I had an experience at the grocery store yesterday that really threw me for a loop.
I had just dashed in on my way home from Rotary to pick up a couple of items, including a twelve-pack of Yuengling, and was at the express checkout. As I swiped my debit card, the cashier, dragging my beer over the scanner, said, “Are you over 60?”
What?! I haven’t been carded for alcohol in a looong time, but this was my first reaction, followed by the immediate realization that surely the drinking age hadn’t been raised to 60 while I wasn’t paying attention!
Belatedly it dawned on me. The supermarket I patronize has changed hands several times in the last few years. Grocery stores in general are struggling in competition with Wal-Mart and other superstores, and this store, originally owned by a local family company, has been lucky to survive at all. The most recent new owners had just celebrated a Grand Reopening last week (to coincide with the Grand Opening of a new Publix), boasting hundreds of price reductions and other new features, including a senior discount (2½%) on Wednesdays.
Although it took just an instant for the penny to drop, and I immediately gabbled that yes, in fact I’ll be qualifying for Medicare in just a couple of months, I was so rattled by this blip in my routine that I momentarily forgot my PIN and had to actually think before punching in the numbers, usually a purely reflex action.
As they say, getting old is not for sissies—but it does have its perks. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to squander the fifty-two cents I saved with the discount.
I have since learned that (a) the discount is actually 5%, and (b) it is not applied to alcoholic beverages (my statement of 2½% was based on calculations from my receipt).
I’m still hoping to be able to use my AARP membership card to prove that I’m old enough to buy booze.
Good thought, John! I hardly ever use mine for anything else, so it ought to be good for that.