I’m really milking this old lady/senior thing

It pays to make them think you’re less competent than you really are.

My deception started innocently enough. Well, truthfully, it was not really a deception as I really am an old lady and senior citizen. The thing is, I’m discovering all kinds of ways to work my age into everyday advantages. When I need help with my electronic devices (which happens way too frequently) I find I get much better service if I fake an old lady’s feeble voice whenever I engage with a call centre service representative. “Hello? You’ll have to be patient with me as I’m a senior” delivered with a little quaver in my voice usually yields excellent results. I ask them to speak up (which I genuinely need them to do) and suggest they explain everything in simple language. Works every time. They take their time with me and don’t get snarky when I ask them to repeat things or ask stupid questions.

Being a senior is particularly helpful when you’re dealing with government offices or banks. Civil servants and bank employees are usually looking for any excuse to dawdle their time away so they’re totally up for sticking with me during a prolonged enquiry about whatever. They even let me have a seat sometimes in the bank. How’s that not a major compensation for not understanding their latest incomprehensible service charges?

Backing into a parking spot usually ensures a safer exit and other drivers are generally very accommodating.

I have also found it handy to be old when I’m taking longer than usual to select my fresh produce in the grocery store or to make my decision from the menu in a restaurant. When I’m trying to slowly back into a parking space other drivers usually don’t shoot me the evil eye when they see I’m not a spring chicken. They take one look at my neck wattle then practically cheer me on and give me a thumbs up. Well done, old girl!

To my credit, I have not yet opted to board an airplane ahead of the young and able because I really don’t like other people tripping over me and trying to anxiously squeeze by me when I’m sorting myself out in my teeny, tiny seat assignment. Being among the last to board actually gives me more time and space to get organized without enduring exasperated sighs and body checks from other passengers. I can guarantee the plane is not going to take off with me standing in the aisle rummaging for a spot in the overhead bin. In fact, flight attendants usually rush to give me a hand.

I much prefer boarding last to avoid the stress of physical combat and struggling for overhead bins.

There are so many senior discounts available to boomers if we take the time to search them out. At the beginning of my dotage, I was offended when the youngster in the ticket booth at the movie theatre had the gall to assume I was a senior. Now I hope they’ll ask me for proof of I.D. and I insist on getting my discount. Some retailers, restaurants, and certainly public transit offer lovely discounts to seniors and I try to take advantage of every single one. Where I live in Mississauga, seniors can ride buses for a measly one dollar. The more money I save, the more wine I can afford to buy and share with my friends. It’s all about the appropriate allocation of resources.

The inability to see properly when driving after dark gets us out of many social engagements we would prefer to avoid. That excuse would have been handy in my working days to spare me all those rubber chicken fundraisers and corporate dinners that can get a bit tiresome after a while. And, if I’m a bit cranky some days, well, that’s to be expected. No apologies.

We deserve it.

It is perfectly acceptable, even expected that old ladies need frequent naps. It’s a pastime I’ve wanted to indulge in for my entire life and now I can, without guilt. That benefit alone makes being an old lady beyond wonderful. That, and the fact that bikini waxing is no longer de rigueur because we no longer need it or we just don’t care. Either way, it’s a win/win. Who among us wears a bathing suit in public anyway?

There are just so many advantages to being a senior that I can’t begin to cover them all. I’m working the system as best I can and I would appreciate it if you would not blow my cover and tell everyone that I was a fully-functioning somebody of minor significance in the corporate world not that long ago.

I really am a lot more capable than I let on and of course, I’ve convinced myself that I look barely a day over thirty-five so it’s a ruse I would like to continue using as long as I can get away with it. We’re enjoying the best years of our lives with all kinds of benefits those millennials only dream of. I think we boomer broads have a great thing going here, don’t you? Here, let me refill your wine glass.

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