Thursday, April 30, 2009

Senior Discount Blues

If one more store clerk asks me if I’m eligible for the seniors’ discount, I’m going to lose it and hit somebody.

I’m a long way from my seniors’ discount era. (12 years!) But they keep asking.

My husband, knowing how frugal I am, wonders why I don’t just say, “Yes,” and reap the benefits. He makes a good point…but…the truth is, I’m caught off guard when it happens, and I just don’t think that clearly.

I know that I look every year of my true age, but I don’t think I look 12 years older than I am! Anyway, after it happened again yesterday and I spent a good 2 hours fuming about it, I wondered if there is something I’m doing to promote this question. Maybe I could do things differently…Here’s what I came up with:

Joey’s Top 10 Reasons For Being Asked if She Qualifies for the Seniors’ Discount:

10. I haven’t been very diligent with the lotions and potions that collect in my bathroom drawer. Do they really work, anyway?
9. During this most recent episode, I was carrying a piece of fabric to match a colour. Each one I tried required me to do the “quilters’ squinty” thing with my eyes. Does that make me look like a senior? Or just a lunatic?
8. What I thought were caramel highlights in my hair, in certain light look more like plain old grey. (and I paid good money for those highlights!)
7. Lots of time spent outdoors chasing cows and fixing fences. No time for sunscreen, (but I always wear a ball cap!)
6. I wear my glasses down on my nose so that I can see to walk (look over them) as well as see whatever I’m buying up close (look through them). I could try putting the glasses on a string. Would that be any better? Bifocals are out of the question; I don’t think I’d be able to manage them.
5. I wear my shoulder bag crossed over my chest instead of just hanging over one shoulder, since a ‘6-hour-wait-for-my-husband’ marathon at a Farm Show left me crippled. Maybe I need one of those cute little boxy bags with the tiny little handles you carry in your hand. Nope, it wouldn’t hold all my junk, and I’d probably set it down and forget it. Maybe my forgetfulness is a part of this…
4. No time (or money) for ‘face work’ (facials, Botox, etc.)
3. I walk slowly when I’m shopping, because I’m wearing my 3-inch heel ‘town boots’ that look good but don’t feel so good (especially after a day at the mall). Maybe all I need is a pair of trendy sneakers. (but not the ones with velcro)
2. If I see an apostrophe error in a sign, I mention it. I’m beginning to think this is something only seniors care about. (note to self: shut up about the apostrophes!)
And the number one reason, I am frequently asked if I qualify for the seniors’ discount is…
(drum roll please…)
1. Because I just look old.

But the next time a sixteen year old girl with blue hair, and 22 piercings asks me if I'm eligible for the Seniors' Discount, I’m going to be ready with a pleasant, “Of course!” And when she asks for proof, I’ll lean close, so she can get a good look at all my wrinkles, and ask in a loud voice for directions to the sensible shoes. I hope to save a bundle!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Second Hand Treasures

I love second-hand stores.

They appeal to me for a couple of reasons:
1. I’m cheap – frugal – whatever you want to call it – I don’t like to spend more than I have to.
2. I hate to think of perfectly good stuff ending up in a land fill, when it could be used and enjoyed by a second (or third, fourth, fifth) owner.

Sometimes, I think about the history of a treasure I find in a thrift store. For instance, the wonderful green pillow I bought a few years back. I wonder who first bought it. Was that person as thrilled as I was when I first saw it? Maybe it was a gift. Did it sit on a sofa in a grandma’s house? Maybe it was on a guest bed. How did it end up in that thrift store?
My mind can conjure up all kinds of possibilities…

When I see a silver tray engraved with the names of a bride and groom, along with the date of their wedding, I wonder what happened. Did the bride just tire of polishing the silver? Did the marriage end? Where are these people now?

Each item held such promise at the beginning. What happened?

The last time I browsed the book section in a thrift store, I opened up a copy of Dr. Laura’s book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. I don’t know why I picked it up because I already have this book and I really like it. In fact, I’ve loaned it out a number of times. I highly recommend it. But, apparently the previous owner of this particular volume didn’t share my high regard for Dr. Laura’s advice.

Inside the cover was a hand-written yellow post-it note that read,
“To any woman that reads this, note the following:
Men are more trouble than they are worth.
They are just overgrown babies
who just look for a mother once they leave the nest.”

Yikes – there must be quite a story behind that one!

I hope someone buys that book and gains from Dr. Laura’s ideas.

I hope the author of that note finds that her generalization of men isn’t true about all of them.

I also hope someone takes that silver tray home. The engraving could be hidden with antique linen; and it could provide many years of service in a new home. Just not my home – I don’t want to polish it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day

In my 35 years with Hubby, I have been successful with only one April Fool’s prank. But it was such a great success, that one is enough.You see, it’s usually the other way around, here at the end of the road.

My husband is a masterful prankster, and over the years, I’ve learned to be ready come April 1st. However, one year, in the 80's, I pulled a whopper. At least, I thought it was great – and these many years later, I still get a laugh…

The best April Fool’s pranks are planned well in advance. Building up to the day is crucial.Easter came early in April that year, so the stores had plenty of Easter treats out by mid-March. Among the many treats were candy-coated eggs. They looked exactly like real chicken eggs and even had the same weight. They came in all the pastel shades of Easter, but I chose the ones that were true egg-shell coloured. They looked so real, the idea came to me instantly.

We had recently moved to the country, and every morning my husband made a big breakfast for us while I got ready for work. No cold cereal in those days -- it was bacon, eggs, and pancakes.

When I got home from town, I told him that I met our new neighbour in the grocery store. She told me that she sold eggs from her farm. Hubby agreed that it would be a good idea to buy our eggs from Ruthie. Then I told him that she’d had trouble with the shells breaking, but thought they were better since she had changed the chicken’s feed. Sure enough, Hubby remembered from his childhood just what chickens needed if their egg shells were fragile – oyster shell.

Over the next few days, I mentioned the eggs, each time saying that I couldn’t wait to get some -- they would be so fresh and tasty.The night of March 31st, I placed the candy-coated eggs in an egg tray in the fridge and chuckled on my way to bed.

I ignored the date in the morning – but did mention that the new eggs were in the fridge and we should try them. I will never forget watching my dear husband cracking the egg on the side of the frying pan. It started with just a tiny, quick crack – but nothing happened. Then a little bit harder – still nothing. By this time, I was the one ‘cracking up’ – laughing so hard I couldn’t even say, “April Fool’s!” Although he denies it today, he actually took a serrated knife out of the drawer to ‘saw’ the egg – all the while saying that Ruthie had overdone the oyster shell.

It was priceless – and today, we both laugh. Well, I laugh; he just shakes his head.Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone. I hope you have some fun of your own this day. And remember, it doesn’t matter which side of the prank you’re on. It’s all fun.