Join the club...or not.

The other day a young girl looked at me and said I had hair like her grandmother's.  So I said the only thing that made sense to me.  "Thanks!"  I have no idea what it was she saw.  Was it the length?  The style?  The color (or lack thereof)?  All of the above?  I'll never know.

That observation lead me back to a day probably 15 years ago.  Carl and I had dropped into a local Jack in the Box to grab a bite for lunch.  The good news is the open-campus high school crowd was gone and not too many people were there.  That may have been the bad news, too.  Without so many distractions, the counter person had more time to observe fewer customers.

I glanced at our receipt while waiting for the order number to be shouted out.  Something was wrong.  I approached the counter and said I didn't think the amount charged was correct.  It was too low.

"Oh no, ma'am!"  Ma'am...that might have been a first.  Anyway she went on to say that I got a discount!  Carl didn't get a discount.  I got a discount.  I was a member of the Silver Circle Club! What?  What's that?  When did I join?  Did I get a membership card? How did I qualify?  Had I been a member a long time or was I a new member?

I guess I was awarded membership because I had some gray hair. Not that much back then.  And it was lots shorter.  At what point were the employees authorized to bestow such recognition on customers?  Were they specially trained to make that judgment call?

It was both appalling and funny - funny strange, not funny laughing.  Carl wasn't sure how to react,  maybe fearing my surprise could evolve at any minute to a wrath focused on him, as though he had anything to do with it.  Over the years he continued to remind me that "at least you have hair, Marilyn."  Such a Carl statement.

I believe that little event triggered our conclusion that we would not accept, nor ask for, senior discounts.  Beside neither of us were any where close to meeting the definition of a 'senior' as defined by years.

The whole concept seemed more of a marketing ploy to us, but it had a deep underlying message.  Age.  Old.  Oldness.  Poor.   I'm happy to say that despite my silver (gray) hair, I haven't accepted those discounts, if/when offered, and I'm still too young in age numbers to qualify for them. But all gray hair now.  Nobody questions that!

My intention is to always be too young to accept those senior discounts, despite a numeric age, despite appearances.  That probably won't stop folks from offering the discount, but it will make me question my attitude about age, aging, and all the associated world impositions foisted on me about it.

After all, if I am what I think, I'd better keep thinking about what really constitutes my mental state and purge anything that doesn't jive with my intentions.  Not easy but I think it's imperative.

Here's to a redefined Silver Circle Club.  New members welcomed!  Want to join?

 Live richly,  marilyn


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