Last week, I realized my husband and I had become senior citizens. I'd suggested that we try a nearby restaurant's Monday night deal: A whole lobster, plus side dishes and soup or salad for $25.
"Let's go to Lobster Night!" I'd proposed, giddy at the promise of a bargain. He was game, as long as we could eat early—say, six or six-thirty—because he'd skipped lunch and was hungry. Which is how we wound up wearing matching plastic bibs, splitting a lobster in full daylight, like an elderly couple enjoying the early bird special.
And then it dawned on me: We were an elderly couple enjoying the early bird special.
I should probably explain: I am not really a senior citizen (though I certainly aspire to be one someday). Neither is my husband, although he, twelve years and a demographic generation older than I, has for several years been getting mail solicitations from the AARP. It had never occured to me that he wouldn't toss the offending come-ons like the other, youth-obsessed Baby Boomers. Then, the day after the Lobster Night incident, searching the Internet for a bargain on a rental car for a ladies' camping trip I'm taking in August (which—good heavens!—includes an RV), I looked up to find him holding out a membership card.
"It's from the AARP. I joined a couple of months ago. You can use it to get a rental discount," he crowed, and I took the card with shock because, dear reader, IT HAD MY NAME ON IT.
That's right. I, the dewy-ish bride of an older man, am now an official, card-carrying member of the AARP.
And my husband and I truly are living a retiree life, albeit for the summer: I have cut back on the journalism grind to work on a third book—which has me on a fixed income. He is has been working from home for the past couple of weeks. We've retreated to our vacation home in Connecticut, where I have taken up sewing and my husband alternates between puttering around the house and getting underfoot.
But that's not all. In the mornings, I eat a grandmotherly, roughage-filled breakfast. After that, while all the youngsters are working, I hit the gym, along with the other seniors who are free in the middle of the day. I wear a sun hat religiously and—oh, dear, it keeps getting worse—recently ordered a pair of sun-protective driving gloves. In the evenings, we relax in rocking chairs on the porch and hit the hay by ten.
Come to think of it, this is a great life. It's not at all bad being a senior citizen. Maybe this week, after Lobster Night, we can even get cheap seats at the movies.
Just as long as I'm in bed by ten.