This week I want to rant a bit. Not that I don’t often do that, but I usually try to keep my rants where only my house plants and dust bunnies can hear. However, the subject of my rant this week is one that I think is shared by a lot of us baby boomers—the “Senior Perks”.
I admit that four years ago when I walked into a McDonald's to order coffee for the drive back home after visiting my soul-sister-in-law in Temple, I wasn’t overly pleased when told that “coffee’s free for seniors”. OMG, the little gal behind the counter hadn’t even asked for my ID so how did she… Needless to say, I immediately pulled down the vanity mirror when I got back into the car. (Note to car manufacturers: rename mirror to “vanity crusher”.)
When I go to the movies with my girlfriends, I have no problem requesting my senior discount. The only drawback is that we have reached the age where we prefer the early matinee to avoid the crowds. When I ask for the senior special, I'm told no because early matinees are already discounted. Call me greedy but if I’ve reached that magical age, I want my senior discount regardless.
Speaking of magical age, I used to not know what it really was. Sometimes it is 55; sometimes it’s 60 or 65. Fortunately for me, it doesn’t matter anymore. I will soon meet any and all criteria which finally leads into the main reason for my ranting today.
In last week’s Sunday paper, I saw a notice from the local community college for a Senior Education Program for Seniors 55+. Excited to expand my comfort zone and add some fun into my life, I went online to register for a class. I wasn’t even particular about which class I took. Jewelry Making, Yoga, Watercolors, Creative Writing, Stained Glass, Belly Dancing, etc. all sounded good to me. The only class listed that I wouldn’t be interested in was Square Dancing. Guess what? The only class offered in the evening is Square Dancing.
I still work full time. I can’t image that most of the baby boomers my age and those to follow aren’t still working. Not in these economically challenged times and stock market. So you can understand my frustration to learn that these classes are only offered in the daytime. Am I unrealistic to assume that most unemployed 55+ would want day classes that offered them a second career instead of “classes for fun” and that the 55+ who have been able to retire have the means to find their fun elsewhere?
This isn’t the only time I’ve run into this problem. The City Recreation Centers offer special exercise classes for seniors but only in the daytime. Senior Centers are closed after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.
Since I was taught not to make a complaint without a request, here goes: Let’s redefine the word “senior citizen” to include the working seniors who refuse to be old. We want to enjoy the perks too!