pointed to the phone app and said “This is unacceptable. Can’t we get on sooner?”
I implored him to try again with another employee. This time he picked someone younger, a person who could perhaps be his grandson (get where this is going?). Then he uttered the magic words only an old person could use….
“We’ve waited all day and it is getting dark – my friend can’t drive at night” (which is kinda true at this point as I am not that comfortable driving after dusk).
Bingo. It was as if someone said “Shazam” and we quickly found ourselves squirreled through a secret entrance to the front of the ride’s line.
Now, I do not recommend doing the aforementioned activities if you are somewhat timid, prone to heavy perspiration or could not possibly consider doing anything other than what is the 100% honest and proper thing to do.
That said, if you’re like me, you’ve spent most of your life following 100% of the rules, and you’ll also likely be dead in a few decades. It may be time to loosen the reins on that oh-so-moral life we are told we must live.
You see how this mindset shift can be so freeing? So liberating?
I see how these little extra-curricular activities might be a gateway drug, next could be lying about my age, shoplifting, even bank robbery.
Well, those are all things to consider, but I am not too concerned. A lot of folks tell me at this age they feel “invisible” and I won’t dispute that. I’m just saying, we may as well take advantage of what we can. I’m all for having fun, and heck, if it doesn’t hurt me or anyone else, why not color outside of the lines a bit as you see, aging does have its advantages.
And with that, I end this as “Poolside from PS.”