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  • Jane Wheeler

Crushed but not Broken... The Inevitable Happened

Saddest moment, the inevitable happened….

This job at the high school has had it moments of learning curves and a half. Never mind the teaching myself job training, the learning how to relate to the students and even how to connect with the teachers.

And then there are the humbling and self –internalizing lessons that I have learned about myself.

But I think the biggest lesson I learned happened at the drug store across the road from the school the other day.

Now mind you, and I am looking for excuses here, so bear with me; I was on day 9 of a cold/flu thing that kept on going for a couple weeks and I am sure I had to have looked the part. I had wandered over to the drug store looking for more cold medicine and cream for my chapped, sucked of all moisture skin. The redness of my nose had to almost be a beacon for the North Pole, Rudolph had nothing on me. I got to the til and the lady was ringing through my purchases, she looked up and glanced over at me and then the inevitable happened, she said those dreaded words any woman can ever hear…

“Do you qualify for the seniors discount?”

The loud silence that ensued when all the white noise that rattles around in my brain came to a complete standstill was almost deafening. The only word that even ventured to appear was … “What?....” and the eerie silence in my head of – nothing.

Then, crushed, mad and sad feelings and all at the same time went leaping and ripping through my brain, and my ego dropped into the soles of my feet.

“I don’t know,” was my quiet answer.

“Well if you are over 55, you qualify,” was her pert little reply.

“Yes, I guess I do.” I replied, thoroughly depressed.

And then….

“Are you a grandma yet?”

I want to be a grandma but I did not think I looked like a grandma, so not only do I get the Seniors discount question but then the grandma question as well – it was a double whammy!

I had already been feeling old, walking the halls of the school with all those “young people” walking around, even feeling like a parent to the young teachers, but now I truly felt like a senior!

I did save $4.00 that day with my discount but it cost a lot to my fragile ego. I even told her the $4.00 off was a plus to the day and she did not even try to hide it with her answer of “well not really” – when you get to answer yes to the Seniors question. I have to admit she was right, $4.00 did not cut it.

I shuffled my way back to the school wondering if I needed a walker or cane to complete the total picture, then went and hid back in my library, hoping no perky young folks would find me for a while so I could nurse my bruised ego.

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