I’m not exactly sure when it happened. Not last week. Not even last year. My best guess is that things changed right about the time my AARP membership card arrived in the mail.
In case you are unfamiliar (or under the age of 25), AARP – which stands for the American Association of Retired People – is an interest group in the United States focusing on issues affecting those over the age of fifty. The organization claims to have over 38 million members. AARP is an influential voice in the 50+ demographic. Membership costs a couple bucks per year and marks a turning point in one’s life.
Yup, my attitude changed right after I got my AARP membership card. (Those of us that are members refer to the organization as “ARE-puh.) That’s when I began to feel under-appreciated.
For instance, I get that under-appreciated feeling when some non-AARP member restaurant service person, about half my age, responds to my request for more water or ketchup or bread and butter with the phrase “No Problem”. No Problem?? NO PROBLEM??
Hey Service Person– when have I EVER caused you even the slightest problem?? I’m here investing my Social Security check in a lousy meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy dinner (carrots on the side). You respond to my polite request with the phrase, NO PROBLEM??? You ungrateful little twerp.
Be assured your NO PROBLEM remark, rather than a heartfelt response like “my pleasure” or “certainly” or even “of course” will be reflected in my customary gracious gratuity. Hey, “No Problem” service person, got change for a quarter?? I want to leave you a tip that reflects your disrespectful demeanor and “who cares” attitude. It’s not my fault that your college degree in Marine Biology (which surely cost your folks over $200K) means you share the disappointment with your life choices while engaged in a fulfilling career of waiting tables at Joe’s Dockside Diner.
Don’t close this window and begin surfing elsewhere just yet, my friend.
I ain’t done.
Should Joe, the esteemed owner of Joe’s Dockside Diner, promote you to the executive level position of host or hostess – never – Never – NEVER – address me and the silver haired lady accompanying me to dinner as “YOU GUYS” – as in “YOU GUYS can follow me to your table”. I can assure you that my dinner guest has NEVER been one of “you guys”. Not now. Not fifty years ago. Take a good look. She could be your mother, no, your GRANDMOTHER. You don’t call your Granny “You Guys” do you?? (Never mind – I’ll bet you do).
As for me, I may have once, a long, LONG time ago – when dinosaurs ruled the earth – been one of those “guys”. At the time, no one was cooler than us “guys”. We wore tight blue jeans, matching white t-shirts and smoked unfiltered cigarettes. In our minds, we were a hit with girls. We thought everyone respected us and parted ways so we could enter. The girls giggled at us behind our backs (who knew?). I’ll thank you not to refer to me as “you guys” and remind me of a too awkward adolescence.
Have we got a deal??
If you agree, it will be my pleasure to request that you be our service person, the next time my companion and I dine at Joe’s Dockside Diner. My gratuity will be generous. Send half to mom and dad, please. It will show them just how much you appreciate the second mortgage they had to take out to pay for your degree in Marine Biology.