I had no fear of turning 50 and applying for that first AARP card. I was ready for the discounts to come rolling in. Then I realized that I was going to have to wait 10-15 years for any real discounts, but I could wait. The first was senior pass to National Parks – what a deal for a lifetime pass at only $10. Of course, there are discounts at most restaurants, movie theaters, and so forth, but I’ve come to discover the minimal savings really don’t compensate for less attractive aspects of aging.
I just returned from a visit “home” to Western New York State.
My 88 years-old mother still lives in our family home in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region and where my wife and I were born and raised. We also have many dear friends there and around Rochester, where we raised our family and I worked for Eastman Kodak Company for 32 years. The trip was a nostalgic drive down memory lane that reassured me that my old home town and Rochester are still thriving in spite of dramatically changing economies. However, I soon realized that my friends that have, previously, been frozen in time in their 40s and 50s have now, also, reached eligibility for senior discounts.
Well, of course, time doesn’t standstill just because I haven’t seen them. Everyone looked fine but I soon realized that our conversations frequently revolved around, well – er – breakdowns in body parts and functions. Topics that just 10 years ago would only be shared in hushed tones with close family members are now fair game to be discussed around the table in a restaurant providing legitimate queasiness among attending grown children and their significant others. Unfortunately, I don’t see a change in this
practice compulsion. Seniors don’t seem to have a filter to prevent these questionably appropriate discussions. We are allies with a common enemy – our bodies – and an erosion of our modesty. We don’t give a shit.
So senior discounts be damned and pass the Metamucil.