Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Grateful Dead

 I get senior discounts now.    I don't qualify in every store, but I do at some, and at first I was pretty excited about it.  I  also kind of felt kind of like I was getting away with something, because, you know, I'm not really old.  And then I realized that I am supposed to feel this way, happy and not-really old because this is the way  The MAN prepares you for senior citizenship because that way, when you are really old,  you won't cause any trouble when they stuff you in a bus and take you to the home.  You'll just figure you're going to live a life filled with discounts and 1/2 price rides at amusement parks and tickets at movie theaters. No, really - you've seen the posters in the banks depicting a very handsome retired couple looking all happy about their investments, the ones that helped them realize their dreams of freedom, travel, and excitement.

Yeah, that's how they snag you- with propaganda, outright lies and discounts.

Wait.  I'm getting ahead of myself. Just a sec.  Ok, see, first there are the discounts, yes, but from there to the home is quite a long road,.  First they try to convince you to voluntarily move to a place referred to as an Assisted Living Facility.  In these places, staff come to your new "home" which is a tiny ugly, barely functional efficiency apartment that looks identical to the others in the "community" and is  likely bugged and filled with hidden cameras.  The staff talk very slow and rather loud, assuming you are deaf and stupid, and offer to assist you with things they believe you need assistance with, which in my case would be nothing more than holding the glass steady while I pour the wine, and if it's a male assistant, the only thing I'd need him to do is sit next to me at the computer with his arm around me while I skype my family to introduce them to my new boyfriend and the current beneficiary of my vast inheritance.

So, anyway,  I am not fooled by these discounts. I am not going to be lulled into a false sense of security just because I now get 10% off a box of L'Oreal hair color.  I know what's going on and I'm not going to go down without a fight.  You see, I may have seen a few birthdays, but I'm not old. And I'm not going to get old either.  Yeah, never, man. And you know what?  It's not the physical stuff that bothers me, not the losing of the faculties or the aches and pains,or the dryness where once there was wet, or wetness where there once was dry,  or the threat of someone deciding you can't drive anymore, or  telling you that you can't enjoy the diet you have been on all your life or the fact that  suddenly everyone is talking to you like you're five years old.

It's the boredom.

You see, the other day I was in the mall, one of those old one-story malls that were, at first, shopping centers that somehow became connected, and then renamed "Mall." This mall was filled with old people, all sitting in the food court, wearing walking shoes. Most of them looked happy, talking to each other like they were old friends, maybe occasionally getting up and moving around, perhaps  going to the Hallmark Store or the small- chain bookstore, or any other of those "classic' old-type-mall stores, or perhaps they were thinking about eating lunch at the A& W.  I mean, what else is there to do? Right?  It's all good.  But there's always one old person who is not happy,  one who sits with her arms crossed and sports a really aggravated look on her face.  She stares off into space as one of the old guys tries to chat her up.  Yep.  That one is me, the Me of Christmas Future, and I  know just what she's thinking.  She's thinking "How the fuck did I get here?  Who are these old people?    Where is my beautiful house?  Where is my beautiful husband?  Oh for fuck's sake, where's the bar?

I mean, have you ever been in a Hallmark Store?  Who buys this stuff?  And that bookstore is the kind of store that only carries the kind of books that everyone talks about and the author of these books is introduced as the author of that other book just like that one,  and all these books are really exactly the same story with a word or two changed, or the same kind of self help book that helps no one, really, because, let's face it -  Do you see people, in general,  becoming less or more screwed up these days?  Ok, that settles it.  They are  A lot more unbelieveably incredibly fucked up.    So, nice job, Dr. Joyce Phil Hay.

And that's why I'm never going to that mall again.  The food is likely laced with drugs, mostly sedatives, and the senior "attractions" are just that -  bait in a mouse trap.  Next thing you know, you're wearing stretch pants and using a walker. Don't let them suck you in with discounts or entice you with groups designed just for people like you.  People like you?  How do they know what you're like?  Cameras, man.  Internet surveillance.  Agents disguised as Seniors.  Yeah, next time you're at the mall take a good look around.  Look at the faces of these supposed old people.  Check out the hair.  Watch the way they walk, and notice if they look like they have had a lot of so-called experience with that walker. But really the acid test is the smell.  Old people smell is a unique one.  You can't miss it.  That's why they set up places for them to sit near the food court.  It's so you can't pick up on the smell of the government agents disguised as old guys because the smells of the agents and the old people are overpowered by the fast food smells, confusing even the keenest sense of smell. Oh.and then there's the shoes. Don't forget. Always check the shoes.  If they are truly old people the shoes will be of the sensible kind, and that, my friends is one more reason why I am not ever hanging out at these places.  When I'm old I have a friend with a farm upstate somewhere and I'm going to live there and you know what? I am never wearing shoes.

SO, finally, and this is important so listen.   Whatever you do, no matter how hungry you are, stay away from the food court. Don't eat anything, even if, no, especially if they are giving out free samples because if you do, well then I'll see on the dark side the moon, man.  That's all I can say.  Peace out.


  1. Do Dr Martens count as sensible ? bleedin steel toecapped oxbloods dont!!! Baltic Granny chic at its best

  2. No, no. Dr. Martens are not sensible. They are battle-worthy. I figure, as long as you don't wear anything too "comfortable" you're still officially young.


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