Sunday, November 20, 2011
AARP - not me!
There are benefits to being 10 years younger than your spouse. One is his eyesight is failing, so fine lines go unnoticed. Two, despite the fact that it’s been over 20 years since you’ve graduated, his friends still say he robbed the cradle. Three, he thinks your hip pain is sexy. OK, I made this one up, but at least he isn’t repulsed by it. In fact, odds are he’ll even think it’s cute when you say, “I’m going to need my hip replaced soon.”
But, the very best part of being younger than your spouse is the discounts. Yes, I’m the proud holder of an AARP (spouse) card.
Recently, I went out to dinner with a girlfriend of mine. I must say we were a little flattered when the young waiter seemed to flirt with us. We blushed and felt quite good about ourselves; though I’m sure he was only after a big tip. Little did he know that the one leaving it would be a bit of cheapskate, and I’m not talking about my friend.
Yes, I love a good bargain. And, while I didn’t chinch on the tip (no need to get Sound Off going), I relished the opportunity to give my new card a try at the movies after dinner.
“Can you believe how that waiter flirted with us?” we laughed, basking in thoughts of how young we must look.
It was then that I ruined it.
“Do you take this?” I asked the lady behind the counter. My friend recoiled in horror when she saw what “this” was – a red and white AARP card with my name printed across the top.
“Are you trying to get a senior discount?” my friend whispered in disbelief.
She slowly slunk away while I pocketed the $5 I saved on the price of an adult admission. I felt kind of funny but proud of my sensibility. So much so I tried the card again over the weekend when I took my children. This time it was broad daylight, however – and crowded. I slipped the card to the cashier, glanced left and right, and said, “I have this.”
“You want to use the AARP card?” she said loudly over the speaker.
I looked around and quickly nodded.
“That’s only good at the concession stand.”
That was better than nothing, so I stood in line, chatting with several other moms I knew.
“Are you really using that card?” my son asked. “Doesn’t that make you old?”
“No, it makes me frugal,” I protested, but the seed had been planted.
“What can I get you?” the cashier asked. I slid the card back in my pocket and began to order.
“Mom, look at how much a Coke costs!” my son said.
This was no time to be vain. I whipped out the AARP card and asked, “Do you have any discounts with, um, this?”
“Yes, you can save on Coke and popcorn,” she said.
“I’ll take it!” I said feeling smug that I had not only saved money but also saved face as no one noticed what I had in my hand.
“Mom, look at the computer screen.”
“AARP combo” was flashing in big, bright letters.
Sheepishly, I took my refreshments and slunk off. Later that day, I bragged to my husband about the fact that I had used the card – something he’s yet to do – and saved $6.
“A small Coke and popcorn only cost $16 today, thanks to this discount card,” I bragged.
“What? You paid $16 for a small Coke and popcorn?” he said.
That’s when it hit me. That wasn’t really a deal. In fact, I had been ripped off. I had traded 10 years of my life for an $8 Coke and $8 popcorn. Apparently, being older doesn’t automatically make one wiser. Next time, I’m ordering the kids’ pack!