It happens to everyone sooner or later. Well, usually later but when it happened to hubby George and I a few years ago, later sure seemed sooner.
We stopped by Whataburger for a bite to eat, and like we always do in fast food joints, we ordered one combo and one sandwich. We always share the drink and fries that come with the combo because:
1) We take in fewer calories that way, and
2) I’m not a big french fry fan like George but I’ll eat a couple.
As soon as we paid for our order, the gal set two cups on the counter (instead of one) for us to go get drinks.
Puzzled, George asked, “You did put us in for just one combo, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” the woman replied, “But Senior Citizens get free drinks!” The words even came out of her mouth italicized!
Senior citizens. Free drinks. I was certain the world quit spinning for a moment because I felt a sudden jolt! Keenly detecting our deer-in-the-headlight gazes she questioned, “You are over 55, aren’t you?”
In unison, our heads slowly bobbed up and down but we continued to stare in silence. Finally, I managed, “Yes, in fact he was 55 yesterday.”
“There ya go! And Happy Birthday!” She exclaimed much too cheerfully.
We each took a cup, and in our zombie-like state, slowly and silently trekked toward the soda fountain with elbows bent, cups sticking out in front of us.
“Pahssshhhh, Pahssshhhh,” we filled our cups.
In my stupor, I glared down into my vessel full of diet Coke, and I was sure that I saw the words “Senior Citizen” written out in carbonated bubbles.
I then turned to George and conceded, “Well, it’s official, we’re old!”
He forced a slight nod of agreement even though I could tell that he really wasn’t home at the moment.
I was certain that all the other customers could hear our rickety bones creak as we navigated the hard cruel Whataburger floor to carefully position our feeble bones in a booth. George and I slowly gummed our food down and when we were finished, we eked our way over to the trash can, discarded our stuff, and wandered out into the parking lot hoping we’d still be able to find our truck.
This was not the end of it though. Oh no! Gluttons for punishment that we are, George and I went back to Whataburger about a week later.
We strolled in and there SHE was behind the counter--the woman who Officially bestowed us with the “Senior Citizen” title. How nice. She was busy doing something under the counter (probably reading her age detection meter), which was a good thing because I was trying to avoid looking at her.
After a minute, I felt the need to be polite so I carefully and slowly glanced her way. She immediately stopped what she was doing, and gawked back at me. The second her eyes hit me, I heard a very loud cracking noise. It was my face!
Wrinkles and lines were forming and running rapidly amuck from forehead to cheeks to chin! It sounded like an earthquake or volcano was taking place right on MY epidermis. I knew my face was quickly beginning to resemble a map of New York City but there was no way to stop it! Ugh!
Thankfully, a kind, joyful, and very sweet young lady approached to take our order, and the deafening crunch sounds subsided. She cheerfully asked if she could help us, and we ordered our usual combo and sandwich. This means, we only get ONE drink, right? Wrong!
After George paid for our order, the sweet young girl turned on me. “Ma’am, do you want a drink too?”
She was offering ME the Senior Citizen Free Drink!
I quickly thrust my index fingers into my ears to block out the thunderous head-to-toe crackling that was now occurring. Even worse, my breasts plunged towards my knees about a foot as if they were thrown off a high-rise building, and my hip popped out of joint right there in the middle of Whataburger!
I was afraid to look around because I was sure people were staring! Trying to act nonchalant was truly impossible with ditches being snaked into every nook and cranny on my body. I was pulling it off though until the urge to pee became so violently strong that I had to cross my legs, wrapping one as far around the other as was humanly possible!
Once this aging disaster subsided, and with fingers still in my ears and legs crossed, I nodded yes in response to her drink question. Hey, a free drink is a free drink!
Once I regained composure, I started imagining the staff busy in the back trying to seniorfy our sandwiches by running them through a blender. With that in mind, George and I wandered over to the condiment counter to stock up on the many straws we anticipated needing to consume our meal.
Perhaps when we order a Whataburger meal in the future, we’ll tell them to “Senior Size it!” I’m thinking that Whataburger might start offering Senior Citizen blended meals in the future. Of course, they will come with a prize--a bib--or perhaps teeth if they're not blended!
I know I didn’t look like Angelina Jolie when I first went into Whataburger but I definitely emerged looking like Keith Richard’s great, great grandmother!
One thing is for sure, my body can’t take much more of this place so I think we'll start going to McDonald’s!