Monday, October 10, 2011


I am still foggy after this weekend, a UU women's retreat which involved WAY TOO MUCH TALKING.  Obviously.  And every time I tried for alone time, someone else was already there, or following me, and thought we should talk. I even read a book about how to end conversations before I went.  Admittedly, many of these conversation were fascinating and I didn't want to stop them.  However, I couldn't even take a shit without someone in the bathroom chatting me up about UU issues the Board of Trustees needs to know about...while I'm laying a log.  Seriously.  And I thought privacy was hard to come by at home with two kids... sheesh!

So I find myself chatting it up with some ladies late in the drunken evening.  And I end up telling this story, which I think is a knee-slapper.  But then, that's all in the ears of the hearers, isn't it?

Here goes:
I was at Value Village and the cashier asks me if I qualify for the senior discount.

NOTA BENE: that's kind of it, that's the whole story, just a one liner.  LAUGH NOW! Or Else. 

"Um... uh... I don't think so?  I mean what kind of generous policy to you have?  What's the cut off?"
Snicker snicker, "55."
"Um... I guess not then."

I live in a world where people don't mess with other people just for fun.  I live in a world where offensive comments are always accidents and mistakes, but they meant no harm.  Up here, in my head, it actually took me 20 years to figure out that the "reputation" I had that prevented me from getting on Mat Maids (high school wrestling cheer leaders... never mind that I have no sense of rhythm, hate wrestling and hate cheerleading) was a not-so-good "reputation" fabricated by a competitor.   So, the universe in my head is much nicer than the one out there. I like to stay in the mental one I maintain like a Zen Garden of grey matter.  But some times I get a shock when I peak out into the real world.

Once I got to my car, the cashier's cackle still echoing in my mind, I realized she was funking with me!  (sorry to bastardize the precious word "funk" here.  I love funk.)  And then I wanted to charge back in and take any old thing about her and say mean things about it.  For instance, I enjoy the company of many over-weight people, and yet I wanted to ask her if she ever got the "grotesquely obese discount."  And if she'd been skinny, I would have asked her if she got the "skinny, mangy, bitch discount."  And, although I would probably like many people who work at thrift stores or are otherwise similarly employed, I might have asked, "Do you qualify for the I'm-45-and-I-work-at-Value-Village-Discount?"  But if she'd been an attorney, I'd want to ask, "How about that I-use-antilogic-for-shit-loads-of-other-people's-hard-earned-money discount or the grade-grubber discount?"  Oooh! Sizzle!  I know how to sling mud!

Actually, I'm pretty bad at it or did you already figure that out?  My sister has amazing zinger-mouth (she's in recovery) and I learned from an early age that zinging wasn't my forte and I'll never win a zing-contest... so generally when someone starts in with clever insults, I just shut up and go away, or scream incoherently when I've had more than I can take.

Buy you see, the joke is, this lady asked if I was eligible for a senior discount.  Haha.  ME?  Haha!  I mean, I know I don't look 16, but crapola, I'm not 55.  That lady was just being mean!  I'm not even 36, yet! Ha! Ha. Ha?

And the three women around me didn't say anything.   They just silently scrutinize my face.  For, like, MINUTES.  And then one says, "Well!  Ha!  You couldn't pass for 55, at any rate."

Yes.  So.  When I was about 28, I jumped from looking 16 to looking an inscrutible age somewhere between 25 and 45.  I have this thick gray patch that showed up on September 13, 1996 in a hotel in Wenatchee.  But my face still looked juvenile enough for people to talk baby talk to me.  The gray has gotten bigger.  And I now have some smile (or are they frown?) lines.

A few years ago, coworker said she'd spent a lot of time trying to figure out how old I was.  She had it narrowed down to 21, 28 and 40.

So I come home and regale Huck with the hilarity of these ladies having to pause a moment to consider if I did indeed look under 55 or not.  Hilarious right?

And then Huck, a man who looks younger by the day, PAUSES!  Dear Husbands, Don't do that!  And at this point I'm yelling at him (yes, I am on the toilet pee-ing as I yell) to shut up when he's not even talking.  I would NEVER ask, "Does this make my butt look big?"  Because I know the booby trap I set for us.  And I also know he would yell, "Hell, ya! BABY!  Bring that big ass booty over here!"  But this?  I seriously thought this would be a no-brainer.

So he goes, "Um..." clears the throat, "You have an ageless beauty." Shithead.

I want an ageless beauty between 20 and 30, not 35 and 55.

An original T-shirt given to me by Marion M., an actual, real, old lady and heavy-weight feminist

I'll be 36 on Friday, but that doesn't apparently matter to anyone but me.  And next time someone asks if I qualify for the senior discount, I'm going to say yes. What's it to me if everyone thinks I'm 85?  I think I deserve a discount, at this point.  And as a friend once assessed, I've lived three lifetimes in the space of 1/3 of mine (based on statistics, not actual foreknowledge of the age of my death).  I qualify for 3 senior discounts, honey.


  1. Yes! Next time say, "If you think I look like I qualify, then I qualify."

  2. This reminds me of the time an acquaintance askedme (after six hours at the same wedding), "are you expecting?"
    I had recently LOST ten pounds. I laughed (oh, ha ha ha....) and said, "Nope, that's just fat. Thanks!" And walked away. I can only imagine her facial expression, and it makes me feel just a teensy bit better.

  3. Ha! I love that you called Huck a shithead, at least in your head. This has come to be a frequently used term in our household. Usually affectionate. And usually one of us if on the toilet too.



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