Thursday, April 30, 2009

Senior discount

A few years ago I was in a store and when I made my purchase the young woman behind the cash register asked me, "Are you 55 or over, because we have a senior discount." At the time I wasn't 55 but my beard, which went white early on, has made me look mature. In other words, my mind is immature, my face isn't.

"Sure, I'm over 55." I got 10% off my purchase.

I was asking for my senior discount at that store for a couple of years, even after I was officially "55 or over." My wife, Sally, wouldn't ask because she was embarrassed. When it comes to saving 10% I have no pride. There came a day when I said, "I'd like my senior discount, please," and the clerk answered, "We discontinued that practice."

"Say what?"

"Yes, there are just too many people over 55."

Aha! Ageism. Geezer discrimination. Unfair! I'll sue!

Well, no I won't, but I'll go somewhere else to get that discount.

There are an awful lot of us Baby Boomers who are hitting an age, aren't there? We made for a bulge in the population since the late 1940s that is still being dealt with. I read a letter in my local newspaper the other day where a young woman was complaining that "the older people" are going to suck the Social Security system dry, leaving her nothing.

So we "older people," who are here because our dads fought World War II and came home horny, conspired with our moms to make millions of babies, who worked 40-45 years of our lives supporting our grandparents' and parents' generations with Social Security are now a bunch of leeches on the system. Gee, young woman, I'm sorry if I'm getting what I earned over four decades of labor, but I can just about guarantee that unless our economy goes into total collapse, and at that stage there won't be any Social Security for us Baby Boomers either, your generation will get theirs.

Social Security may undergo some changes, some drastic, but it will be there in one form or another. It is a program where workers work all their lives thinking there will be something for them when they're eligible and when someone talks about changes the workers get testy and start making really loud noises in Washington. It doesn't hurt that AARP, which is an organization for older folks like the NRA is for gun owners, is a powerful and vocal lobby.

I liked the ad that was in my mailbox today. "Don't forget my SENIOR DISCOUNT!" I worked hard; I deserve it.

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