As I zipped in to my neighborhood Kroger supermarket this afternoon, I noticed things weren’t so zippy. I was running at a good clip, you see, and didn’t notice the lack of pace at first. It seemed I had to wait a little longer to get to the milk, the meat counter and every other thing I needed. Everyone smiled kindly at me as they took their sweet time. The folks in line behind me made a joke about throwing their stuff in with mine. I laughed good-naturedly and figured it was just my usual invisible “talk to me” tattoo causing the excessive chattiness of the people around me on this particular day.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The whippersnapper behind the checkout asked me as I pulled out my credit card, “Are you a senior citizen, ma’am?”
I’ve been carded for alcohol purchases until recently (yes, I know it’s the law). But I’ve never been asked that shocking question. I looked at the couple behind me as if to say, “Did you hear what he just said?”
The sainted lady patted my arm and whispered, “It’s senior citizen day, dear. You should have said, yes. Things are twenty-five percent off on Wednesday for seniors.” Oh. Crap. I should have said yes.
The young man at the register maintained his position by saying, “I don’t know what a senior looks like anymore.”
Now I understand Wednesdays. In the future I will know to allow myself the afternoon for shopping. Not because seniors are slow, but because I love older people, and enjoy taking the time to speak with them about their children and grandchildren. My sister-in-law, Colleen, laughs at me because I can’t get out of a store without following a grandmother out to her car to make sure she’s okay. It’s probably because I grew up within shouting distance of all four of my grandparents.
I left the store smiling with a plan for Wednesday grocery shopping whenever possible in the future.
I’ve got ten years before my discount!