age 65 old

Turning 65

You may have noticed that several restaurants, attractions, stores, etc. offer seniors a discount off their purchase of goods and services. This begs the question, “Just how OLD is a ‘senior’?” It depends on the merchant or store.

At 55, a few restaurant chains, retailers and at least one hotel chain kick provide discounts, e.g., IHOP restaurants, Best Western Hotel chain, Ross, Dress for Less, etc.

At 60, you earn more discounts on restaurants, entertainment and shopping, i.e., AMC, Regal, Burger King, Kohl’s, etc.

When you turn 62, you’ll save on travel and hospitality, e.g., Marriott, Holiday Inn, Amtrack, Greyhound, America the Beautiful pass, to name a few.

Today is my birthday. I turned 65 years old. I have to be honest, I have been struggling with the concept of getting older. When I turned 60, I knew I had moved into a special category of people, that were considered by most younger people, as a bit more seasoned. But was I “old?” Was I a “senior citizen?” I didn’t think so.

But….I am now 65 years old. The thought repulsed me. I mean, look at me. I’m youthful looking, hardly any wrinkles on my face, bright, charming, outgoing, and an adonis-like body.

At breakfast this morning, my son noticed my grimaced face as he congratulated me on turning 65. Responding to that reaction, my son shot back with a comforting comment that only a son could give in such a delicate moment:

“Oh, come on, dad! Enough of this self-pity! Look – YOU’RE OLD!!! Deal with it!”

“Uh….thanks Cameron,” I said. I should nailed him across the face with my cane for that comment. But, with age, comes patience and wisdom. Self-preservation kicks in the older you get. I don’t want to alienate him. I’ll need his help more as I get older. Probably not the best idea to damage my future assistant.

65 is the magic number. Once you hit 65, of course, you’re officially a senior citizen—and eligible for a spate of senior rates across the country, on everything from movie tickets to museum admission. And I plan to take advantage of every discount I can get.

Last night, my wife and I went to Applebees for dinner. My wife asked our perky young waitress if they offered a senior discount. She said, “Yes we do. We have a senior citizen card call the ‘Golden Apple’ discount card.”

“Well, isn’t that special!” I thought. “The ‘Golden Apple’ card. It must be for people in their ‘golden’ years (gag with a spoon).”

I smiled and said, “We would love to get one.”

She seemed taken back by our request, as her weight and head shifted back.

“Really?” she responded in disbelief. “You guys don’t look old enough to qualify.”

“Well-l-l-l” I began to say (to now my most favorite waitress, EVER), “I’m actually turning 65 tomorrow!”

“No way!” she countered. “I would have never guessed.”

She obviously was a coniving, yet brilliant, waitress jockeying for a good tip at the end of the meal. A less wise or younger man might have been taken in by this sort of flattery. But not me.

Now that I’m 65, a “senior citizen” (by definition only), I’m wiser. We took advantage of the discount. My wife and I got up to leave. We left a 20% tip on the table. My wife lead the way to the door. I hesitated at the table for a moment, and covertly dropped a couple more ones on the already generous tip, and hurried to catch up with my wife. After all, a wise man knows it’s proper to reward those who provide you extraordinary service.