One day during our trip to Florence, I took a walk along the Arno River, near the Ponto Vecchio. The raised sidewalk is narrow. If you pass another person, someone needs to step off. A polite, agreeable sort, I’m often the first person to acquiesce in situations like this.
A young man approached me. I got ready to step down.
Wait a minute, I thought, I’m his elder by decades. Shouldn’t he step down and let me pass?
I kept steady on the path, and the young man did step down.
But this was one of the first times I’ve claimed age. It’s been my goal (and still is) to remain youthful, to grab all the gusto I can, and to not let my creeping years influence my attitude or my behavior.
When I featured the poetry collection, How Did This Happen: Poems for the Not So Young Anymore , reader Gail commented: “I wonder all the time, ‘How did I get to be this old?’ I recently let my hair go natural, and it is totally white. My sister told me that people would begin treating me differently, and she was right. Now people let me go first, hold the door for me, etc. Sweet, but also can make me feel way old!”
I remember feeling shocked the first time my parents took a senior discount at a restaurant. How dare they get old? But Mom didn’t look sad. She seemed pleased to be saving four dollars.
So I can see it’s a balance, between claiming old and keeping youth.
And if I’m ever lucky enough to walk by the Ponte Vechhio, Old Bridge, again, I may just step off the sidewalk and let the young man stay on.
And I got to say, saving some dollars through senior discounts now makes me happy just like it did my mom.
What about you? Do you claim age?
Speaking of senior discounts, Coupon Chef sent me this link to this Retail Savings Guide for Baby Boomers. Check it out!