Ageism

I have been enjoying this senior discount thing since before I could even get one. (Anticipation spices everything.) Actually, since the only 55-plus retail discount is at a Ross store near here, I hadn’t yet found anything to buy with it, but today I spiked the annual poser about “what to wear to the Christmas party,” something that rents more space in my head than it should. The Cute Engineer is only about forty and his employer always splashes out on a big Christmas do (“dress: festive”). From one year to another I tend to forget how to wear dresses, but somehow, this year I nailed something on the first pass.

The woman in line ahead of me looked tired, slumped, greyish hair in a shopworn Mommie Helmet. “Do you know about our Tuesday Club?” said the cashier. In a conspiratorial undertone she added: “Fifty-five and over, ten percent discount.”

“Oh, I will have to wait a couple off years,” said Mommie Helmet with a slight accent, looking a tad miffed as she signed the credit-card reader.

I marched up and plunked down a sweeping, decollete, bareback crimson taffeta Calvin Klein evening dress that had been tagged at less than a quarter of the original price.

“I’ll take that over-55 discount,” I said.

“Well — you can just call it the Tuesday Club,” said the cashier awkwardly.

I swiped my card. “I’m old and proud,” I said.

“We like to say ‘wise,’ she responded, smiling a little frantically, as she bagged the purchase.

Honey, you don’t get it.

As long as the back of that dress says “twenty-five years of deadlifts,” I am more than happy to be any age you care to mention. When did that become a matter for furtive dissimulation? Think about it: what is the alternative?

Old broad. Ready to kick your ass while wearing a backless dress. Line forms over here.

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12 thoughts on “Ageism

    • I guess it’s not exactly backless. It has cross straps. There’s someone who always goes around that party taking pictures.

      I remember the caterpillar in Alice who thinks it’s untidy for her to be seven and a half, and says “With proper assistance you could have left off at seven.” Rather a mordant joke for a child’s book, but then most books for intelligent children go over the heads of adults. Moral: Always seek improper assistance.

    • Well, that’s meant to be a gym tank in the gravatar, but yeah, in a heavy matte finish with some sort of fluted folderol forming the bodice. I have to go for shoulders, they’re what I’ve got.

    • People sometimes call me “sir” too. it’s the shoulders and the long stride. That’s why I need to wear a dress once a year.

      Someone younger than me will probably be the star, but at least I won’t be wearing that nice safe black… you know how it gets.

  1. I’m always floored when called “Ma’am” and “Mrs. Smith”, words I associate with my mother.

    I’ll bet you totally rock in that dress.

    I frequently remind people who are going through angst regarding their age of the alternative. “You either get older or you die. One or the other.” Of course, we all die sometime anyway.

  2. I don’t understand why so many people make a fuss and flutter about hiding their age! I’m proud to say outloud that I’m 56 and do so often when people are trying to diminish theirs. Bring it on!
    I’ve been wearing my new t-shirt to the gym; granted all I’m doing right now is a little walking and the recumbent bike but it’s a good start. The shirt is a bright purple and has big letters proclaiming “Outrageous Older Woman”. People stare; the woman collecting the trash complimented me on it last week!

  3. I bet you’ll rock in that dress, too. Definitely want pics!

    I’m ‘only’ 38 but people frequently tell me I look younger, which is nice, although I can’t really take much credit since its basically down to decent genes, staying out of the sun (through lack of opportunity, not wisdom, I hasten to mention) and not having had children. But then they invariably follow up their initial comment with something about how I could ‘get away’ with telling people I’m only 30.

    “Why would I want to do that? I mean, I’m in good shape for 38, but just average for 30, so why would I deny it?”

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