Saturday, March 12, 2011

I didn't see it, I didn't ask for it, but I got it

Ten or fifteen years ago, I decided that coloring my hair was a waste of time and money and besides that, the chemicals burned my scalp. So I "went" gray, a color my hair had been aspiring to since I was 21. It was a "gift" from my mother, who also was prematurely gray. She fought the good fight throughout her 30s and 40s. I can remember her using gold hairspray. Really. I don't even know if they still make the stuff. Finally, she too gave up and went the most glorious white.

I am not there yet. I still have faint streaks of color, albeit not any name on a Miss Clairol box. But it's me. One might say I look my age.

Obviously I do to a young clerk at a Jack in the Box.

Needing the facilities and thinking a cold drink would be a refreshing break from Goodwill hunting, I popped in mid-afternoon yesterday. I scanned the list and chose a Diet Coke. Small. He rang it up. $1.72. I handed him two dollars and received a handful of quarters in exchange. Thinking he had missed what I'd given him (although if it were a five there would have been bills), I opened my hand for him to take back the extra, something like you do in a foreign country when trying to pay for something, not understanding the coinage, and are just hoping the seller is semi-honest.

"Oh," he smiled at me, "I gave you the senior discount."

I didn't have the nerve to look back to the board and see exactly how old he thought I was.

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