Never go shopping on Senior Day
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(Note: The author is old. He is not a late middle-aged man nor is he a senior citizen. He’s old)
Ever go shopping on the day most old people get their Social Security check? It’s Friday for the oldest of them and Black Friday has a new meaning for these people. It’s the day they make other people’s Friday black. It might be a hobby to them. If so, it keeps them busy.
There you are walking up the aisle and the back of your ankle gets ripped by a cart. It’s being pushed by an old lady or an old man. You can’t do anything; you can’t say anything. If you do, you’re in the wrong. That’s a rule. If you do say anything you only get a blank stare. If there is a young guy around you might get a challenge to a fight. It’s a fight you will lose.
The ones with the powered carts are the worst. These folks drive the carts the way they drive their cars. The carts are electric so you have no warning when they get close. They go from here to there no matter what is in the way. It better not be you. After running you down or over they complain to the store manager about how bumpy the floors are and what is that stuff on the wheels?
They will ask you where something is. “Excuse me, sonny, where’s the bread?”
You look at them funny and point behind them. Do you get a thank you? No! You get this; “What are you staring at me for? You wait, you’ll be a senior someday. You just wait.”
Great. Now, you’re cursed on top of everything else in your life. You know you’ll get old one day but you don’t think you’ll end up like these people. There is no valid reason to think that. You aren’t special. You are going to be exactly the same as them.
They are a treat buying cars. The dealers could make more money if they sold tickets to this than from the sale of the car. The dealer shows them everything he has even though they will buy the little compact he showed them first. He wasted his time but they loved seeing the fancy stuff. They have all the time in the world. They take all the brochures to look at even after they’ve bought the car.
“How much?” Yes, they all say that in both shock and disbelief. They paid less than that for their first house. They sold that house for twice what they paid but that was them not this dealer.
“That’s pretty high. Maybe I should have my daughter come out and look at this. She’s knows more about price than we do. She’s a CPA,” the old lady says.
“Well, yes you can do that but this price may not hold. Cars sell very quickly and I’m giving you a one day discount as is,” the dealer says. It’s a lie like everything else he says until he gets you ready to sign the dotted line. He really doesn’t want someone young coming out and trying to chisel him out of a thousand dollars. He’d make it up on something else but it was a pain in the ass and he hated giving anyone a break even a phony one.
“Hear that, Mabel. He’s giving us a discount. He seems like a trustworthy young man and how much can Susie really save us?,”the old man says. He likes the car they have but Mabel wants to have the neighbors think they’re better off than they really are.
“Of course he looks trustworthy. Who’d buy off a someone who looked crooked ? You looked trustworthy all those years ago and I ended up pregnant. Can’t go by looks, that’s for sure.”
The old man agreed with her about looks. Looks can change when you sober up. Her’s had. “Well, still. Look, we need a few bucks off this sticker. We both know it ain’t the real price. You can take three, maybe four hunnerd off and make out,” he said to the dealer.
Three or four hundred? He could take off three or four thousand and still make out, not that he ever would. He figured he had them hooked. He just had to reel them in. Four hundred, no, three hundred and he had them. He’d sell them something they didn’t need and probably didn’t understand and make more than that.
The old man hated going clothes shopping with the old lady. He had hated it when she was a young lady. It never got any better. Now the clothes were too expensive and they kept changing clothing sizes. What used to be a size five is now a size sixteen. The old lady didn’t know why they did that. The old man knew what it was but also knew not to tell her. She knew but they weren’t to talk about it. His stomach wasn’t flat anymore but her breasts were getting flatter and flatter. His shirt collars made him resemble a chicken-hawk.
“Does this look good on me?,” she asks.
He lays deaf as best he can but it never works.
“Uh, umm, hmm.” He thinks it would look great on a pretty twenty-five year old but on Mabel it was hideous. The old man tries to think of a word to use that says hideous but without saying hideous. “These young designers today. They must all be on drugs or something. I wouldn’t put that on a cow.”
“I look like a cow? Is that what you’re saying? Is it?”
Yes it is. Now, how to get out of this mess? He had learned to lie to her after all these years. He didn’t even think it was a sin to lie to her about her looks. It was self-defense.
“Hey look, there’s a corn dog stand. Let me go get you one while you decide what you want to buy.”