“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” Robert Frost, American poet
The conversation went something like this… “Are you over 55?” the perky 20-something asked. Cue deer-in-the-headlights look on my part. “No,” I answered, more politely than I felt. “Well, we’ll just say you are,” she said, waving cheerfully toward my mother, who was the one who would actually be drinking the coffee in question.
It was clear I would have to wrestle the server to the ground to get the senior discount off the cash-register screen. I refrained — even though I know I could have taken her — which only goes to show the heart-sanctifying power of Jesus.
Then, mom and I, fortified with our cut-rate caffeine, made our way to the eye-glass store. There, in a nod to an impressive new decade of age, she purchased perhaps the jazziest pair of specs I have ever seen. Translucent royal-blue horn rims with thick ear pieces in a faux tortoise-shell pattern that includes more of the royal blue in addition to brown and cream.
The conversation went something like this… “Does she want holographic, laser-resistant coating with built-in Bluetooth and GPS … or plastic?” the perky 30-something optician asked me. “Well, now, I don’t know,” I said, turning to the person who was actually purchasing the specs. “Will you be posting selfies, tweeting or finding your way to the nearest American Eagle while wearing these things?”
Mom just smiled. Clearly, only one of us is getting testy in old age.
I laugh, sort of, but realizing that others perceive me as having reached a certain age — or beyond — is actually a bit of a relief.
It’s kind of like that point in pregnancy when the rubber-band-through-the-waist-button-hole trick is clearly no longer going to cut it and you are going to put on clothing that has odd elastic panels in odd places. That day, you walk out of the house knowing that everybody else now knows you are pregnant, with a capital “P,” not simply getting thick through the middle. And, you let your round little belly be as round as it wants to. Happy sigh.
So, look out world, if you want to give me cheap coffee because I have some smile crinkles, I’m in. I am also available to pontificate as to the best way to do just about anything. And, to ask children — young legs and all — to run up and down the stairs to get things I’ve forgotten. And, to wear outrageously bright glasses if I want to. And, I do.