So last Wednesday I’m out of nectarines. Or maybe it was Burrata cheese. The point is, United Market carries the best of both so I made a quick stop. If you’ve never had Burrata before, I ask you, “Why the hell not?!” Simply drain the liquid, slice off a creamy section, drizzle it with olive oil, sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes (if you like to live dangerously) then dollop it on toasted, sliced baguettes rubbed ever so slightly with a clove of garlic. I tell ya, it’s cheese heaven.
Anyway, while I shopped, I found much more I wanted to buy. As usual. To look in my cupboards you’d think I’m housing 4 people here. Hey, I stock up. I’m a stocker. But the thing is, while I roamed the isles, I noticed how crowded the store was for a Wednesday afternoon.
I’ve been coming to this United Market since I was a kid. My mom brought my sister and me with her each week. Vicki and I sat in the cart eating Flicks milk chocolate discs. They were our reward for being tolerable while Mom shopped. Sometimes, when we were exceptionally good, we got Necco Wafers. I don’t recall having the opportunity to enjoy those very often.
Anyway, in the 61 years I’ve been coming to this store I never noticed it to be so full, except on holidays. What’s going on here? Maybe they’re having some great promotional sales. Could it be the weather? Is a monsoon coming and people are stocking up?
Turns out Wednesday’s are senior discount days. So THAT explained it. All these people, mainly older ladies, were there to receive 10% off their groceries. And I was inadvertently and reluctantly one of them. I wanted to yell, “But I’m just 61!“
When the cashier surprised me with the discount I asked, “What age qualifies as a senior?” “A hundred and over,” he said with a chuckle. I, however, didn’t find him particularly amusing. Especially since he assumed I qualified just by looking at me.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against those with gray hair. In fact, I’m one of them. But I attempt to hide mine with a monthly bottle of Natural Instincts Medium Brown Semi-Permanent hair dye. For only $8.09 a box, I attempt to project the illusion of youthfulness even though the rest of my body isn’t fooling anyone.
But until my hair turns a beautiful glistening white, like my dad and Nana Tyna had, I’ll continue to hide the fact that sadly, I inherited my sweet Grandma Helen’s hair — a rather mousy, dull gray. But what can ya do?… (Dye it!)
Still, it would’ve been a kick had the cashier asked to check my license. “I’m sorry Miss (not Ma’am), I’m afraid you aren’t old enough to receive the 10% discount, but nice try.” Besides, I’m pretty sure I’m NOT old enough by a full year, thank you kindly. Don’t rush me, buddy…
So last Wednesday at United Market I received $8.27 as my discount because, as usual, I bought more than nectarines and Burrata cheese. The only good thing hidden in the disappointment of receiving my first senior discount is that it pays for next month’s hair dye.
This post originally appeared in September of 2016.