Living La Vida Oldie (Part I)

The whole rain bonnet thing the other day made me wonder what other secrets old people could cough up that might be useful to know. Let’s face it, we’re all going to be old people one day and it might be good to know some of these rain bonnet type things ahead of time. I’d hate to find myself old one day in the midst of a fine drizzle wondering how on earth I’m going to keep my newly coiffed hair dry, right?

So, I got up extra early one day and decided to follow some old people around to see what other handy tips I could squeeze out of them. (Most of them seem to be up and about by 5:00 am).

  • First thing I found out was that old people get bus passes for $30.40 a month! Wow. No wonder they’re always tooling around on OC Transpo. For a dollar a day they couldn’t find cheaper transportation.
  • Many seniors like to travel in packs like teenagers, except they sit at the front of the bus gossiping and giggling instead of at the back.
  • Then, I found out that there are special seniors’ days at almost all retail shops which give seniors anywhere from 10% or more off. Seniors all have secret decoder calendars or something that tell them when each store has its seniors’ day.
  • The calendar also seems to tell them all the free stuff available for seniors all over the city – tours, concerts, exercise programs, dances, exhibitions, coffee and tea clubs, lectures, classes, courses and a whack of other group activities.
  • Seniors seem to like Treats Coffee Shops better than Tim Hortons. They all hang out there around 9:30 for their morning refreshments. I’m not sure why. I’ll have to investigate that further.
  • For lunch there’s no place like Zellar’s apparently. It was only 10:45, but it had already been a long day and everyone was ready for a good, hot meal. I’ve never eaten at Zeller’s in my life. I’m not even sure I knew there was a restaurant in Zellar’s. In fact, I’m not even sure if I’ve even bought anything at Zellar’s since I was a kid and went with my parents…maybe underwear…I can’t recall. Anyway, the restaurant looks like it’s been there for about 50 years with waitresses to match. I sat down with the other old people and we waited and waited and waited, but no one ever came to get our orders. No one else seemed to mind, but I was getting hungry so I left and went somewhere else for lunch. The place was kind of creeping me out anyhow.
  • Before I knew it, it was 11:30 and I just managed to hop on the bus with the last of the seniors. The daily shopping out of the way, it was time to go home for a short snooze and a bit of a tidy up before meeting the girls at the community centre for yoga at 2:00. (If I’d been allowed to go, of course, which I wasn’t.)

If it weren’t for the whole physical deterioration thing, being old seems kind of fun – provided you’ve got a bit of money put aside or some sort of pension coming in. And provided you have a good network of cronies to hang out with and share your day and swap information and gossip with. You really need to be in the loop to find out about all these specials and deals and discounts and events seniors are entitled to. I’m not sure all old people know about this stuff.

There’s a whole other world out there of old people that us young whipper-snappers know nothing about. I want to know more.

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