I stayed firmly planted in line

I am getting on Amtrak today to go to Ann Arbor to visit my sister. We’re all in a very long line which twists around the waiting room and out into the hallway and beyond. A tall burly guy in a dark ski cap, gray sleeveless winter vest, and mirrored sunglasses comes by and taps me on the shoulder. He is carrying a cup of coffee and a Christmasy decorated styrofoam container. Pointing toward Gate C he says, “You can go in the front of the line, you know.”

“I can?”

“Yes, you can go up front.”

“Why? What do you mean?”

“Senior citizens can get on the trains first.”

Was my gasp really as loud as I thought it was? I was shocked. But I was also shocked that I was so shocked. It was unsettling. It’s the first time that I have been identified publicly as a senior citizen. He walked away, still gesturing for me to move to the front of the line. I asked the woman in front of me, “So how old do you have to be to be considered a senior citizen with Amtrak?”

“62,” she said.

“Oh, I’m only 60.”

“You can still probably go up front. Who’s going to check?”

I stared at her and her large bag of Christmas gifts.

I stayed firmly planted in line right where I was. I’m not a senior citizen … not just yet… 

This entry was posted in aging, transformation, truth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I stayed firmly planted in line

  1. Anonymous says:

    LOL LOL LOL, all in caps! I have been taking advantage of “Senior Citizen” status since I was 60, for five years now: in lines, at the movies for cheap, discounts at the restaurant, etc. Maybe I shouldn’t admit it but why not. I’ve earned my keep or am I talking like a Senior Citizen now? I will admit that I was embarrassed when I found out I had to go on Medicare at 65. I thought that was only for older people without means. I was just going to stay on my teacher’s pension insurance. Then I received a letter that told me I had a choice, go on Medicare with Teacher’s Insurance as a “wrap around” for cheap or stay on my current insurance for an additional $300.00. I guess being OLD has some perks!

  2. Mrs. Chili says:

    It’s all about attitude, not age. That being the case, I’m thinking you’ll NEVER be a senior citizen….

  3. Laurie Kahn says:

    adorable. Who said there were no thrills in aging.

  4. JEROME BLOOM says:

    STRIPPED
    DOWN TO
    MY SHORTS
    AND THEN
    THEY’RE GONE

    HERE I AM
    ALL
    SAG AND DRAG

    THE TRUTH STARES
    BACK AT ME
    BEARD ONCE RED
    NOW SALT AND PEPPER
    HEADING TOWARDS WHITE
    TOWARDS GONE

    EYES BRIGHT
    SEEM SMALLER
    DISAPPEARING
    IN SKIN FOLDS
    DARKENING

    TOWARDS 70
    YEARS OF SIGHTS
    AND GLAD
    OF ALL OF THEM
    THIS FEELING TOO

    HOW LONG
    DOES NOT MATTER
    ANYMORE

    HOW DOES

  5. Funny. You will get to be a “real” senior soon enough. I confess when I started using senior perks, I was insulted because no one asked to see an ID. I realized this week I am realllly a senior when my daughter told me she’d seen her ob-gyn for her yearly checkup and she’s menopausal. Me, with a daughter who is menopausal? Impossible. Okay, possible. From TZ, Senior Citizen

  6. What a great train story! It is the one that zooms past my house so maybe I even heard you.

    I agree with Mrs. Chili that you will probably never be a senior citizen, just a wise, hip, and energetic citizen!

  7. Love it! I was so appaled when the girl at Goodwill asked me if I had a senior card for the first time. I was only 50! My daughter tried to help out, “It is just the way you dress Mom.”

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