Wednesday, July 29, 2015

55 and Still Alive!

I turned 55 last week and while the number itself seems significant, I soon realized that it does not carry the same weight as other benchmark birthdays.  The obvious blessing for me was best described by the mantra my wife came up with to mark my 5th year as a cancer survivor, "55 and still alive!"  We had several toasts to that sentiment.  

Out of curiosity I Googled what it means to turn 55 and came across these fun facts.  Did you know that at this age we gain the following “perks?”

Dining Discounts
Entertainment Discounts
Grocery and Other Retail Discounts
            Discounts on Airlines
Continuing Education Discounts
At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I was a bit underwhelmed by the above.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate saving a few pennies here and there but, really, that’s it?  The one common theme in all these perks is that I have to spend money in order to get a discount.  This is not to discount the fact that the need to save money grows proportionally with the candles on the birthday cake, but the list seems to discount the actual needs of us seniors.  Here is the list I was hoping to see:

Discounts on all alcoholic beverages (Let’s be honest, a martini works better than BENGAY for soothing whatever aches.)

A specially designed airline just for seniors that offers reduced rates to see children and grandchildren on flights that have no screaming children on them.

The removal of state income tax for those of us who don’t move to Florida.  If living in Florida already, a small stipend for remaining there rather than moving somewhere not so hot in the summer.

Dropping the expectation for tips while dining out.  (Someone in his or her 20s serving someone who has survived into their 50s should be asking for advice, not tips)

Separate cinemas for those of us who need the sound effects turned down and the dialogue turned up.  

Free subscriptions to any magazine or internet service that has as its primary purpose the selling of products to the very people they freak out with warnings about growing older.

The right to vote more than once in order to offset the impact of missing the gray vote due to those of us who get lost on the way to the polling center.

I think you’ll agree this is both a reasonable and justifiable list worthy of celebrating. 

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