Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Ultimate Insult

A bit of a background for this week’s blog:

When you’re young, you want to look older. Remember how we tried to look 18 when we were 16 or 17 so we wouldn’t be carded when ordering an alcoholic beverage. (I hope my grandkids aren’t reading this.) Then when we hit 25, we were insulted when someone thought we were still a teen and carded us.

Now that my peers are at an age discounts are available for seniors in restaurants or such, it’s a great feeling when you’re hugging 70 and the teen at the register asks to see your driver’s license when you ask for the discount.

Now to the point of the blog.

A friend called to say she’s very depressed and in a real funk. I wanted to know what set her blues off.

“I asked for the senior discount, and I wasn’t carded”

It took a minute for me to realize what this implied before saying, “Ouch.”

“It’s worse than you think,” she added.


“The same waiter always cards my husband.”

Double ouch.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Diagnosis: Nagging Jam

My husband, my sons, my computer, and my printer have something in common.
The other day, I was in the middle of printing what I pray will be the last semi-final copy of my manuscript, so I could bring it to an expert to proof read. Half way through, I had a paper jam. Hubby fixed that part easily enough, and then I hit the button that commands the printer to finish its job. It didn’t listen. Over and over, I retyped my command. A dialogue box on the screen flashed a warning that the printer was off-line. Again, my husband maintained he could fix it, but, alas, it didn’t respond to his commands anymore than it obeyed mine. It was on strike.

I called Florida Son who said he would come over in a few hours to help. While I was waiting for my PCP—personal computer paramedic—I decided to see if I could comprehend the difficult directions offered in the trouble shooting section of advice. I followed each command, and after each step checked the box saying the printer still wasn’t printing Then came the ultimate suggestion: Turn your computer and printer off for several minutes. The directive was followed.

Ten minutes later, I turned everything on. Without me sending a command, the printer was making its grunting noises indicating it was ready to spew paper, and within seconds begin to complete the task I commanded it to do so hours before. Evidently, the computer and printer like Hubby and sons, totally ignores me—or shuts down— when I nag.

A minute later, Florida Son came in front door. I guess that’s what happens if I only ask once.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Late-Bird Specials

Hubby and I are now officially stereotype seniors. July4th will be the date that I will set aside to celebrate my admitting to myself and all those who could read my mind, “I’m old, and so are my friends.”

The weather, as usual, was sweltering—nothing unusual for South Florida for this time of the year. It never deterred my peers from joining the festivities before, but this year was different. Not one friend wanted to join the crowds watching the fireworks along the beach.

“Too hot.”
“I can’t schlep the folding chair from the parking lot to the beach.”
“I can’t handle the crowds…too dangerous…too many germs…may get sick.”

What was most depressing after hearing all my suggestions shot down, I was relieved no one wanted to do any of the fun things the local news suggested we do to celebrate. The Souza marches blasting from the various national celebrations that were on TV were more than satisfying, as was my development’s coral group’s performance on the 3d. Sitting soaked to my skin in my own perspiration never appeals to me, but I usually go along with the crowd.

My local area has drastic population reduction from the beginning of May until late October. The snowbirds flee north to avoid our horrible heat—although I have suggested to them that they return home since this summer it’s actually cooler in South Florida. Thus, to stay alive when these folks flee, local restaurants have fantastic deals. Unless one wants lobster, you can get a pretty good dinner for $8-$10 dollars tops—and, if you like Mexican or hamburgers, less than that. I would be the biggest liar in the world if I denied that my crowd isn’t walking into every restaurant with coupon or cash in hand to take advantage.

After the decision was made not to join the movers and shakers who were celebrating outside, I suggested I barbeque. “Why?” asked a friend. “One restaurant has a $6 hamburger special, including drinks and fries.”

Any shopper knows I can’t invite people and get away with spending less than $12 on food and drinks. On July 4th, as the fireworks blasted along the beach, a local restaurant was filled with seniors who celebrated by eating the special in air-conditioned comfort, only it’s no longer served before 6 as it was in my parent’s day.