The 55 Plus Club

I turned 55 a few days ago. It’s the speed limit birthday, the double nickel, the best domino on the table!

They say 60 is the new 40, but it was an aging Baby Boomer who came up with that malarkey!

They also say you’re only as old as you feel! That’s no comfort!  I feel like a Model T!!

A redeeming factor about turning 55 is a “senior discount”!  Can I get an amen, or oh me!?

IHOP just changed their name, which always sounded like an energetic rabbit jumping up and down, or where one legged people work.  Now they call it IHOb, which sounds like I can’t hop anymore so I hobble. Way to make to me feel bad about myself, IHObble!!

Anyway, now I can stick my chest out and proudly say, “I want the senior discount, pleasel!”  You can save 10% on senior orders!  I can’t wait to hop into IHOb and order soft scrambled eggs, grits, biscuits and gravy…all the foods you can gum if you forget your teeth in a glass on the nightstand.

In a way, senior discounts are kind of an insult too, but if I can save a few pennies, bring on the walking cane and Depends!  In fact, it’d make my day if some cashier carded me because they thought I was lying about being 55!

It won’t happen. Nope. I looked 55 twenty years ago!

Scaring Grandkids

Ten years ago I was in a lumber yard with one of my sons.  I don’t remember which son, which is also a signature characteristic of the 55 plus club, but I do remember buying drill bits and 2x4s.  When I checked out, the gum smacking college girl scanning the items asked, “Do you want the senior citizen discount?”

I was stunned! Wide mouthed I stared at her while she tried to get the last bit of flavor from her sour apple gum.  I asked how old I had to be to get the discount. “Fifty-five or older”, she smacked, “but only if you have a Senior Citizen’s Discount Club Card.”

By now my son was slapping his knee in hysterical laughter. I joked, “Hmm…well, I have a birthday next week, and then I’ll be 55!”

Exasperated, like I had just asked her to embezzle money from the IRS, she said, “Sir! Then I can NOT give you the discount until next week!”

To the delight of my son, she was dead serious.  I wanted to mumble something about how my hip hurt and she needed to speak louder so I could hear, but since I was 45 at the time, the humiliation of the encounter was already enough.

The 55 Club story

Five years ago, a clothing store cashier tactfully asked if I “knew” anyone who would “want” to be in the 55 Plus Club. Good grief!!

The seesaw in my mind began bouncing up and down with pros and cons:  20% savings on Tuesdays! But then again, I’ll be 55 years old!  55 isn’t old if you’re a California redwood tree in the national forest…or a 200 year old sea turtle…that’s just getting started.

But then, 55 in human years is 385 in dog years!

The mental tug of war went back and forth until I realized that at 55 I may start chewing something that’s not really in my mouth.  I’ll have to start taking Geritol, drinking Metamucil in glasses of prune juice, and wearing shorts with black socks and dress shoes!  That ain’t right!

But then again, isn’t it a privilege to grow older, even if it’s not gracefully?  Sure beats the alternative!

I remember my sophomore year in high school when Scott and I were in the same health class. In the last class of a Friday in May, we were partners practicing CPR.  We drug our feet and were the last ones to demonstrate CPR for a grade, and we let it rip!

The coach who taught the class wasn’t amused at all, but everyone else was. We hammed it up, laughed and joked our way through the CPR steps without a thought that one day we may need it.  When the bell rang, Scott went left out the door, and I went right. It was the last time I ever saw him.

Late the next night, Scott ran a stop sign on his motorcycle, broad sided a car and broke his neck when he hit the pavement. By chance, a doctor was the first one on the scene and immediately began working on Scott using – CPR.  He died on a life flight to the hospital.

I remember Philip who died of cancer in 2nd grade, Russell who died of leukemia in 7th grade, and Raymond who died in an auto accident right after he graduated. Over the years, there have been countless losses, all familiar faces who are no longer here.

I wonder what they would think if we could fast forward time from then until now to see what life looks like. What would they ask?  What would they want to know? What would they ask to see?  What would they think about all the changes in the world from what we knew back then?

Even more basic, why didn’t they have the chance to experience the changes and live more life?  What makes me so privileged that I get to be here?  How’s that fair? How’s that right?  I don’t know. I really don’t know.

It’s OK to laugh about getting older, but ONLY if you never forget the privilege and blessing it is to have the chance to age and turn gray in the first place.

It’s only right to be thankful for the opportunity to grow older.  Scott, Philip, Russell and Raymond didn’t get the chance.

On the other hand, I’ll go down swinging before I put my teeth in a glass at night and wear Depends all day in the “home”.  Now, if I could just remember where I left my reading glasses so I can find the Metamucil…

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35 thoughts on “The 55 Plus Club”

  1. Dear Brother Jeff, I am 64. I feel 64. You look good in the picture with your lovely wife. That is all that matters! God bless you! Please continue to write… let the words fly… they will touch somebody somewhere!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A friend visited San Francisco. He went to fisherman’s wharf with his wife. When the bill arrived for their meal, the waiter said he had taken the liberty to give him the senior discount. My friend was angry. He said, “I will have you know…” At this point he saw the total and the cash amount of the discount. He finished with “that I thank you very much.” All of us in the carpool laughed, but we thought Darryl was already 70.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robyn! You are a kind soul! They say age is just a number — it’s really how you feel. But an I.Q. is just a number too. So if my age is high, but I feel like it’s low, and my I.Q. is low, but I feel like it’s high, does that mean I’m really just a smart aleck teenager??

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great one Jeff! Always look forward to your posts. Now, about that discount card, since we’ll be in the USA this fall. Is it one general card, or will we have to apply for one everyplace we go? I turn 60 in August, so I’m definitely old enough. (Even without any Depends, false teeth, and all the rest!) So I’ll take all the savings I can get!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. Sheila, some businesses, but not all, offer senior discounts at some age that they pick, especially restaurants, but also some clothing stores and some local businesses. Sometimes it is a card issued by the business and sometimes it is on a certain day of the week, like Tuesday. In Texas, even part of the property tax rates are frozen when you turn 65, but usually you have to ask wherever you go. 😀

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  4. Happy belated Birthday Jeff! They say that youth is wasted on the young and from an energy and recklessness perspective, I can really appreciate that. I’m 73 and every day is a gift. If someone gives you a break because of your age, take it, you’ve earned it, enjoy it! Time passes far to quickly to get upset about the semantics. Besides, I already know that you’re really just a kid at heart! Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce, don’t you wish we could go back in time and have some re-dos based on what we know now! Every day is a gift. Always have been, but a little gray hair seems to make the gift sweeter! Peace to you, my brother!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Belated happy birthday! 🙂 I enjoyed reading your post. I’m glad you find humor in aging. Unfortunately not everyone sees it that way. Personally, I think I would be very happy when I reach my senior years. I’m halfway there, by the way. I’m planning to throw myself a big party at 60!
    My dad is already 63, and he said he’s glad because he now has dual citizenship- Filipino and Senior.
    Have a great day, Jeff! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 I hope at 60 you can sit back and enjoy the party someone else has thrown for you! You are right about your attitude on aging in that it is all in perspective at times! Peace to you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Got a year on you. Lol. It just is amazing how fast life goes by. You tell your kids and then your grandkids and they don’t get it yet. Seen many die too young. Want to use the time I have wisely. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jeff, welcome to the Club! As your elder, let me reassure that I can tell you’re still young at heart by your sense of humor and outlook on life. BTW, you great for an old guy so you must be doing something right! Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

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