The first time I was asked by a cashier if I wanted the  “senior-coffee discount,” I was indignant. Now, I gladly pay half price or less and smile back.

“Only $4.68,” he said cheerfully. I stood there stupefied. I am 48, not even 50 yet – a mere child! Senior Citizen (discount)? I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong.” – David McClure, Dallas News Community Opinion

The first time I was asked by a cashier if I wanted the  “senior-coffee discount,” I was indignant.

Now, I gladly pay half price or less and smile back.

Since I first wrote, sometime back, about my chagrin and outright disdain at being asked if I wanted a senior discount, things have changed.

I signed up for early Social Security and now look forward to my instant direct deposit like the best of them.

I order senior portions at restaurants.

And yes, I now take the senior-coffee discount at McDonald’s without complaint.

Let’s just call it a rite of passage into the world of seniors.

Now, I sort of like it.

The evolution and transformation in my thinking began when a young cashier, all of 12 in my humble view, charged me 27 cents for a cup of coffee rather than full price.

She didn’t ask if I was a “senior”; she assumed.

“Twenty-seven cents?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes,” she said. “I gave you the senior discount.”

“And what age would that be,” I replied sternly.

A look of horror swept over her face as she realized what she said and the grave sin she committed.

All women know innately that to assume another woman’s age is tantamount to, shall we say, murder?

This young thing was beginning to figure out that it is not a good idea to tell a woman she is your senior. It is just fine if she tells you, but not a good plan to mention that fact to her first.

I give the youngster some credit for figuring this out so quickly; however, she would not raise her head or look at me for the rest of the transaction.

She just mumbled,  “Well, you can get it at any age.”

Nice catch.

The first thing I did when I got in the car was to inspect my face carefully and critically in the car rearview mirror.

I should have looked in the mirror on the outside passenger side where a little sticker warns us that objects might appear differently than they really are.  

That would have cushioned the blow somewhat.

No, I chose instead to look in the painfully honest, exactly like-it-is mirror inside the car in broad, unforgiving daylight.

Yes indeed, I believe I do qualify for the senior coffee discount after all.

But in this recession-stricken world in which we live, I’ll take that 27 cents any old day over the full-price 99-cent cup of coffee.

In fact, I am so excited now about senior discounts that I searched online for senior discount wearing apparel.  Found a tote bag for myself and hat for the hubby that has emblazoned upon them the phrase:  “Don’t forget my senior discount.”

We’ll only wear these when we travel.  Don’t tell our kids!