Any lover of comedy will tell you that it’s just when you’re feeling puffed up and special that the proverbial cream pie lands smack on your kisser.

This is not a scenario which improves with age.

A couple of years ago, I came across a story on Oprah’s website which told of four women heading towards a big social event with Ms. Winfrey, possibly in conjunction with Maya Angelou.  The friends were all of a certain age, but they had donned tight fitting jeans and bright lipstick, and felt like funky mamas as they sped down the highway in a jazzy red convertible.  Unfortunately, their esprit de corps gave the driver a bit of a lead foot, and before long, they were startled to behold flashing lights in their rear view mirror.  Still, the anticipation of a little ‘bad ass’ action only added to their feeling of jollity when a young and handsome policeman got out of his cruiser and approached their sporty vehicle .

But their bubble of confidence soon burst when the officer, upon seeing their white hair, addressed them with all the respect due to dotage, and bade them on their way at a safer speed, and with no ticket.

Apparently, the women sighed wistfully, they were not the funky babes they had thought.  Or, at least, not to anyone but themselves.

Wednesday, after a particularly stressful day, I visited my local grocery store to pick up a few necessities and was served by a very youthful cashier.  Upon checking my bill when I got home, I found that, without any request on my part, I had been given a senior’s discount.

Ah well, I reasoned, the term ‘senior’ can mean many things.  After all, some organizations call you a senior when you hit the big Five-Oh!

So tonight, when back at that store, I asked one of the more mature cashiers what constituted a ‘senior’ at their establishment.  “65,” she replied without batting an eye.

65!

I am 54.

I know I was having a rough day … but sheesh!

However, after pondering this outrage a short while, I came to see that it might well have been the universe teaching me a collection of valuable lessons:

• Age is just a number.

• Getting older is merely an experience like any other, and not something shameful.

• Your worth as a human being is not dependent upon chestnut hair, smooth skin and a youthful glow.

I am grateful for these lessons.  I’m so grateful that I may never go back to that store again.  Hey, once you’ve learned a lesson, you move on to the next exercise in the book and leave the old one behind.

So I’m off to find another grocers … one staffed entirely by octogenerians.  After all, given the right circumstances, it’s not too late for me to be the young kid on the block!