Published Sunday, June 10, 2012

Getting hit with the question

I was strictly forbidden to write about the incident.

Which of course means I have to.

It began as the Little Black Dress went off to find the perfect, well, little dress. Except this time it was not black. Yes, an anomaly around here.

Anyway. She finds said dress at one of our fine department stores in town and is quite pleased. She speed-dials several friends to join in this momentous occasion. She doesn't bother calling me because I apparently never show enough enthusiasm for the hunt.

So The Dress approaches the counter and a very nice lady who works there asks the question.

That question being: "Hi, are you over 55?"

You know that expression about how you would pay anything to see (fill in the blank?)

Yeah, well, I would be taking out a second mortgage to see the expression on the LBD's face at that point.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting The Dress, she is 29. And she has been for, well, several months. And she is quite adamant about that.

That worked well for a while, but the Eldest SON of Thunder is pretty good at math and starts adding up ...

And he basically gets "the look" which involves something along the lines of "don't go there."

Funny how we approach different milestones. We can't wait to hit 16 and then 18 and then 21. And after that?

It seems we just don't get as excited. There's the big 4-0, which in my book is the new 20; I plan to hit the big 4-0 when I'm 60. I like that, 60 is the new 40 and so on.

And then there's the milestone when you get The Letter. The first thing you ask yourself is "How did they find me?" The second is "Am I really that old?" Said letter of course coming from the sweet people at AARP.

Back to The Dress and her new dress.

The nice lady's intent was pure. The store was having some sort of extra discount if you were, well, 55 or older. Now The Dress is a bargain-hunter shopper of warrior status. She has never met a sale she does not love. And she will proudly point out the new pair of shoes she just got were half of half of half off. And my pointing out that despite the sale the shoes still equal a car payment fall on deaf ears. Because, you know, the shoes were half of half of half off and isn't that the whole point?

Ah, but this discount is based on one's age. And for the record, she does not qualify. And furthermore, I am very, very fortunate that I was able to marry such a beautiful woman, one whose outer beauty is bested only by her inner beauty. In that sense, she is ageless - one whose heart overflows with love and compassion for others.

Which is probably what kept her from totally freaking out and instead, simply asking the nice lady "Do I look 55?" And she was quickly reassured by several other customers that absolutely, positively, no way could the LBD possibly, even remotely, look more than say, 29.

And the nice lady was quick with a "We ask that of all our customers." Nevertheless, The Dress, who does not even have the word "vanity" in her vocabulary, was, shall we say, taken aback. She is one who cherishes the moment - the now - and would prefer to get "there" when it's time and not ahead of schedule.

Sometimes the well-meaning intent doesn't work.

This is one of those just flip the dog moments. Instead of asking people their age, it might be a wee bit less painful to simply have a sign at the counter saying that if you are over (fill in the age) hey, you get a discount.

That is, if you want it. And if you want to show you are (fill in the age.) But at least it's up to you.

This one is going to cost me. It will involve a dinner at a nice restaurant. I will slide the waiter a big, big tip. And he will ask the LBD for her ID when she orders a glass of wine.

And The Dress will smile. And the world will get back on its axis.


John Winters is a staff writer for The Newnan-Times Herald. His personal blog (Just Flip The Dog) is at .

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