long in the tooth

Portrait of male business owner opening diner door

“Blah, blah, blah…, sir.”

All I really hear is the “sir.” It’s the cashier at the sparkling new CVS who first catches my ear. “‘Course, she’s wearing glasses.  Maybe the lenses are fogged over and her vision’s obscured,” I consider. She’s mistaken me for someone older. “Honest mistake…could happen to anybody,” I mumble under my breath.

Several days later, a new check-out person at Roger’s Fine Food and Spirits gives me the quick once-over and instantly coughs up the 5% Senior discount. Doesn’t even ask me if I’m a senior. Bernice, the regular cashier, always asks. I bet this newbie is giving 5% to everybody. “Ol’ Roger ain’t gonna be happy about her giving away all of his margin,” I tell myself.

Two days later there’s a “May I take your order, sir?” At  Hooters for Chrissakes!  ‘Sir’yourself, I want to say — but don’t. But I wonder how she’d like it if I called her ‘Ma’am’?

All this sudden civility is unnerving. Something’s definitely afoot. Methinks people are trying to tell me something. It’s been happening to me more and more of late. Like the young guy this morning: He doesn’t say anything, just holds the door open as I skitter on through. “Thanks, youngblood,”I nod.

Then, this evening, I spot an old guy coming in, as I’m leaving the barber shop. “Let me get that door for you, sir,” I call out to him. As he walks through, he says “Thanks.” But, I note, he looks a little annoyed as if to say,” You, of all people should know better.” Me? I give him a wry smile. “You’re welcome, sir.” Got him before somebody else got me! I note to myself, “Hell, I feel better… and younger already.”

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Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.