Fifty Is The New TwentyPosted: September 9, 2014
I did a little travel last week. Time away from home with the most important people in my life is good for my soul. I love driving and seeing the countryside go by. But I learned something too.
I recognized that being in my fifties has its privileges and burdens. That’s not so different than any other age. So, in the way that so many have declared so many things the new something else, I am declaring that fifty is the new twenty.
There came a time in the trip where a bottle of wine was just what an unremarkable hotel room needed. I stopped by a grocery, grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and headed for the check out lanes. The self check out scanner line was short. I scanned the bottle, the price came up on the screen, followed by a prompt to show my identification to the cashier.
Now, I think I already established that I’m a bit older. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-one year old. I understand the liability issues that force stores to confirm that every one who buys a bottle of wine is over twenty-one; I just happen to believe there is room for common sense in that confirmation process.
There’s room for common sense in establishing that a customer is twenty-one and I shouldn’t have to walk two registers away to do it. So when the screen read “present I.D. to the cashier”, I waited until the cashier’s screen told him that I was buying wine. He looked at me as if he expected me to come to him with my driver’s license, birth certificate or perhaps my mother to prove that I was old enough to buy wine. I didn’t produce any of those acceptable forms of identification. I stood where I was and pointed at my way-over-twenty-one-year-old face. The cashier hit a button and my register screen said “I.D. validated”.
Young enough to get carded, old enough to not have to use a card. Age has its privileges.
Fifty is the new twenty.
As the trip progressed, we moved on to a second hotel. I went to the front desk and gave my reservation number. After putting it in the computer, the clerk said “yes Mr. Omawarisan, we have you in a king bed room, upper floor requested, one night.”
I told her that was correct and picked up a pen to sign the forms that I knew were coming off the printer. She paused, looking at her computer screen, then looked at me. “Sir, we have you down for our AARP rate.” I told her that’s what I’d booked. “May I see your AARP card?”
Maybe she was a good actress, but I’m choosing to believe that she was truly surprised that I could produce a card because it feeds my ego.
Old enough to have to a card to use, young enough to get carded. Age has its privileges.
Fifty is the new twenty.