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Senior Citizen Crawl

Birthdays are exciting as heck when you are a minor. Hitting double-digits, being 10, you feel grown up. At 13, you are officially a teenager, driving at 16, an adult at 18. One of the most eventful birthdays is 21, when many young adults go on a “Pub Crawl” or a “Bar Crawl” depending on the location and the level of sophistication. The result is the same: they get drunk. After that, all your birthdays seem like a slow march towards old age.

Hitting 30 makes you kind of old, except for the people who really are old. They laugh at being old at 30. At 40, you are over the hill. At 50, peer pressure requires a mid-life crisis, and possibly a sports car. I don’t know about 60, but with the hope for Social Security, maybe it isn’t so bad.

It is unfair that kids get to have all the best birthdays. In pondering how I might celebrate my 55th birthday, friends suggested that I go on a Pub Crawl, but our town only has two, maybe three if you’re liberal about how you describe a pub.

Then, it struck me. At 55, I would qualify for senior discounts. Now, I may look all “old lady,” but I still feel like a 19 year-old most days. I have more knowledge and I am wise… sort of. That’s what I tell my children anyway. I don’t want to be a senior citizen, but what we cannot change we must embrace. So, I decided to spend my birthday on a Senior Citizen Crawl. I hit all the places that define senior citizen as 55 and above. This is important because seniors get discounts. That’s good, right?

My oldest child and I had dinner at 2:00 pm because it is well known that seniors eat their suppers very early. I had the Smokehouse something or another for $6.99 at the IHOP. With so much food and I ended up sharing with my progeny, which I understand is also an old person thing to do.

After that, I visited the Emporia Senior Center, where I met up with my friend, Lannie, who is the Director. I got my picture taken with her. Lannie suggested that I visit the Lyon County Department on Aging. That is where I officially became 55 because aging happens there, I suppose.

My artist friend, Charlotte met up with me at Starbuck’s, where I got my free birthday coffee. I know you’re wondering, so I will tell you. I had the Venti (because it was free) Soy (I can’t do real milk) Caramel Mocha Frappuccino. Charlotte was great company and she bought me a cake pop, which I loved!

Next, I went home and took a brief nap. I’m old. It’s required.

I met up at Mulready’s Pub for the Emporia Writers meeting. We get together for beer and accountability. Cheryl brought a Happy Birthday ribbon and cheesecake. You might be surprised to learn that beer and cheesecake are especially wonderful. But, really, cheesecake goes with everything.

Last on my list was McDonald’s, which sells $.50 coffee to all who are 55 and older. My friend, Charity, met me there. The coffee was great, but was probably the source of my insomnia. By then, it was getting late. Below are my Facebook posts from the day.

STOP #1: For my 55th birthday, I'm on a Senior Citizen Crawl, taking advantage of the senior citizen 55+ discounts. First stop: IHOP.

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I was going to dress all "old lady," but really the pink outfit is as close as I come on any given day. HOWEVER, in homage to Rubie Moseley, my grandmother and favorite old lady of all time, I am using her purse pictured here, circa 1978. Inside was a deposit slip dated July 1980 for the First Bank of Lufkin (not in picture). In the lower bottom left is a snuff canister, well used, that grandma always had. Here's to Rubie!

STOP #2: Emporia Senior Citizens Center

STOP #3: Lyon County Department on Aging

STOP #4: Free Starbucks birthday coffee

STOP #5: Writer's Group. Beer and cheesecake! Thanks for the beer and party fun!

LAST STOP #6: Mickey D's coffee. $.50 for the rest of my life!

At this point, my Facebook friends began to worry about my late bedtime. Here are some quotes I heard from friends:

  • John from Florida: Better get to bed. Pretty soon the Blue Plate at Denny's will be calling.
  • Leslie from Texas: Yeah you're up way past your bedtime!
  • Connie from Kansas: No, she hasn't watched the news yet! She'll go to bed after the 10 o'clock news.

My friends also invited me to whack someone with my purse, but I just didn’t want to kill anybody. Another friend called me brave. One friend thought I was too excited about the whole business. She was right!

Post birthday status: I was up late after all the caffeine and sugar I was treated to last night. I feel a bit light-headed, but mostly light-hearted, because it was a silly, fun day... my favorite kind. Today, it's back to business in my 55 year old body with its eternally child-like mind. Thank you to everyone who wished me well, those of you who joked along with me during my Senior Citizen Crawl, and especially local friends who joined me at all the stops. It was a hoot!