Recently a friend received a surprise discount. Delight turned to horror as she read the code on the receipt -- she had been awarded a senior discount. Another friend piped in that it had happened to her, too. Then another. It's happened to me. Couldn't they call it something nicer? Like a 'you are so damn good-looking' discount or something? But, no. Senior. Yuck.
A couple evenings ago, Tom and I were channel surfing. We don't have cable -- we have rabbit ears -- so channel surfing for us is more like letting the waves lap around our ankles with our pants rolled up than actual surfing.
I'm saying our choices are rather limited.
We chanced upon a rerun of All in the Family (as opposed, I suppose, to a current episode of All in the Family). We enjoyed it. It was still funny. During a commercial break, I turned to Tom and said, "I bet Archie and Edith are about our age." He pulled out his phone and before the commercial was over he had confirmed that Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton were indeed right around our age when the show was being filmed -- just a smidge younger than us, actually, in the first season.
Well, that didn't quite seem right...
I mean, Archie and Edith were old!
I don't look like Edith! Tom doesn't look like Archie! For a nano-second, I entertained the notion that I was being vain. Maybe we DO look like that and I just can't see it. But that passed quickly, because nobody I know who's my age-ish is anything like them. And that's not only because of the narrow-minded racism thing.
When we were younger, that's what middle-age looked like. That's what 50 looked like. That is no longer the case. Not even, if I may say so myself, close.
I've always sort of scorned all of the 50 is the new 30 -- or anything is the new anything, for that matter -- platitudes. (Orange is the New Black is the exception. I don't scorn that even a little tiny bit. Quite the opposite. But thats not really relevant.) 50 is 50 and 30 is 30 and neither is inherently superior to the other. But watching that show -- trying to find a way to relate to those characters -- made me a little more sympathetic. I don't want to be middle-aged if THAT'S what middle-aged looks like! But guess what? That's NOT what 50 looks like anymore. 50 has not become 30. It is still 50. But it doesn't look like the Bunkers. I can't name a TV couple that it DOES look like, but that's another issue for another day.
That actually helped me a lot.
Now bring me a beer, huh?