Bridging the Divided

The Perks Of Aging

Aging. I’m not a fan, but what is the alternative? It was bad enough getting weekly invitations from AARP to join millions of other aging adults in the US. Now, funeral and mortuary services brochures are arriving weekly. I’m beginning to question my longevity. Seriously? Way to make a girl feel young and carefree, people! 

Let’s focus on a few of the positives, shall we? Senior discounts and coupons. A major perk, am I right? Free coffee at McDonald’s, discounts at many senior-friendly restaurants, hotels, and vacation spots. Nothing screams over the hill like asking for free McDonald’s coffee or the senior breakfast special. Are liquor store senior discounts a thing, I wonder?

And then there are cell phones and cell phone plans. We upgraded recently – not because I wanted to, mind you – we upgraded out of necessity. The youngsters behind the counter helping us wanted to make sure I was enrolled in their 55+ calling plan. Yes, kiddos, I am on the plus side. But you don’t look your age, they say incredulously and nearly in unison. Thank you for noticing. I bet you say that to all of the perplexed, silver-haired seniors who sit in this very seat and don’t have a clue how to operate their new, upgraded devices! Make yourselves useful and show me again how to turn this contraption on. I missed that lesson while you were showing me the hundreds of features I will never use because I won’t remember what they are for. My three top features? Talk, text, and play games designed to keep my mind intact. Appreciate the gameplaying designed to keep our minds intact youngsters because in a few short years the 65+ crowd is expected to outnumber children in the US for the first time in our history.

Three hours of my life I will never get back was spent in that little cell phone store nestled among the Starbucks and other trendy boutiques and novelty shops. I didn’t notice a liquor store, however. I’m thinking I need to open a liquor store that caters to seniors next to the cell phone store. Believe me, one needs to buy a bottle or three of wine following an afternoon of utter confusion attempting to absorb the thousands of words spoken by a cell phone expert. That’s what their name tags said – cell phone expert

I am expecting a package in the next few days. Along with our new phones, the deal-of-the-day included a free watch. I say watch because I have no idea what else to call it. We both got one but the store didn’t have the model I wanted in stock. Apparently, they are quite a popular item. I know, I know, they are the rage and everyone who is anyone has one. I never saw the point of having one, however. I still don’t, but we only live once, right? One can make and receive phone calls, check emails, text messages, and monitor all of their vital signs, and those things features are just the tip of the iceberg! I didn’t have the heart to interrupt the cell phone expert’s animated demonstration of the free whatever-it-is watch to tell him there is no such thing as free. The free but not-really-free charges for the watches will be hidden somewhere amongst the ‘additional charges’ on the next phone bill. The cell phone companies bank on the fact that no one will take the time to wade through several pages of their detailed phone service bills. We accept it for what it is and move on. I do wonder, however, does an alarm go off or does it alert emergency services if I happen to keel over or expire while wearing it? As an added perk, perhaps the cell phone companies could contract with one of the funeral and mortuary service plans so that when one expires wearing the whatever-it’s-called watch, the funeral and mortuary service is activated? That could be handy albeit a bit morbid. I may need to look into the possibility. 

In the meantime, I think I will open a liquor store that offers daily senior specials to seniors spending their limited time left on planet earth in the cell phone store listening to young cell phone experts detailing the hundreds of exciting features found on their new cell phone and watch devices…..

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