I piled my purchases onto the counter at Walgreens. The female Indian cashier looked at me and sweetly said, in halting English, “I am embarrassed to ask you this, but are you 55?”
My stomach sunk to the floor. Because she was so nice, I moderated my tone when I answered, “Why? Do I look 55?”
“I am asking,” she answered, “because Tuesday is Senior Citizen Day and everyone 55 and over gets 10% off their purchases.” Without answering my question directly, she did answer it, which made my stomach sink even lower.
“No, I’m not 55!” I responded. She looked vaguely embarrassed, but not by much. She obviously thought that I was lying.
“I’m not going to be 55 for another …” I stopped to calculate. “… 22 days,” I announced.
She smiled knowingly. Looking back, I’m certain that she was thinking, “Another 22 days, give or take …”
“Thank you,” she said. “Then, your total is $31.29.”
“Here you go,” I said, handing her the money. “And thanks for ruining my evening.”
She smiled and said, “You’re welcome. And be well.”