The other day I went to pick up some books at the library, and when I was ready to check out I mentioned to the librarian that I was pretty sure I owed her 60 cents.
When I made my confession, she leaned toward me, looked left and right, and in a whispered voice usually used to tell a person she has toilet paper trailing from her heel, said, “We don’t charge seniors for overdue books. . . .” There was a pregnant pause and she tried again, “If you’re a senior. . . “
“Oh!” I said, finally getting it, “Great!”
“We don’t always like to ask. . . I mean, we don’t want to insult anyone or anything. . .”
As I left the library, my 60 cents still in my pocket, I realized a threshold had been crossed. I couldn’t even pass for someone in their 50s anymore. This really rankled since that morning I had just dyed my hair, which was behaving for once, and I had on fresh lipstick. I was unlikely to look much better than this.
On a happier note, my grocery store has just added a wine and beer aisle. Last week I put my paper towels, tomatoes, and two bottles of wine on the conveyer belt and the 16 year-old at the register asked,
“Do you have your license with you?”
My alcohol consumption may increase.