(An update from a previous article lamenting our birthday).
Our community Center membership had expired. We had not been there in quite awhile, largely because we would rather have gotten our exercise in the great outdoors than cooped up in a sweaty gym somewhere. Seeing as how it is December and cold enough to freeze meat, we thought we might as well sign up for another year and avoid any further encounters with frostbite. Besides, the wife has a membership at a local gym where she can swim to her heart’s content (she was raised in the Pacific Northwest and is, we think, part fish) and we did not want to be left out. So, on this fine Saturday, we gathered up our fifty dollars and utility bill (one must prove one’s citizenship in our little town to join the Community Center – it’s an exclusive club you see).
Well, we got to the gym and handed over our utility bill and money to the gentleman at the desk. He took that and handed us a sheaf of papers which we were instructed to read and then sign our life away in several places. We thought the amount of paperwork to read and sign just to use the gym was tantamount to signing away our immortal soul. We did not want to upset anybody though, or give them cause to throw us out so we read and signed and got our money out. The woman at the cash register (why, oh why, is there always a woman that wants, and gets, our money?) asked us if we were a senior. We quickly and emphatically said “NO”! But Wait! “How do you define a senior?” we inquired. “Anybody over fifty-five gets a discount from $50.00 to $25.00”, was the response.
We were now in a difficult situation. We had just turned 55 the previous month and, in our state of denial, had determined that we would rather avoid any senior citizen discounts and preserve our dignity (and vanity). What to do? Was it worth going against our own self imposed inviolable word and take what amounted to a bribe of pity from the Community Center or do we preserve our integrity? Who will, among our friends, know that we had finally admitted to what everybody already knew; that we were now “officially” old.
Twenty-five dollar is twenty-five dollars. We politely asked the two employees behind the counter to render forevermore silent the transaction they had just witnessed. They gave a solemn oath that their lips would be sealed for all time.
We are informed that a camera tapes that particular area of the center 24/7. Though we have no doubt that the two employees will be true their oath, the camera made no such promise as YouTube will most assuredly broadcast our embarrassment.
Furthermore, we STILL don’t know why we are writing in the first person plural. Maybe we can avoid feeling old by spreading the guilt. Who knows. It’s nap time.