The other day my friend Swamp Butt mentioned that one of her co-workers had guessed her age at nearly twenty years younger than she actually is.

“Must be nice,” said I. “Nobody has ever said anything like that to me.”

But Swamp Butt was blessed with superb genes passed down from her father, who lived to be 102; and she has always looked younger than she is. So I shrugged it off.

Only a few days later, I changed into my goin’-to-town clothes (which are only distinguishable from my around-home clothes by the fact that they don’t feature holes and/or paint and/or automotive grease stains). I glanced in the mirror before I left the house and thought, “Huh. I look pretty good for my age.” Buoyed by that thought, I drove to town with a smile.

While I was standing in line at one of the stores, I noticed it was Seniors Day: 15% off. *shrug* Whatever. Didn’t apply to me.

When it was my turn, the cashier scanned and totalled my items, and then asked, “Do you qualify for the senior’s discount?”

That took the wind out of my sails.

“Sadly, no,” I said, summoning my most youthful smile.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

Pop. That was the sound of my bubble bursting.

“Really, really sure,” I assured her. “I’m only 58.”

Then I did a mental head-smack. Shit, if I was going to get kicked in the ego anyway, I should have at least lied about my age and snagged the discount. Apparently I’m only getting old, not wise.

Fortunately, I’m blessed with a huge capacity for denial and and very little concern for what others think of my appearance. After I got over the momentary ‘ouch’, I found the whole exchange pretty funny, and I’m still chuckling about it. (Albeit somewhat ruefully.)

And I still like what I see when I look in the mirror. It’s nothing to do with my face β€” it’s what’s behind my eyes that counts. πŸ™‚

Anybody else have a face that doesn’t fit their (mental) age?

Book 17 update: Woohoo! LIVE AND LET SPY will be released on October 28/22, and it’s now available for pre-order at all retailers. Pre-order links are on my Books page, and I’ll be sending them out to my mailing list soon!

39 thoughts on “Pop.

  1. Pingback: The Whole Fan-damly | Author Diane Henders

    • I guess it sounds rude when I report the conversation, but she was actually quite pleasant and we laughed over it. I think she was embarrassed after asking me the first time and just blurted out the next thing that came to her mind. I’ve been known to blurt embarrassing things when I’m flustered, too, so I cut her some slack. But maybe she was intentionally being rude — I’ll never know. That’s the nice thing about being as oblivious as I am. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Had to laugh….I could feel your pain!! I don’t see the age even when I’m staring at myself in the mirror. I’m always brought back to reality whenever one of my grandchildren tell me how old I am…..oh well….back to my mirror!!!


  3. A few months ago I was at the doctor for regular check up. We were talking about age, and I said something about being old (70+) the doctor said I looked as young as I did 15 years ago. Now how do reply to that?


  4. I’ve always looked about 10-15 years younger than my age, but mentally I’m like 5-10 older than my age. πŸ˜‰ I have started to get asked if I want the senior discount, but I’ve also had cases at restaurants when I’ve ordered off the senior menu (to get the smaller portions) and the server gives me that “Really” look. Generally I just reply, “I have a baby face.”


  5. When I was in my 20s I looked WAY younger than my age. It was a constant source of amusement and confusion. My favorite story was when I was at a conference for work and went to use the hotel gym. The guy said β€œunder 15 must have an adult with you.” When I said I was 25 he said β€œnice try.” I couldn’t work out until I got my drivers license to prove it. I’m 45 now though and time has caught up with me ❀️


    • OMG, “under 15”? That’s amazing! It was probably inconvenient at the time, but it makes for a great story. It’s funny how time catches up with all of us, isn’t it? But at least you’re not being mistaken for over-65… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane before I turned 60 this happened to me on several occasions. I was very insulted by the suggestion that i could qualify. then once I turned 60 I was tickled that I should get the discount. These days I’m just happy to be healthy and happy. The wrinkles and sags just holding a healthy being inside. πŸ™‚


    • I like the way you think! I wasn’t actually too put out by being asked if I qualified for the discount; but the “Are you sure?” gave me pause (and some laughs). I may not be sure about much anymore, but I’m pretty sure I know how old I am… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are too funny. And you look youthful to me, at least in the photos you make public. πŸ™‚

    In my situation, I used to be annoyed when someone asked my ID when I bought alcohol, either at a bar or in a store. Then, my husband mentioned I should see that as a compliment. I agree, except for the fact that I never carry my wallet or anything other than a camera with me, so when I can’t show an ID, it means I can’t drink alcohol!


  8. My first time was like this:
    I went to a fast food joint and ordered very carefully to use my pocket cash because the alternative would be to break a hundred. I handed the clerk five ones and 27 cents in change, exactly what I had figured the order to cost.
    She dumped the change back in my hand and handed me another quarter.
    “Are you sure you counted that right?” I asked. I didn’t want to short her.
    “Oh, yes Sir,” she replied. “You ordered a (whatever) and a (whatever) and a small (drink), and with your senior citizen’s discount…”
    I grabbed my bag and fled in defeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🀣 Hahahaha!!! (And ouch.) I dunno, though; you call it ‘fleeing in defeat’, but to me it sounds more like a strategic withdrawal after securing an unexpected victory. After all, you did score the discount! πŸ˜‰


  9. My chronological age, the age I feel and the age I look are poles apart. Some days I feel a hundred and ten (at least) and other days much, much younger. My inner child is alive and frequently the healthiest and happiest part of me.
    Not very long ago I got asked for evidence that I was entitled to my senior discount. Was I flattered? Hell no, I was peeved at having to rat through my wallet to find the card.
    And you are right. If I could go back in time then my thirties would be the very earliest time I would aim for. A teenager again? NO. Just no.


    • Oh, no. No-no-no-no! For an extremely large sum of money, I might be convinced to go through my teens again; but the sum would exceed the GNP of most small countries.

      My inner child has had a hard time lately, but I’m slowly coaxing her back to the surface. At least I still snicker at farts, so I know she’s in there somewhere! πŸ˜‰


  10. I am told that I look like I am in my fifties (with my hair dyed) – I am actually 62. πŸ™‚ My mom was blessed with not looking her age.
    I can hardly wait for this new book to come out. Already pre-ordered it and will be sitting in pins and needles waiting for it to come out.


    • Thanks, Dawn! I’m so glad you’re excited about the book! And I forgive you for being one of those lucky youthful-looking folks. πŸ˜‰ Wow, knocking 12 years off your age? I’m impressed. I wish I knew the secret, but it’s probably good genes.


  11. I was born in 1964 too! When I was in my mid-40’s, and Zellers still existed, I had the same experience as you. I had my young son with me which the cashier thought was my grandson. I think Zellers allowed the senior’s discount at 55 but I was still offended that she thought I was eligible for it. Like you I did not think to take the discount. I used to be told I looked young for my age however, it has been a few years since anyone has said that.


    • Right, I guess it has been a while since Zellers existed! I think I saw in the news a couple of months ago that they were making a comeback with a few stores — I guess time will tell.

      Your story about your son makes me laugh, because I had a similar experience when I was only in my late teens. I had taken my sister(4 years younger) to the mall, and we went into one of the cosmetic stores for a free “makeover”. (Remember that promo? I don’t know if they do it anymore, but the results were horrifying. Anyhow…) The salesperson started working on us and attempting conversation: “Oh, and is this your daughter?” she says to me.

      My sister was mightily offended, but I was still young enough to be proud that I’d been mistaken for an adult. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I used to look a LOT younger than my age-which was a big problem when I was a 22 year old veterinarian who didn’t look old enough to have finished high school. And eventually it was nice all through my 30s and 40s but boy, when it went away at 50 the POP was explosive.


    • Ouch! I know what you mean — if I had to go back in time, I wouldn’t want to be any younger than 30. Earlier than that we ‘don’t get no respect’.

      And wow, you were already a veterinarian at 22? Amazing — that’s a really heavy academic load!


  13. Aw, Diane! 🀣🀣🀣 (sorry)
    Your comment about the clerk being middle-aged made me chuckle… perhaps she *was* a teenager but only looked older… or the age you thought she was! πŸ˜›
    I’ve been 24 for years, and don’t look a day older.
    It is entirely what’s behind the eyes that matter, so go and reinflate your bubble and never let it burst again!
    By the way, I always thought we were the same age! πŸ˜‰


    • Wow, I guess that means I only look 24. Whew, that’s a relief! πŸ˜‰

      And I like your take on the clerk — I’m going to adopt it. She was really only 18; she just had a very… *ahem* experienced face.


  14. Ouch. I haven’t fallen into that age trap in a while. In fact, the last time I got “carded” for buying liquor for a party was probably over 20 years ago, whereupon I was thought to be younger than I looked. (Then again, the store had a policy of checking ID for anyone who looked to be under 40, which I was at the time.)

    I might have an AARP membership (just for the discounts), but I refuse to call myself a senior until I’m in my 70s! (Which, like you, is another 12 years away–we must both be 1964 babies!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, indeed! 1964 was a good year. (Or so I keep telling myself.) I was comforting myself with the thought that maybe the store offered discounts for 55 and older; but sadly, not so. Apparently I look so much over 65 that the clerk felt that she should double-check just in case I was getting forgetful in my old age. It wouldn’t even have been so bad if she was a teenager who thought everybody over 30 was ancient; but the clerk was middle-aged herself. So, ouch.

      But I guess as long as I can drag my aging carcass around unaided, I won’t complain. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, I’m still dragging this weary sack of bones around myself. Takes me a little longer to get moving early in the day, but by noon I’m my regular old….er, somewhat normal self. Don’t ask me about my memory, though. I often walk into a room or open a pantry/cupboard/fridge and can’t remember what I’m looking for. Then again, I’ve done that for years. 😁

        I’m missing my 40th high school reunion this coming weekend, in fact–communication was so poor about it that I only heard about it after it was too late to sign up (they needed a head count for tables by a date that has already passed). Plus, I had somewhat committed to another rally for the coming weekend (the Fall Fail-iage Tour), but turns out I decided not to go–I’ll probably do the Great River Road in November instead.


        • Right, I guess it’s been 40 years since graduation for me, too. Maybe there’s no reunion happening, or maybe nobody thought to invite me. Either is equally possible; but I’m leaning toward the former. (Denial: Not just a river in Egypt.)

          I’ll look forward to reading about your rally adventures on your blog! πŸ™‚


  15. I guess this isn’t the time to say that my wife and I were both voted Least Changed at our 50-year class reunions? And I’m CERTAINLY not going to say that, compared to the rest of the class, that’s not necessarily saying much. πŸ€ͺ😜πŸ’₯


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