Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'll Have The Senior Discount, Please

Whatever happened to Baby June?
Junior Senior Citizen
I’m turning 62 years old tomorrow, Friday, the 13th. This date suggests nothing more sinister to me than the fact that I am crossing into junior league senior citizenship. I am not superstitious. I am a realist.
    Sixty-five is the golden ring we boomers have our eyes on now. At 65 you get Medicare. At 65 the absolute and all-American horror of living naked and vulnerable, that is without health insurance, comes to an end. Yesterday at Publix I ran into two of these lucky women. They appeared to be as spry as teenagers. Clicking their heels and talking about how wonderful their lives had become since reaching lucky 65. No more insurance nightmares. AND a check in the mail every month.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to turn 62 and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a lot less intimidated by this development than the people who create the women's’ magazines piled around my favorite reading chair. In article after article we readers are coached on tricks for looking younger than we really are, with hair color, fashion, diets, skin treatments, surgery, meditation, vitamins and exotic teas, anything at all to avoid the truth of time and it’s triumph over the flesh. And when I read of these often desperate measures I think, sure, your head and your hair will look great, but what happens when you remove those edgy fashions? What happens when you don a bikini? And while I have nothing but admiration for women who bikini in over-60 bodies, there are none that I know of who can erase the passage of time while standing unclad, with every sweet and sour secret of a lifetime revealed.
My photographer daughter Susan says this shot
from The Big Lebowski Party is quintessential June and Michael.
    My friend Mary has had every one of the above listed procedures designed to hide her advancing age. On a car trip north she ducked into a Denny’s restaurant for lunch. My husband describes this woman as Joan Rivers dipped in bronze. And after all that dedication to retaining her youthful glow, as she swallowed the last of her hot water with lemon, a weary waitress dropped off her check, and murmured, “I gave you the senior discount.”
Miguel, Will, Tony, Tanner, Mark: The Con Leche Band. I hope they know how cool I am.
    I have battled with my son to be viewed not as an older woman, his mother, but as someone very hip, someone who can dance all night (I can), someone ready at a moment’s notice for an adventure (I am), someone who swears like a truck driver (I do). Last night Miguel came by with Tanner, a member of his band Con Leche. We sat on the deck and talked about music and Jimi Hendrix and howled at the moon. After an hour they left. Michael and I returned to the living room, closing the door to the deck behind us.
    “Now we can get back to being little old people watching television at night,” I said.
    “Dang,” Michael said. “We missed Jeopardy.”

You gotta love Claire Lynch. And I do.


  1. What a great story !!
    Happy Birthday..And hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow on your birthday..

  2. Happy Birthday June!!!

  3. Happy Birthday ...

    ... have a great day.